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Boquete, beaches, and carnival

Fat Tuesday...Panama style

sunny 93 °F

When we arrived in Panama City one of the first things we learned was to get out of town for Carnival weekend, Feb 18-21, 2012. This huge pre-lent party disrupts Panama City and anyone who can goes to the beach. We had a little difficulty finding a place to go because of the carnival. Our search took us to the northwest edge of Panama, almost back in Costa Rica, to the Playa La Barquete area, about 30 kilometers west of David, Panama. However, the carnival is country wide and each town, city, village has some sort of celebration. For the first time since we've been here the beach was busy, not in front of the hotel, but at the public area. Fireworks were set off, quads are driven up and down on the beach, people getting away from the city heat for the beach. A little bit of 4th of July and Marti Gras rolled into one. 92bobh_001.jpg

We drove up to Boquete, Panama yesterday. This mountain community is about 1.5 hours from our hotel and a nice drive in the hills, not real Colorado type mountains. This town is home to many, many, ex-pats. Mostly Americans and Canadians. We heard more english being spoken in this town than anywhere we've been. For a wee bit I thought we were in a Del Webb retirement community. The town is in a very pictureques area, so it is easy to see why so many gringos live here. 8bobh_002.jpg

Because of the carnival celebrations around the country there were police road blocks and check points everywhere. In Panama, if a tourist doesn't have ID and passport on demand by the police you could end up spending the night in jail, this just doesn't mean the driver but all passengers too. This requirement should be in bold print in all travel guides. We were stopped four times on our round trip to Boquete. 00bobh_003.jpg

The sunsets here continue to be absolutely beautiful. Each night has been different, colorful, and always worth watching. Tomorrow we check out of Las Olas and head to Pedasi, Panama for four days. Looking forward to the change of venue.

Posted by rhislop 10:28 Archived in Panama Tagged mountains beaches sea sunset las panama david boquete barqueta olas firworks Comments (0)

Blue Skies & Seas, Sherbert Sunsets, Starry Nights

Welcome to Las Olas @ Playa La Barqueta

sunny 92 °F

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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.
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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.
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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)

Quepos and Drake Bay

Making our way to the jungle

sunny 84 °F

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As our time in Quepos started to come to an end we spent the last day hiking in Manuel Antonio National Park and cruising on a sunset dinner cruise. The park was great, lots of wildlife, toucans (see picture), lizards, hawks, racoons, and much more. Our guide was Roy Orozco, (check out his website, google him). What a great person, fantastic artist and guide. He spotted wildlife that others had missed and the other guides looked up to him all along the trails.

The sunset cruise was just our group. Twelve on the boat, cocktails, smooth seas, and great food. We came back to our casa and packed. A 6am pick up for Sierpe, CR.

The alarm went off and we headed to Sierpe, CR. In Sierpe we met the water taxi for an hour and half ride down the river, thru the mouth of the river and into the Pacific Ocean, along the coast line to the Drake Bay Wilderness Resort. (one of the pictures). We kicked back on our patio, enjoyed the sunset, sipped a few adult beverages and watched the stars pop out.

Today, we took the hammock tour. This is one of the resorts best ones. Lay in a hammock and do nothing. SIL Jean found a beautiful Conch Shell, that was still alive. She returned the shell to the ocean with some help from employees of the resort. Lots of photo ops here, hummingbirds, common blackhawks, large iguanas and macaws. Truly this is a wonderful wilderness spot.

Manana, Cana Island....

Posted by rhislop 15:37 Archived in Costa Rica Tagged sea ocean costa rica bay scenic drake Comments (0)

The old man and the sea

Big John scores

sunny 84 °F

The day I took off from fishing, Big John landed a 10 foot, 600 pound blue marlin. In the sport fishing world this is a big deal. The last time John hooked a Blue Marlin he was 16 years old. So fifty years later he celebrated the feat again. I don´t remember who bought dinner and drinks but it was a great celebration. John claims that the luck of the boat changed for a number of reasons. There were only three guys on the boat plus the crew, every time John peed off the stern they caught a fish, four sailfish and one marlin and the that I wasn´t along to photograph the experience. Whatever the reason Congrats to Big John!

BIL Rich was on the boat and has a video of the catch so it will live forever...not just a big fish story!

Posted by rhislop 05:22 Archived in Costa Rica Tagged sea fishing blue costa rica marlin Comments (0)

Fishing and Fun

Blue Skies, Smooth Seas

sunny 85 °F

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The last two days we've been fishing about 30 miles off the coast of Costa Rica. The weather has been fantastic and as a novice fisherperson I would say it was good. My brother on the other hand, the expert fisherperson, might say it was a little slow. However, we caught five sailfish, one mahi-mahi, and had a brief encounter with a marlin. The expert crew of the Good Day Team helped us land our catch and then release them for another sportfisherman. Great system!

My wife and SIL, Jean, caught the mahi-mahi together. The fish hooked on both their lines. They reeled in our sushi lunch. An hour after it was caught the firstmate fileted the fish and we had sushi for lunch. Wasabi and soy sause were on hand. The same fish provided our dinner for two nights. BIL, Rich, was our chef and did a fantastic job.

One of the most interesting and entertaining parts of the past two days was the arrival of the huge school of spinning dolfins. They followed the boat for at least thirty minutes; spinning, twisting, and dancing in the waves. A very cool sight.

Today, day off from fishing. A little sightseeing, lunch in Quepos, girls shopping for the perfect whatever.

Pura Vida!

Posted by rhislop 12:28 Archived in Costa Rica Tagged sea fishing day rica scenic good team sailfish costa_ mahi-mahi Comments (0)

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