David and on to Boquete

Trip Start Dec 14, 2007
Trip End Nov 04, 2008

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Where I stayed
Pension Boquete - $30, ensuite, tv, terrace to river, very nice

Flag of Panama  ,
Friday, May 9, 2008

Panama is a small country compared to the rest of the places we have been. As a matter of fact from Panama City to the Mexican frontier is about the distance we covered in Peru only, so distances are going to be much shorter and allas the bus trips also.

In any case, and even though Panama roads are heaven compared to Ecuador, the trip from Panama City to David took us 7 hours. In favour of the bus driver, we did have a stop of 30 mins to have a great buffet lunch at Santiago...something we are not used to (stops for comfort).

From David we immediately boarded another bus which took us to Boquete, a small mountain town in the middle of the Chiriqui Highlands. Apparently from here to the North (Carribbean coast) is all a great retirement zone for US expatriates. We have seen a few in Boquete but they are probably all hiding in the jungles and forrests around the town. However the number of restaurants and supermarkets in this small town point in the direction of a great number of "well off" expatriates. They even had "jalapeño cheese" for $3 at the supermarket within the 12 selections of different cheeses...now that is a sign of expats living around here...it reminded us of the many times we struggled to find any sort of pasteurised cheese in other countries.

Anyway, being low season we didnt book in advance and just wandered to the hostel we had read about. It turned out to be as good as it was recommended. The room is large, well decorated and has a huge terrace were we can relax and read looking at the local Caldera river flowing by. Its $30 per night, but we won´t get any cheaper in the rest of the places we are going to touch in Panama (probably the most expensive country in Central America - excluding Mexico). In any case, given the Euro - US$ exchange rate at the moment, we are paying 18 euros per night...which would be an impossible in Europe for this quality.

For dinner we tried a local mexican restaurant (there seem to be more and more mexicans on our path). Spicy was certainly on the menu...the problem is that it was hidden in a sauce that looked very innocent.

All the locals were out and about as it was Friday. Plenty of bars with live music, etc...but we decided to have an early night after all the travel, and to prepare for the climb up the volcano the next day.
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