Cool cool mountain air

Trip Start Feb 03, 2006
Trip End Jun 20, 2006

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Flag of Panama  ,
Thursday, February 9, 2006

We stayed in Boquete for a total of 3 nights. It was very beautiful there, and sort of reminded us of home because of the mountains and evergreen trees (some type of longleaf pine, cedars, and junipers too). But of course without the snow. The town is idyllic, with a stream running by it. The nights are cool enough to warrant a light jacket, and a blanket or two on the bed.

Land is still fairly cheap in Boquete, and it brought us inevitably around to land dreams. According to the Costa Rican running our hostel, you can buy land there for $25 per square meter. At one of the very nice coffee shops in town, we saw a sign for a 7.5 acre coffee farm for $30,000.

Andrew was impressed by the strange vehicles we see everywhere. In addition to makes by familiar companies (toyota, kia, etc) that you donīt see in the U.S., there are a number of Ļ"foreign" vehicles, such as the Lada (Russian) and Skoda (maybe Russian???) as well as Belarus brand Russian tractors.

On Feb 8, we decided to go to the thermal springs outside of town. The idea was to get up early while still cold out, but you know how these things always end. We waited around forever for a bus, but it didnīt look to be moving any time soon (no driver nearby). Jacque is a very very impatient girl, so we decided to walk down the road until a bus came along. We waved down a taxi driver who offered the ride for $10 (it IS about 25 kms). We declined and continued to walk. 10 or 15 minutes later, he came back and we negotiated him down to $5. However, he decided that the ride was so cheap that he would take a few liberties--we went to the supermercado, to his house, and to his kidīs school to have paperwork signed. And then we finally went to the turnoff for the springs.

From the turnoff, it is a 2.5 km (1.6 mile) walk to the hotsprings. By the time we got there, it was fairly warm out. Jacque decided not to get in, but Andrew soaked for a bit and found it to be "quite refreshing" when he got out. The hotspring is really just a couple of rocked in holes on a family farm, which seems a bit strange and awkward when you get there. But they seem happy for a few bucks.

According to things we read in Boquete, in the 90s when Kona coffee was all the rage, a number of people exported Boquete coffee to Hawaii and repackaged it as Kona, at a massive profit. They were eventually apprehended, and the locals now say that "the best Kona is Boquete". The coffee is excellent. We had a couple cups right on a finca (coffee farm) there that was awesome.

Onward to Bocas del Toro.
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