Panama and Colombia - Winter 2010 travel blog

Señora Daisy (my Boquete ¨mama¨) with her daughter and grandson

Typical Panamanian meal


View of Mi Jardin es su jardin¨¨ from above

My Spanish teacher (middle) and the other student in my class

Dinner with a group of students on Feb 12

View on my walk to school

Hiking the Quetzal Trail (plus next 3)




Sweeping view from Finca Lerida

Small local waterfall


On Friday, I decided to extend my stay in Boquete until Sunday Feb 21. On Wednesday I'll be moving into a hostel in the centre of town. I've signed up for three more afternoons of Spanish classes, Wednesday to Friday. We are now in the middle of a 4-day long week-end for Carnaval. Although there are no Carnaval celebrations in Boquete, a lot of tourists have made their way up here for the holiday. I grabbed the last free table at Cafe Ruiz this morning!

Friday was a very hot day, and I was over-dressed, with pants and closed shoes, because I had been quite cold the evening before (wind and some rain). There was a surprise excursion at the school (at least a surprise for me): we all went to "Mi jardin es su jardin" then had a picnic lunch on the lawn in front of one of the teachers house.

However, by 5:30 it was grey and rainy. I had a drink with some students, waiting to meet up with another group for a 7:30 dinner. I had very good pizza that night, along with some red Argentinian wine.

Saturday consisted mostly of running errands. I went to the 1-hour conversation session at the school, and spent part of the rainy afternoon in my favourite little bakery called Sugar & Spice. They make delicious muffins, empanadas and breads.

It rains often here, but it's more a type of spitting-rain than a downpour. Often it rains while the sun is shining, creating huge rainbows.

I don't think I'll be able to post pictures until Wednesday or Thursday now. My little shop with the computer with the two USB ports is closed for the long week-end. :( Arrgh I miss my Mac laptop!!!

Yesterday was my birthday and I went to hike the Quetzal Trail. This is one of the most popular day hikes here. We were a group of five with a guide and private transport. I had to fight a bit with the other girls to convince them to pay for a guide, but I think I would have died without him! We had to go across a landslide, and the mostly downhill path was steep and slippery with mud, leaves, and tree roots, and full of rocks. The flat sections were quite pleasant though.

I was very tired and had a headache (lack of coffee?) by the time we made it back, so I spent a very low key evening at the house.

Today I invited my "Mama de Boquete" (that's what I call the woman whose house I've been living in) to lunch at Finca Lerida. This is a coffee estate/restaurant located high in the hills above Boquete. Beautiful views, but the food and service were nothing special. My mama then took me for a little drive around the area, criss-crossed by a river and small waterfalls, and several coffee estates.

That's it for now. Stay tuned.

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