A Travellerspoint blog


Blue Skies & Seas, Sherbert Sunsets, Starry Nights

Welcome to Las Olas @ Playa La Barqueta

sunny 92 °F


Surround yourself with beauty, very few people, blue skies & seas, nights full of stars and sunsets that change flavors every evening you will love this place. The beach is black sand. You can walk it for miles and only see a few people. There are no peddlers with junk hencho de mexico. You will spot a few shells, sea gulls, pelicans, dolphin, some very nice homes built right on the beach and the nearest McDonald's is 25.6 kilometers away.
Setting on our patio each evening we watch the sky change from blue to orange or raspberry or firey red and then twilight to dark. As the sky darkens the stars start popping out. First only a couple bright ones and then the explosion starts like fireworks. By 8:30pm so many stars are in the sky and constellations that we haven't seen in years come into view. We have yet to watch TV since we've been here.
Today we visited some of the single family homes for sale or rent and some condos next to Las Olas. Lots to consider for next winter's getaway.

We visited the mountain community of Volcan yesterday. A rain forest area, everything is very green. Volcan reminds me of Estes Park, CO in the 60's. Lots of small farms, hillside terraced gardens, and incredible fresh veggies and fruit. Six dollars bought us a bag of each. Great healthy munchies. We read in one of the travel guides about Arte-Cruz, a local artist that is famous for his wood work and glass etchings. A very talented man, he made a special gift for us and loved showing off his skills. A good non-tourist trap stop.

Tomorrow is all beach day!

Posted by rhislop 15:06 Archived in Panama Tagged sky sea sunset ocean las la panama playa scenic barqueta olas Comments (0)


To lovers every where

From the warm and wonderful Playa La Barqueta, Kryss and I wish everyone a very Happy Valentine's. Day.

And special happy birthday wishes to a fantastic young man who celebrated his 36th yesterday

Posted by rhislop 15:14 Archived in Panama Tagged warm Comments (0)

180 Degrees

Panama City to the beach

overcast 80 °F


No it's not that hot in Panama, it's our living pace. For the last six nights we've been in Panama City and the surrounding area. Today we woke up at the beach. While we were in Panama City we visited an Embara Indian village, the black Jesus shrine and the Fort of San Geronimo in Portobello, and a number of local historical sites near our hotel. We are ready for a change of pace.

We've learned about Panama time...if you are told a time to meet, feel lucky if they are there within an hour of the scheduled time. A very frustrating condition when dealing with Panama natives. We had arranged with a travel agent to meet at 6pm, after our trip to the Embara Indian Village, three phone calls later, she showed up at 7:30pm. Not really the way we had wanted to spend the evening. Everyone has an excuse why they are late, but doesn't do anything about it.

We bought a throw away Panama phone. A smart thing to do if you are going to travel here. Having a phone helps in getting things done.

The Embara Indian village is about two hours away from from Panama City. A van ride to a national park and then a canoe (powered by a 15 horse yamaha outboard) ride up a river for about an hour. The boat ride was through the jungle, with lots of birds and other wildlife living on or near the river. About 100 people live in the village, selling baskets, handcarved items, and masks to the tourists. We enjoyed a native meal, dancing, and walking around the village.34bobh_003.jpg61bobh_002.jpg50bobh_001.jpg

The trip to Portobelo was a car ride about 1.5 hours from Panama City. Portobelo is a very small town that was once a shipping port and Spanish garrison, back in the day. Visiting the old fort was interesting and very similar to the Spanish built fort in St. Augustine, FL and Limon, Costa Rica. The building plans must have been like today's shopping centers...here's the plan, build it. Also, the Black Jesus statue is located in a local church. Google the Portobelo Black Jesus to read about him. Lots of interesting rumors. 2bobh_005.jpg

The drive to the beach was 460 kilometer ride on the the Panamerican Highway and a narrow paved country road. At least 60% of the Panamerican Highway was four lane as we headed to David, PA. The other was a two lane highway, with a few pot holes that kept us on the alert. When we got on the county road we realized that it could have been a Costa Rican super-highway.

