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Old farts spar on bridge

Broncos hobbled

sunny 85 °F

The time speeds by when you are having fun and discovering new sites, tastes and sounds. We've been spending a lot of time looking at various condos in the area from Gorgona to Playa Blanco. Most have some compelling reason to draw the happy vacationer to their area or building. We visited a building in Nueva Gorgona that had the coolest floor plan, three bedrooms, a large balcony facing the ocean and the back bedrooms faced the mountains. Additionally, there was a half bath on the balcony. The major draw back to this cool place was the road and distance to get there. We would need a military equipped Hummer to make it up and down the road, pot holes to eat small children, rocks to crush tires, and you are pretty much isolated from the world. The realtors location, location, location warning is important at this place. No, we won't be renting there anytime soon.

Visiting the Playa Blanco area, we stayed there two years ago, led us to a J W Marriott development hidden away at the end of the road and surrounded by jungle, farmland, a golf course and ocean. A five star resort that is truly off the beaten path. Beautiful buildings, condos, apartments, hotel area, swimming pools and quiet beach. We spent an afternoon there enjoying one of the pools, drinking a occasional beer and eating nachos that were so filling we didn't eat dinner. A place to return to.IMG_3012e.jpgIMG_3017e.jpg

We went to El Valle with friends from Panama City. As the perfect tour guides, since they had been there many times and we had only been there once before, we had an excellent day. The village market is a fantastic starting place. Fresh fruits and vegetables from the neighboring farms. We stocked up on spinach, lettuce, tomatoes, avocados, etc., for about twenty bucks. After visiting the market we went up to Chorro El Macho (Manly Falls) with our tour guides and another couple from our condo building. The falls are a local attraction that is a short hike into the jungle/woods. Along the way you cross two suspension bridges that wobble and shake as you make your way to the other side. On the second bridge the other hikers were amazed to see Robin Hood and Little John battling it out with their long staffs for bridge supremacy. The contest ended in a draw when the build up of on-lookers started to get impatient. IMG_2883e.jpgIMG_2880e.jpg

Lunch was had at La Casa de Lourdes Restaurant. IMG_2901e.jpgA beautifully designed hotel and restaurant in a Tuscany style. The restaurateur is a very famous Panamanian woman who has hosted many interesting people throughout her career. On one of the bookcases in the lobby was a picture of her and the Shah of Iran. He stayed in Panama prior to coming to the USA and his eventual passing. Lots of old memories about that guy.IMG_2905.jpg

As the Denver Bronco primary cheerleaders in our condo building and having the largest deck in the building it was imperative that we host the Super Bowl party. It was a BYOE, bring your own everything, party. One of the partiers told me that she had counted 47 party goers on the deck. We had two 100 square pools, a $200 paying off each quarter and the final score and a $500 winner take all for the final score. My lucky pick brought me the fourth quarter and final score winning of the $200 pool = $110.00 bucks, plus I won $20 bucks in a smaller pool. Even though the Broncos remained in their stalls all night, I won few bucks:).IMG_3045e.jpgIMG_3044e.jpg

The next day started with God letting us know that he still loves the Broncos....an Orange and Blue sunrise over the Pacific Ocean. A beautiful sight to behold and photograph. Go Broncos.IMG_3062e.jpg

We're going to continue to look at various properties here in Panama. Hopefully, before we leave we'll have next year's place reserved. Panama may not be for everyone, but it works for us.

Posted by rhislop 09:40 Archived in Panama Tagged gardens sunrise panama valle vegetables coronado lourdes broncos coronado_beach shah_of_iran Comments (0)

The Beach and the Mountains

Coronado and El Velle

sunny 86 °F

We took off last weekend for a trip to Punta Chame and ended up in Coronado. The short version of the story was the cleaning service didn't clean the condo in Punta Chame from the previous guests and we moved on down the beach. However, the benefit of this event was that we were able to visit Gorgona,Coronado, and El Valle. Gorgona is just starting to be developed by condo, land, and hotel speculators. There a few nice place available but most of the new stuff is in the development stages.
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We stayed at the Coronado Bay condominiums for three nights and used that as our base. Besides walking the beach, a very beautiful black and tan sand mix, bird watching and people watching, we explored the community. The places on the beach and the view from the highrise apartments are the best. The homes off the beach are nice but they have difficult beach access and all beaches in Panama are public. Also, once you get off the main roads of the community, it's slow going on the uncared for streets.
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We cruised up the mountains to El Valle on Sunday. A nice mountain town develop in the crater of a large volcano that "blew it's top" centuries ago. It is usually cooler in El Valle than in Coronado just because of the elevation but the humidity was still very high. We ate lunch at a great little restaurant called Bruschetta. A popular spot for tourists. Maxine and Foo-Foo were also having lunch when we were there. We visited the farmers market which was very cool and went to the local zoo. The zoo was disgusting. I'm not a radical animal rights activist, but after visiting that dump I was ready to release all the animals and birds back into the wild. And if you are a "forgiener" you pay extra to get in. The main reason we went there was to see a "Golden Frog". The Golden Frog is endangered and the frog house has two in captivity. I'm glad we got to see them, but the zoo is a place not to visit. Save your time and go to the Farmers Market. Lots of great deals and very friendly Panamanians.

We returned to Panama City on Monday. Kryss had classes to teach and clients to see. It has been amazing to me to watch the development of her business. No matter where we go Dr. Krysstine helps fill the need.

Tuesday night we became real "gringo" tourists. We went to Restaurante-Bar Tinajas in Panama City. They are known for their outstanding show of traditional Panamanian dances, costumes and music. We had heard from many people it was worth seeing the show but the food was just average, much like a dinner theater. Our friends were right. Food average, show great and we're glad we went. The place was filled with tourists from the US, Canada, Columbia, and the UK.
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This coming weekend...the jungle.

Posted by rhislop 10:40 Archived in Panama Tagged mountains beaches birds panama el valle panama_city coronado_beach gordona Comments (0)

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