Panama Sarah’s driver, Pedro picked us up as scheduled at 11 am from our apartment in Panama City. He is an engaging man, great storyteller and extremely knowledgable about Panamanian history. Pedro was born in Panama, then moved to Ontario for over 25 years working as a jockey and horse trainer at a race tracks. Each year he visited Panama he bought a piece of property and he now proudly owns 18 properties which he rents out. He presently lives in his beautiful house in a rural area outside of Coronado where he has built a spa. He works as a driver occasionally as he enjoys meeting new and interesting people. Along the highway to Coronado we spotted the peculiar sight of a rather large mattress loosely tied with one rope to the top of a car going down the highway at top speed. As we pulled up to Coronado the streets looked clean, neat and well cared for. He drove us to Sarah’s Casitas in Coronado which is a couple short blocks from the beach.. They were nicely decorated and had an attached kitchen that was fully equipped. There was a refreshing pool among beautiful palm trees in her back garden where we spent much of our time. Sarah was welcoming and extremely knowledgable about the Coronado area and expat life. She has a wonderful sense of humour and is very helpful and engaging. That evening she hosted a wonderful and friendly barbecue at her home where we met Canadians and Americans that have moved to Coronado area. They shared their unique and interesting experiences with us regarding moving and living in the area. One couple had just been to Columbia and another to Boquete. We met neighbours and friends that had been in Coronado for many years and moved there for different reasons. Common amongst them was the attraction to the beach lifestyle, lower cost of living, many business opportunities and great real estate values.
We went for several long walks on the black and white glimmering sand beaches. The beaches were very quiet and the temperature was extremely hot. With the tide coming up and back tracking a long hot ways not being an attractive option we decided to take a short cut. We got off the beach onto an old construction site and climbed a concrete wall that looked like a fairly easy hop to the road behind it. It seemed like a good idea at the time.Somehow in the escapade my hand found a piece of hidden wire slicing my palm in a long cut. Glenn cleaned it and we wrapped it in a cloth we had and kept walking. We had walked all the way from Coronado to Gorgona. We just missed a little white local bus which does frequent rounds in the area for about 35 cents, depending how far you are going. We found a taxi for a very reasonable $3 back to Coronado to get groceries. There are two main groceries in Coronado the Super 99 and Reys. After shopping in both stores we found we preferred Reys for better selection, organization and fresh vegetables.
Every Tuesday the Bluwater Grill in Gorgona has a business networking meeting. There were approximately 20 expats to sharing ideas and presenting their businesses. People also endorse other business’s they have tried and enjoyed. There is a featured speaker at each meeting who gives a longer presentation. After the speaker each person had 45 seconds to stand up and speak about their business or idea to the meeting. Everyone present gave eloquent and entertaining presentations. Glenn’s ad-lib speech was surprisingly confident and entertaining. When it came to my turn, I was a a bundle of nerves and broke out into a sweat. I had a 10 minute powerpoint prepared and found out that it needed to be reduced to 45 seconds.Despite the fact that the microphone did not work I was my genuine,authentic self and got my message across.
Coronado is a beautiful network of friendly welcoming people in a well organized community with beautiful beaches.
My next posts will be on El Valle, medical treatment in Coronado,Playa Venao, Pedasi and Boca Chica.