Panama 2010 – Day 9

Day 9, Sunday.  Today we left the Seagull Cove Inn to go to Boquete. We spent a little time this morning over breakfast visiting with Avril and Derekand admiring Scupper, their cat.  It was difficult to leave them as we really enjoyed their company and had shared Christmas with them! But, we carted our luggage back up the million zillion steps and loaded the car. Can’t say that we were looking forward to driving back down the terrible road!  Mike started the car after about 4 tries. Our little car has a difficult switch, and we hold our breaths each time we go to start the car. (Not always a pleasant anticipation as we’ve been in a number of places where we don’t want to be stranded!) The car finally started and we headed out, waving goodbye to new friends. The road was terribly nasty, but it didn’t look quite as bad as it had in the dark! Thank goodness we made it through without losing any more hubcaps, a fender, or an oil pan!  Back on the paved road, we took our time heading back to the Pan American Highway. We had traveled this road previously in near-darkness, and we wanted to enjoy the vistas. We stopped a couple of times and took photos. This part of the country is certainly beautiful with the big rolling hills and trees everywhere. But it is too warm for us – the breezes are hard to come by unless you are high up on a hill. We made it to the PAH, and headed West toward David, Panama’s 2nd largest city. The countryside was absolutely beautiful.

It was a pretty quick drive into David, and as we arrived we found a substantially large city. We pulled into the first shopping center, and went to a grocery store to grab some chardonnay (surprise!), Diet Coke, and hopefully more Nyquil and Dayquil. We were able to find the drinks but not the meds. I approached a couple who appeared to be speaking English to get directions to a Pharmacy, which was fortunately right around the corner. At the store, we found a grape liquid medicine which appeared to contain antihistamines and decongestants – our limited translation capabilities at work – and I agreed to try it out. Fortunately it seemed to work today!

We then headed out of town toward Boquete, our final stop on the trip. And the ultimate destination we really wanted to learn the most about. We traveled about 35 kilometers as we climbed into the mountains. It figures that we would arrive into the most beautiful location in the middle of a storm! The wind was howling and the rain was pounding down. Surely this can’t be the dry season? Hmmmm.

We managed to follow the directions to the inn, and climbed even higher to the Villa Marita inn which sits on a mountainside overlooking the town and Volcan Baru (yes, we are staying on the flanks of a volcano). As we arrived, our hosts came out and helped us get everything down about 40 steps into our casita (at least there aren’t a million steps here). We have a simple 2 room cabin, with a large deck across the back overlooking the view. Of course, we couldn’t see anything except rain, the nearby trees, and more rain. So much for the view.

By this time we were ready for lunch, so we headed back into town. We had our first meal at the Bistro Boquete, which it is run by an expat from the US. Had a great burger and some wine, and started relaxing. As we finished our lunch, some folks approached us. Jeff and Ellie, our “e-pals”, had gone by Villa Marita to see if we had arrived yet, and our host from VM (a Panamanian gentleman who graduated from Texas A&M) sent them our way. Are we lucky or what that these nice people reached out to us? They took us for a tour of the town to help us get familiar with everything. We had a great couple of hours with them, and then they invited us back to their house (near our inn) for a glass of wine! Of course, we took them up on their generous offer, and headed there. Throughout this entire afternoon we have been unable to take any photos of the area – the storm with the wind and rain is completely obscuring views, and I’d probably blow away if I tried to stand still to take a picture!

After admiring Jeff & Ellie’s beautiful home and their incredible views of Volcan Baru (still through the blowing, pounding rain), we decided we’d best head home before it got completely dark. We drove the 1 block back, parked, and trudged through the rain. (BTW, we had learned earlier that using umbrellas was pretty useless – Mike’s little one had blown itself wrong-side out on its first trek outside, and had partially broken!) As we had some spicy trail mix, alcohol, and Diet Cokes, we decided those would good enough for our first dinner in Boquete. To heck with driving down the mountain! We snacked, watched the TV, and tried to stay warm (we have no heat or AC – apparently not needed here).

We are thrilled to be in Boquete, and cannot wait to see everything. We hope it stops storming by tomorrow!

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