Joined August 2022 Message
  • Day10

    Paradise in Nueva Gorgona

    September 24, 2022 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 22 °C
    Traveler

    Fue un gran placer compartir este pedacito de tu viaje. Qué se repita!

    10/13/22Reply
    Traveler

    Gracias Maria! Si!! (Ayer escribí mi adventura en Nuevo Gorgona pero desapareció! Tengo que volver a escribir. Espero que tengan un viaje maravillosa!

    10/13/22Reply
     
  • Day9

    Adventures in Boca Chica

    September 23, 2022 in Panama ⋅ 🌧 27 °C

    I got spend 2 nights at El Ragalo near Boca Chica. This is the place that belongs to Carol and Jenni, who I met while in Casco Viejo. Apparently his uncle bought 1000 acres 30 some years ago and now decided he's done so they're selling lots. The government is in the process of widening the roads and improving access to the area. It's going to make a huge impact on this part of the country.

    While I felt a little landlocked, I made the best of it and Carol was gracious to show me around a bit. They have private beach access about a 30 minute walk away. There were 2 young, like-minded German couples that I got to hang with a bit. Carol took us boogie-boarding. Omg, the water is so warm! Must have been at least 75°.

    We played ping pong my first night and the second night, I taught them how to play Chin Chon. We had fun.

    I hiked to an abandoned lookout. Spectacular views. Even dozed off a bit on a dilapidated bench. So peaceful there. The soft breeze felt amazing.

    In the afternoon, Carol took me to Boca Chica, about 30 minutes away. Little fishing village. Even met the old man, known as "papa," who essentially owns the whole village. He basically hangs it on a hammock watching all the comings and goings. It's hilarious. They have an outdoor basketball-sized court with a roof that would be perfect for pickleball! I could just see myself teaching pickleball to the village kids. That would be a blast!

    There's a mix of small rural establishments and some nice boutique style hotels. We stopped a couple different spots to enjoy a beer and a little food. People literally drink beer here like water!

    It's just fun to see how it's all such a small community and everyone knows each other. Even Carol with his terrible Spanish manages to communicate with and get to know everyone. And everybody knows him! Of course, you can't miss him! Lol So many smiles and salutations! Great times!
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  • Day8

    Last morning in Boquete

    September 22, 2022 in Panama ⋅ 🌧 26 °C

    Even though I was a bit sore from my 23,000+ steps yesterday, I still wanted to take advantage of the beautiful morning in Boquete before having to take the bus to David. I looked at Google maps and found a park nearby so I decided to check it out. It was lovely!! Enjoy the pics and video.Read more

  • Day7

    Finca Lerida Waterfall

    September 21, 2022 in Panama ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

    Today's adventure started with figuring out what local little bus to take to get to Finca Lerida which is a coffee plantation. I was actually considering doing their tour, but first wanted to get a little hiking in on the property. Well, needless to say, the more I hiked, the more I couldn't stop. Attempting to get to the waterfall became more important than learning how they harvest and roast coffee. Lol. I figured I could read about that online! 😉

    I'm so so happy I made the trek. According to AllTrails, the hike is 2.7 miles with an 853' elevation gain. The trail got narrower and narrower the further you went into the cloud forest. The view from above was lovely, but the real challenge and what made this trek so exhilarating and memorable was the steep descent to the bottom of the falls! The experience was very emotionally rewarding.

    After the hike, I enjoyed a delicious treat at the coffee shop and bought some coffee beans to bring home as my souvenir!

    Then, my new pickleball friends from South Africa (Stephan and Cathy) picked me up at the Finca and off we went to play a couple hours of pickleball. From there, my other new friend, Bradley, gave me a ride back into town. Once I got cleaned up, went off to an expat social gathering at Big Daddy's and made even more friends! What a great town!
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  • Day6

    Waterfalls and Hot Springs

    September 20, 2022 in Panama ⋅ 🌧 25 °C

    Had a great day visiting a couple waterfalls in the Caldera region. The first one was just off the main road, but the second one was on private property. Apparently it's untitled, and several different family members have attempted to claim it and sell the property for $100,000. It's about 100 acres from what I understood. And apparently they may have sold it more than once to an unsuspecting "gringo." Don't quote me on this. Lol

    The hot springs were also on private property. The family charges $3 entry fee. That's what they live off of. Very humble place. Wish I had taken a picture of it. Beautiful grounds with multiple hot springs. We hung out in the ones closest to the river. The water was quite warm, at least 100°. Such a cool setting to have the sound of the rushing river nearby which I also went into as you'll see from the pictures. That water was pleasantly cool, probably about 70-72°.

    In the last picture, you'll see the Volcán Barú which is the tallest mountain/volcano in Panama at 11,398 feet. You'll only allowed up there with a guide. And you can see the oceans on both sides of the country.
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  • Day5

    Boquete Part 2 Day 1

    September 19, 2022 in Panama ⋅ 🌧 20 °C

    It's was raining crazy hard but I had to head out for dinner. While I could have walked less than 2 blocks to find places to eat, adventurous me wanted to try out a restaurant that was 8 minutes away from the main part of town. Street was a little dark and mostly uphill. Lol. And oh my goodness! The water was really coming down!! And I discovered I LOVE LOVE LOVE my new Vessi waterproof shoes! I'm a believer! By the time I got to the restaurant, even though I was using a small umbrella, the ends of my hair were wet, my capri pants were wet from the thighs down, but my feet were DRY!!

