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The border crossing was the normal one hour even with the Panama side having moved into their new building.
What a great feeling to be back on the Panamanian roads. Driving time from Paso Cano to David is 45 minutes and it would be faster with out a check point stop to revise all the car paper work.
After picking up the box with camera and contracts (Jianella sent) in David I proceeded to Volcan/Cerro Punta. There was some fog going up the hill but the top was clear this day.
Hotel Bambito is old judging from construction but clean. Detail is my thing and the few things that stuck out in my room were one of the 8 light bulbs out around the bathroom mirror and the shower head ring did not fit snuggly to the wall. Minor things for sure. The dinner last eve was very good or was it because I had only eaten crackers since my breakfast at six in the morning.
Day 2--Panama Travel As I look out the window over the duck pond here at the Hotel Bambito I can see it is a beautiful day. It took me longer to get out of Cerro Punta/Volcan than I expected. (It took some extra time to visit various hotels, B&B's for future PLV lodging.) Stopped at the Chiriqui Mall looking for more DVD's. That place is deserted.
Arrived to Boquete late and needed to eat. So I did not have much time to spend at Los Molinos. Nice project. Every lot has been marked off with volcanic rock probably from the area it's self. I can see where in this area there will be some strong winds in season but they already have four or five nice homes there.
Finally found the Isla Verde office. This place is German owned. Too bad the Dutch could not have taught the Germans a bit more about how to run inns. 1.)No trash can in the bathroom. 2.)No place to hang your towels in the bathroom. 3.)No fan even though Boquete is cool, the weather here has been sunny and the way the room is situated the sun heats up the room so you have to keep the windows open and there are no screens. 4.)No TV even thought the owner says her guests are eco-tourists the hotel is dead center of every thing and the design is certainly not eco friendly. 5.)I guess they get the $60+ a night for the kitchenette the room has. 6.)Modern metal furniture, now this is in a eco-friendly hotel? 7.)No toilet paper or soap. When I called the owner about this discrepancy she said oh I will be right down. They must not be accustomed to putting soap in the rooms. The soap bar was standard large size. The toilet paper was not installed in empty hanger. AND there is no place in the shower to put the soap any way. One must open the shower curtain and (get the soap from the only place to put it, on the sink.) put the soap on the sink. 8.)Do Panamanians not know how to install hot and cold water faucets? Like the apartment in Panama the sink and shower faucets are installed in reverse. In this situation there is no way to control hot and cold water so the shower is either scalding hot of mountain river cold. 9.)Hay Zeus Cree stow. Wouldn't you believe it after all the above criticisms when I checked out the owner Eva said "Jim the next time you come you must stay in my house."
Day 3--Panama Travel Beautiful is not the word for this day. I can see why people are flocking here. Boquete is having a magic day. I'm off to Boca Chica and Istana that is if the road will allow.
Damn that road to Boca Chia does suck but I am so glad I did it. I stopped and talked to the road crew making the road at least passable. They also saw the plates and one shouted out "pura vida maje". Really nice guys, and like all road workers they like to talk.
Met Bruce who is building a very cute little place for their fishermen. Bruce has brought in a 31 ft. Strike, beautiful boat. There are only 4 rooms now but very nicely appointed. They have never done the rooms plus fishing. They already have a website that will be upgraded once the landscaping is done. I took some pics, the rooms are very nice as are the bathrooms. A/C and they offer wireless internet. They will be building more cabins. Bruce is thinking about a small marina .It would be nice to find something close by so we could keep a boat on one of their docks. Bruce informed me that supposedly the road to Boca Chica will be paved the beginning of 2006. This is the third person I heard this from and it was in the local paper too so looks real. Land prices have already gone up 6 times in the 2 years he has been there.
I skipped Las Lajas. It would have been a 3 hour detour plus the time I would have viewed property so I will visit Las Lajas on my return to CR. In Divsa I stopped to ask a transit cop if I was on the right road to Las Tablas. He said yes but I have to give you a ticket because you are not wearing your seat belt. I had just removed it 20 minutes previous on a pit stop. He would not take the only small money I had $2. He just lectured me for about 10 minutes in a nice way smiling all the time while his supervisor was watching and then he let me go. I had a very good day communicating with Panamanians. Ticos do not have a monopoly on being nice. Spending the night in Chitre. The Hotel Hong Kong of course, new, clean, $20. Can't beat it. Continue reading...
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