A Travellerspoint blog

Just a Few Days Left in Boquete

February 11

Late this morning we walked in to town. I wanted to try a new route. I had seen some Panamanian natives walking down a trail near our place, and thought it might be another shortcut to town. So game for an adventure we set out. It turned out very quickly to lead to one of the many farms around here. A young man came out to us and told us we were welcome, but he wondered what we were doing. We said just exploring and trying to get to town. He took us past the workers housing (which was very depressing, easier to drive by than walk by) and showed us a very steep trail into a ravine and up the other side. So we thanked him and followed the trail. When we got to the top, we came out on the shortcut we had used many times to shorten the walk down Volcancito. So we didn't gain anything but satisfaction for my curiosity!

Bridge across the ravine

Bridge across the ravine

Lovely pampas grass

Lovely pampas grass


I picked up a walking stick as we went along and when we went down the steep shortcut, I found it very useful. We made it into town and did a little shopping for a gift (can't say anymore than that!). We had lunch in a little seafood restaurant where we were the only customers. Sat on their balcony out over the valley and enjoyed the breeze while writing a postcard to send to the grandkids. We got a taxi back to spend the rest of the day at home.

Planter made from a tire

Planter made from a tire


Just to let you know a little about our living situation here - it's been a bit like a soap opera. Our hostess, Lynne, managed to antagonize Maria, our first neighbour, which I think took quite a lot because Maria seemed very easy going and had come back here for the second time. I'm sure she'll never stay here again. So Ivan moved in. He's a nice Puerto Rican American, who speaks fluent Spanish and English. He's about 10 years younger than us and a retired military man. He's only been here about a week and she's already pissed him off. Today she tried to evict him although he's already paid a full month's rent and has no other place to go. Very strange behaviour for someone wanting people to stay here. She has someone else lined up for his place, so who knows what she thinks?
Anyway, we are out of here in a couple of days and it's just the right time to leave!

Posted by katdill 16:16 Archived in Panama Comments (1)

Internet is Back!

February 8, 9, & 10

Unfortunately, I did not make the second day of the Jazz Festival. My cold was so bad, I had to stay home and doctor myself. So Don went off by himself. On the way there he took a detour to go up the road to the top of the volcano. You can't drive all the way to the top, there was a gate where you pay an entrance fee and start hiking. It takes 4 - 6 hours so Don just took some pictures and then went on to the festival.

View from the volcano road

View from the volcano road

He enjoyed the second day very much. The last two performances were really good. Li'l Ed didn't bring the rest of his band so had other performers playing with him. At one point, he had Deanna Bogart, Leon Blue and Shakura S'aida jamming with him. Malamanya was also good again and at the end of their set they started inviting other artists up to jam with them, including 5 horns from the Rigoberto Big Band, Yelba, and a few others from the crowd, as well as some salsa dancers. It was a great ending and a fun little festival.

Last performance

Last performance


Monday morning rolled around and I still was under the weather. Don went up to Finca Lerida (coffee estate) to hike on some of their trails for some bird watching.
Old growth forest at Finca Lerida

Old growth forest at Finca Lerida

Silver Throated Tanager

Silver Throated Tanager

Then he bought some groceries and brought them home before returning our rental car. The rental car place is out on the highway to David, too far to walk, so he caught a bus to the junction, then walked 1/2 way up Volcancito Road before getting a ride on one of the little van buses. After he got back, he checked on the hummingbird nest, The eggs have hatched, although they don't look much like birds yet.

Baby hummers

Baby hummers


Today I got up feeling much better and decided to walk into town with Don to go to the market. We tried a different shortcut than we had tried earlier. Not as short as the really steep one, but I didn't feel like I was going to fall and break my neck. It took us over an hour to get to the market, partly because I was walking slower and partly because we were bird watching on the way. After doing our shopping and having lunch in a little cafe by the river, we got a taxi home. Time to cool it for the rest of the day.

Boquete and surrounding mountains

Boquete and surrounding mountains


Our internet has been down since last night and just came back after we got back today, so I thought I'd better post while I could.

Posted by katdill 13:06 Archived in Panama Comments (0)

Two Days in One

February 6 & 7

Yesterday I stayed home all day and drank - water and orange juice - to try and head off a cold. Don went down to the open mike session that happened down by the park. He enjoyed it but didn't think it was as good as the jam session he attended.
Today the festival was on from noon to 6:00. A housing development here, Valle Escondido, has an outdoor amphitheatre built into the hillside. So that's where the big show was held.