    So these pics are just too remember my adventure to and dinner at Paladar. Check out the video of the rain falling.
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  • Day5

    Boquete Experience Part 1

    September 19, 2022 in Panama ⋅ 🌧 20 °C

    Boquete is really a magical place! You feel like you're in the rain forest, in the clouds. The bus ride was fine. Just gotta stay on your toes in David with the bus change. But they definitely have their public transportation system down.
    My accommodations are great. They're very well organized and they provide coffee (a plus!!) And full use of kitchen.
    Ventured out last night to find a place to eat. As usual, I tried going off the beaten path. I found a delightful place that on Sunday afternoons, expats get together and prepare fruits and vegetables for the public school system here. I got to meet one of the restaurant owners, a young gal, former banker from Kansas whose parents are originally from Panama (although they're still in the states). She's working for a foundation trying to make a difference in the lives of the children in public schools. She explained that there no virtually no funding for food and these kids are poor because the wealthier families seems their kids to private schools. So she's on site at the schools during the week helping with food preparation and distribution. So awesome!!!
    I was the only patron for dinner and it was delicious! Plantain chips served with smoked eggplant puree and a fruit puree that wasn't too sweet. I ordered the Yucca Gnocchis and they were amazing! I'm so glad I went there!

    Next day, since it wasn't raining in the morning, I set out on a solo hike in the neighborhood for about 2 1/2 miles.

    Got to play Pickleball. I nice couple from Texas I met through Facebook picked me up. It worked out perfectly because there were 8 of us total to play! It was in a gym. At one point we couldn't hear each other call out the scores because the rain started falling so hard and was so noisy.

    Afterwards, Ken and Kelli dropped me off in town and I walked around, stumbled upon some ladies drinking a "pina," apparently its a coconut before it becomes a coconut! Lol. It was delicious and heavy to carry! Did a little more exploring before heading back to my room. After a short rest, I'll head out again to find some evening action and food!
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  • Day3

    Day 3 in Panama

    September 17, 2022 in Panama ⋅ 🌧 29 °C

    Did a tour with Tony today which included the Bridge of the America's (gateway to the canals), the canals, casco viejo, and the Amador Causeway which is where the country is really pouring money into. It feels like tourism is in its infancy here. They are definitely planning for the next 20 years. It's really going to be nice! They're even building a cruise ship docking station to bring people to that area.

    One thing I learned about Casco Viejo is the red bricks on the streets. I had noticed them that morning (see pic). They use the red bricks to demarcate the "safe" area, in reality, it's the "touristy" area. 😉 But there definitely are more "squatters," more dilapidated buildings, etc. in the non-red zone. But the plan is to slowly rebuild and modernize the whole area. So much potential!

    We stopped at the Mercado de Mariscos for lunch (see my pic). After the tour I stopped by another rooftop restaurant/ bar with a fantastic view of the city and had an amazing cocktail during which I was visited by a Panamanian fly! Lol.

    After a short rest back at my Airbnb, I had dinner at the Mahalo Snack Shack.

    Then retracing some of my steps from the days before (Casco Viejo is not that big), I finally stumbled upon a shop that I had seen on a previous outing that makes crepes! Omg! Had to have one! It was Delish! (I'm definitely gaining weight on this trip! Lol) Ended the evening with another night view of the city. No rain so it was a little clearer.
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  • Day2

    2nd Night in Casco Viejo

    September 16, 2022 in Panama ⋅ 🌧 27 °C

    Headed over to a rooftop bar/ restaurant called Tantalo. It was early and I was literally the first one there. Hence I got the best seat in the house. Beauty's view is the city. I was looking forward to seeing it light up as it got darker. What I didn't plan for was the lightening show from impending thunderstorms! It was awesome! Fortunately, we had a roof over our head.
    I had a delicious passion fruit mojito and a lovely Greek salad that was presented so artistically.
    After that, I wanted to head to a rum bar that I had read about. But the rain was coming down hard and, of course, I left my umbrella in my room. At one point, I sought shelter under a building overhang, and as I settled under there, a gentleman did the same. We began to chat and come to find out that he and his wife own a resort in Boca Chica which is one of the places I was considering going to AND, they are considering adding pickleball to their property! I asked him his name and he said "Carol." I said, seriously? That's my name too! Lol. Plus his wife was already at the rum bar. I told him that's where I was headed! He was going back to their hotel to check in with their daughter when our paths crossed. Needless to say, I met up with his wife, we hit it off, and they invited me to go stay at their hotel at their "friends and family" rate! While it's still a bit more than what I was planning to spend, I feel like this is a moment when one just needs to go with the flow and say "Yes" to the Universe!! I'm excited! I told them that I plan to get certified to teach pickleball so who knows?!!! I think there's a retirement plan in the making! 😃
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    Love this!!🥰 [Marnie]

    9/17/22Reply
     

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