Thursday, January 14, 2010


By this morning the weather had finally cleared, and there was a chance to take some more scenic drives in the area of Boquete.  From the Bajo Mono (Lower Monkey) loop, the view is fantastic.  This must be what Shangri La looks like.  Volcan Barú is a large massif obscured by mist behind the hills.  This was one of the loveliest drives of the trip, rivaling Colorado but in a softer, greener way:

The Bajo Mono (Lower Monkey) Loop -
Shangri La Revealed

Volcan Barú -
Dormant but not truly extinct

Along the loop there were giant organ pipe cacti, as tall as trees:

Giant Cacti

I left my hosts and Boquete around mid-day and drove to Santiago, mid-way to Panama City, to spend the night before flying back home tomorrow morning.  Amidst many hugs and kisses, we agreed that this was not good-bye, just Hasta luego (until next time).

Here are some sights along the drive to Santiago on the Carretera Interamericana, the main highway in the country:

Day-O, Da Dayee-O,
Daylight come and me gonna go home.

Panamá is much like my home state of Texas: Johnson grass, cowboys riding along the highway, strangers waving when they see your car, and Brahma cattle:

Hauling Heifer

Cattle aren't the only interesting sights in those quaint trucks:

Hauling Hombres

In other ways Panamá is very different:  bananas growing next to pine trees, everywhere people by the side of the road, the colorful Nagöbe Buglé indigenous people, the constant contrast between the old and the new.

I'm going to miss it. A lot.

I slowly got out of the car at La Hacienda Hotel in Santiago, emotionally and physically exhausted.  But soon the colorful Mexican decor cheered me up:

Colors at La Hacienda Hotel in Santiago
Note the outside hallway.

Get a load of the Frida Kahlo dining furniture in the restaurant - don't you love it?  They also had a matching table, but I couldn't get a picture of it without running off the people who were sitting there.  My Spanish wasn't up to explaining to them why they should move and let me grab the place mats.

Frida Chairs - Gotta Have 'Em!

I spent a fitful night in the colorful hotel with noisy walls, sorry to leave this country which is so warm in many ways.

Hasta luego, mi Boquete.  You are already fading in my memory.

But this is not good-bye - it is just the beginning.


1 comment:

  1. In case any of your readers are looking for some tips on their first-time travels to Boquete, you can see an article I wrote here...