Looking down from the top

Looking down from the top

Looking up from the dance floor

Looking up from the dance floor


Our hostess, Lynne, lent us some lawn chair cushions to take along so we could be more comfortable. We went fairly early so we could get good seats and we did pretty well. The music was great with 4 different bands, as well as a couple of local talents in between. One of the local ones was a group of 3 kids, a male singer ~14, a female lead guitar ~12, and a female drummer who was 8!! They did have an adult bass guitar player, but they were terrific. Very impressive.

Full dance floor

Full dance floor


The bands were all good and one of them called up a couple of people from previous groups to play with them for the last couple of songs. Excellent!
The closing act was Shakura S'Aida, a Canadian performer, that had everyone singing along. She does a really good show.

Shakura showing her amazing earrings

Shakura showing her amazing earrings


Then we came home for supper. I will spend the evening doctoring myself so I can go back again tomorrow and do it again. It was great fun but my cold is fighting back.

Posted by katdill 17:18 Archived in Panama Comments (0)

Lost Waterfalls and All That Jazz

February 5

We got an early start and drove the 1/2 hour out to the trailhead for the Lost Waterfalls hike. It starts out very steeply, but they have put steps and railings in spots to help the climb. There are three waterfalls, I saw 2 and waited on the trail for 45 minutes while Don climbed up to the 3rd one. That part of the trail is very steep, rocky and difficult. Don said part of the time he was walking in a stream and part climbing almost vertically. But he made it up and back down again, all in one piece if a little muddy! In this picture you can see the white car on the road below, that is our car and the picture was taken about half way up the total climb. Although without a pocket altimeter and only my heart rate to go by, it's hard to know for sure! Behind the hill across the road from the car, is the fields we were in the day before and we were so much higher today.

See the car at the bottom

See the car at the bottom

Some of the initial steps

Some of the initial steps


Don at top of second waterfall, on his way down from the 3rd

Don at top of second waterfall, on his way down from the 3rd


Once we got back down, it was time to head for home (a 3 hour hike!) to have a shower and lunch. There was a free concert in the park, with a local rock band performing and a jazz band which apparently had Panama's best guitarist in it. The second band was much more to our taste. There were 3 brothers selling some kinds of beans in the park and watching their interactions and obvious love for each other was very nice for us.

Brothers

Brothers

Park scene

Park scene


After the concert we went over to the Boquete Community Players theatre for a concert. There were two musicians scheduled, John Carney, a guitar player, and Leon Blue, a keyboard artist. Carney had a couple of different women who each sang two songs with him, but was mostly instrumental. Leon Blue played boogie woogie and honky tonk piano and sang along. But he went seriously overtime and people were getting up and leaving before he was done.

They have a jam session each night at one of the restaurants around town. You pay a cover charge to get in and the music goes from 8:00 to late night.
We were hoping to have supper at the Baru restaurant where the jam session was held, but when we got there it was packed. There were no seats available and I refused to stand and listen to music without any supper. So we walked over to Big Daddy's restaurant and ate. It also was very busy and it took quite awhile to get our meals. Then Don drove me home and went back to the Baru to listen to music. He reports it was very good, 4 or 5 guys jamming together and every 1/2 hour they switch musicians.

Posted by katdill 06:24 Archived in Panama Comments (0)

Hiking and the Jazz Festival

February 4

We joined the Easy Walkers group for a morning hike. We drove up the valley and up to a farm which has some hiking trails. There were 14 of us in the group, with a great leader, Jere. We hiked up to a very nice waterfall and then up to a lookout point which was at 1,741 meters altitude. It was a pretty short easy hike for us, which was nice.

Tatica Waterfall

Tatica Waterfall

View from the Lookout

View from the Lookout


We came home and had lunch and changed our clothes. Off downtown we went, to watch the parade which starts the Jazz Festival. It was a very short parade with a few musicians leading the way and then people with painted faces and wild outfits, some of them riding in decorated golf carts. They did a circuit of downtown and then came back to the park and did some dancing before heading off.

Parade dancers in the town square

Parade dancers in the town square


There was a garden party at the Panamonte Hotel, which is the oldest hotel in Boquete. It is a lovely old building with very nice grounds. A Latin music group, Malamanya, from Minneapolis, played and put out such good energy. They had people up dancing and really enjoying themselves. The woman singer was so full of energy and personality, she was amazing!

Garden party

Garden party

Malamanya lead singer

Malamanya lead singer


Then it was time to come home and have supper. We have a new neighbour today, Ivan from Puerto Rico. He's considering moving here, so he's not just a tourist like us.

Posted by katdill 16:59 Archived in Panama Comments (1)

(Entries 21 - 25 of 50) « Page 1 2 3 4 [5] 6 7 8 9 10 »