Boquete, PanamaApril 1, 2017 in Panama
A breath of fresh air.
Boquete lies in the Chiriqui Highlands in the west of Panama, in the shadow of Panama's highest (but still not that high) peak, Volcan Baru. It's a reknowned adventure sport hub, comprising of the Americans who partake in these and the locals who guide them.
I like Boquete, if anything because it's cool. Cool enough to give us some sanity between what we faced in our last two stops and what we will face in Panama City. It's also clean and stunningly picturesque. Flowers (the old burgain villia above all!) bloom everywhere, the air smells fresh, the river is clean and the traffic is minimal as Boquete is almost at the literal end of the road. Birds too, chirp audibly at every location. It's just so darn peaceful!
We met up with Mike and Char again and opted for a waterfall hike - the cheapest activity on the list. It was only a short taxi ride away, but it was almost enough to cost us our lives as the old fart took every corner like it was the final bend on Mt Panorama. Unfortunately we took the first track we came across with a waterfall sign, paid our $5 and went for a walk. It wasn't until we found the one and only waterfall that we'd realised we had done the wrong walk. We backtracked to the road and found the Lost Waterfalls sign we were looking for, reluctantly paid another $7 to begin the hike we were supposed to. The day made for some gruelling climbing and plenty of waterfalls, and ended up being much longer than we anticipated after we walked the whole way back to town - over 20km in fact. As you do, we treated ourselves to a hard earned drink at the (surely american-owned) brewery pausing only to let two nappy-wearing baby monkeys play on our shoulders. Not kidding.
The next day was relaxing. Cat and I proceeded to undertake our own 'food tour' of Boquete (really who needs a tour guide on a food tour - just follow your nose!). It began with coffee and cake (of which we ate way too much) and continued with delightful pulled beef sandwiches and an incredible fresh strawberry shake. In between of course there was rest, research and one of my best runs on tour - cool, scenic and quiet up through the hills of Boquete in the twilight. We also enjoyed a delicious meal at Big Daddys grill. There are a lot of American expats living here and it shows in the dining options - at least the employees are still largely spanish speaking locals! Fish tacos and curly fries to die for...yum! Depsite splashing out on this meal, prices are unquestionably lower than that of Costa Rica and for that matter - Bocas del Toro where food prices appear to have been hiked for import costs to the island. A welcome reprive.
Onwards to the baking heat and hustle of Panama City. An hour on a chicken bus followed by eight on a coach. Looks like I'll be getting some episodes of Narcos under my belt!Read more