We'll be here a few days, maybe more than we want, since it is carnival in the big cities and getting rooms is a struggle. All the city folk go to the beaches to get away from the insanity of the carnival. But why not stay at the beach...it's beautiful, quiet, and of course relaxing.

Posted by rhislop 06:12 Archived in Panama Tagged beaches birds indians panama black jesus portobelo embara Comments (0)

Raise the FLAGG!!!!

Colorado scores again

overcast 80 °F
View Central America on rhislop's travel map.

We arrived in Panama City on Feb 7th about 5pm. By 6pm we were in our hotel room at the Magnolia Inn. The owners of the MI are former Coloradoans, who lived about a mile away from us when we lived in Arvada. Didn´t know them at that time. The recommendation from other Coloradoans brought us to this new hotel. Reggie & Cherie Flagg, opened the MI, forty days ago. The first floor is set up as a youth hostel and the second and third floors have hotel rooms. The bed in our room is the best bed we´ve slept on since this trip started. The building was built circa 1900-10 in a section of Panama City known as Casco Viejo. This is like being in the New Orleans French Quarter, but much narrower streets. Reggie and Cherie have been working on this project for over 18 months, this labor of love has turned into a great boutique hotel and hostel. It is about three blocks from the Panama President´s office, lots of security types in the neighbor, so it is safe to walk about at night. The whole area is going through an urban renewal project, as they would say in San Francisco it is a gentrifying nieghborhood. Many of the buildings have already been completely gutted and only the walls with windows frames are standing. The exteriors will stay the same, but inside deluxe apartment, condos, offices are being built.

Last night we had dinner with two other couples from Grand Junction, CO. This morning we met another couple, staying at the MI, from Littleton, CO. It is incredible that we travelled all the way to Panama and Costa Rica to run into Coloradoans.

Yesterday we rode the Panama City tourist bus, Hop on Hop off, around the city. It took us to all the major landmarks and the canal zone. These are English style double decker buses that permit the rider to get on and off at each site, get back on the next bus and go to the next stop. Without getting on and off the trip is about 2.5 hours, however, we were gone about 5.5 hours. Great way to see the city.

We´re working on our schedule for the next twenty days. Probably heading to the Pacific coast and north toward Costa Rica for the first leg. Then work our way back to Panama City and up to the Caribbean coastal area. However, that could change like the weather, if something else interests us.

The attached photos are from the Casco Viejo area, some finished buildings, the Magnolia Inn and a moon/church view from the MI balcony

Posted by rhislop 11:18 Archived in Panama Tagged churches buildings panama hostel youth inn magnolia casco viego Comments (0)

Only the best...

Wilson the man

sunny 76 °F
View Central America on rhislop's travel map.


When we arrived in La Fortuna, we needed transportation from our hotel to town. As good luck would have it, Wilson Elizondo (8388 2332) picked us up in his cab. This charming and personable young man took us into town. He recommended quality restaurants, the best attractions and advice on the La Fortuna area. One of his excellent recommendations was the Don Rufino restaurant. He was absolutely correct in his assessment. The photo is of their Tuna Tartar which was as delicious as the presentation you see. After dinner he took us back to our hotel and arranged for another day of sight seeing and town meandering.

We needed a ride to the San Jose airport for our flight to Panama. We hired Wilson. He made us a deal we couldn't refuse. He got us to the airport safely and in a timely fashion. His eagerness to practice and learn English and to help us with our Spanish, made the 2 and a half hour trip extremely enjoyable. We wish for him only the best.

If you ever come to Costa Rica and have plans to see Arenal volcano call Wilson and tell him Bob and Kryss sent you. He will take good care of you.

We arrived in Panama City after an uneventful flight. At our hotel, the Magnolia Inn, we learned that the Indigenous people of Panama have gone on strike against the government. Travel has been disrupted in certain areas. Water and eletricity in other areas. Our hotel is 2 blocks from the Panamanian Presidential palace so we may demonstrations Panamanian style. So the
adventure continues......

Posted by rhislop 17:41 Archived in Panama Tagged taxi san la costa rica panama jose fortuna arenal wilson Comments (0)

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