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Boquete David Driving in Panama Expats in Panama Isla Bastásemos Las Lajas Panama buses Pedasi Playa Venao travel to panama

Pedasi… Vast and Untouched Land and Beaches,Reassuring to the Soul

The bus picked us up at the corner at Venao Cove as we waited with the couple from Hungary. We had a scenic journey in the small local bus, that picked us up on the corner. The back seat was small so I had to sit sideways, but I was grateful to have transportation. It made several stops along told the bus driver that we were looking for the Terpel gas station. Christine, the home owner of our vacation rental said her house was just up the road from there. We went to a local cafe and called her and she picked us up from the cafe. The one bedroom house among her flower garden was beautiful!

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Her dogs were there to greet us.It had a large kitchen,many fans, and big windows that opened up into farmland with fields with cattle grazing, and chorus of birds singing, with the breeze flowing through the house . We organized ourselves first walking to the Chinese grocery close to our new accommodation,and bought food and a cell phone. The cell phone was 25.00 US the sim card was 3.00 and we bought 15.00 worth of minutes for local calls, this has lasted us a long time. We noticed that the temperature was extremely hot, dropped our groceries in our well equipped kitchen,and took a taxi to the beach. This particular beach was where the fishing boats come in. Fish we are told can be bought locally, however most of the fish at this time of year is sold to restaurants.

We walked along the isolated beach…the heat was extreme. I went down to the water. The beauty of it was breathtaking, with the beach continuing on for miles and miles. The water had many powerful waves, and I stayed along the outskirts. As we strolled along I saw a bug about one and a half inches long with a curled tail approach my leg. I screeched loudly as it bit me feeling like a wasp bite x 20. Pain in the hand of nature was sculpting me to stay in touch with my highest self. Swelling and red, the pain was searing and lasted for a long time. At least with a wasp you know what it is. Once we reached the road, there was a policeman, and I  tried to ask him in English with sign language as to what the insect was. He shrugged and walked away. It had a curly tail and was very aggressive in the manner that it bit my leg. Are there scorpions on the beach? No one seemed to know. I decided it was just going to get better, and put on polysporin that I had in my bag.There was a local area where the fisherman were drinking beer, so we had a Balboa for 1.00, and I used it to ice my leg.Here is some information I got from the internet on biting insects on the beach in Central America. Apparently the best treatment is to put vaseline and then a bandaid,and use deodorant for the itching.It was about an inch and a half long with a curled tail..that is what I know for sure, and I thought for sure it had wings.If anyone can what bit me was actually a large type of sand flea please let me know for my research.All I can find is what I have below.

Tungiasis: Tungiasis is caused by the burrowing wingless flea Tunga penetrans(Tunga penetrans is also known by the following names: chigoe flea, sand flea, nigua, chigger flea, jigger flea, bicho de pé, pico, sikka, kuti, and piqui, ) which is endemic to certain areas of the world including Central and South America, the Caribbean Islands, Africa, Pakistan, and India. The impregnated female burrows into the upper dermis resulting in a lesion resembling an abscess. If secondary infection does not occur, the lesion usually resolves without treatment following discharge of the eggs and the death of the female. Complications can include secondary infection and rarely tetanus and gangrene.

We eventually got a taxi by spotting one and running down to the road. It was driven by a Panamanian man who looked 80 and he wore a cute hat with the front curled up.

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I was getting hungry, and needed to have nutrition at this point. We asked to go to Smilies which is a local restaurant that is owned by an expat, and is a popular place that expats go and listen to music. I ordered a big salad with fish. Glenn had a great conversation with John the owner of the restaurant. John loves music and plays music with his friends and comrades in the band. John has an amazing history of the events that led to him and his wife becoming expats and settling in Pedasi.The town is quiet and clean with friendly local people and expats. Fresh vegetables are difficult to get in the Azuero Peninsula, and I am told that expats shop for them in David. Eighty percent of produce comes from the Chiriqui Province in Panama.

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The next morning we woke up with the intention of looking at real estate, and connected with Mark Heilbron who gave us an incredible safari tour of properties for sale. There were some amazing properties in the area, and Mark gave us some insights of the land in his four wheel drive that were very thorough and well informed of years of them first visiting the area and renting and then living in it for many years. We went in his four when drive to many areas of Pedasi and had honest local details and accounts of people, places and possibilities.There is a prince and an ex president that have chosen this beautiful Azuero Peninsula to live.We saw cattle round ups,horses grazing in lush grass and stunning rolling pastureland with rivers running through it, with many large beautiful tree.Howler monkeys are living in this area along the river.

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After much research we decided to rent a car to travel across Panama.We asked local expats how to bus to Las Lajas in Chiquiri and then onto Boca Chica and they were not sure of the logistics. We researched buses online, and although they do travel between Panama City and David ,It was tricky to travel from Pedasi to Boca Chica. We would first need to find our way to Las Tablas, transfer to Chitra and then Santiago and then hope that our connection could get us there all in one day. At this point in our trip driving was the only reasonable option. Glenn rented a car from Thrifty’s in Pedasi, and they provided us with a nice compact vehicle for a reasonable price with good seatbelt and airbags. We were happy to have the freedom of the vehicle, but were aware there could be challenges with driving in Panama. We packed and were on on way to the Chiriqui Province.

My next blogs will be about driving the Pan American Highway from Pedasi to Boquete, Las Lajas,Isla Boca Brava,Boca Chica,David, Boquete,Isla Bastisimos,Colon in Bocas Del Toro Panama.

 

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Aerial photography Boca Chica Bocas Del Toro Boquete David Expats in Panama Isla Bastásemos Las Lajas Pedasi Playa Venao travel to panama

Playa Venao or Never!

This post finds us in Volcan,Panama. I am back tracking as internet connections have been challenging. We did an entertaining jaunt with Pedro from Coronado to Playa Venao. We went through Chitre and Las Tablas as well as other small towns. We should have been taking notes on Pedro’s expertise with the one ways in Chitra as we rented a car later and ended up in a chaotic one way(more later!) The land opened up into beautiful vast range land and farms,trees and jungle along the way. I am very excited at how different the land is here toward Playa Venao.It is isolated beauty, and can feel the beach approaching. We got lost and asked where Venao Cove Hostel was at a local beachside hotel. We needed to travel further. We pulled up to the location, and I could hear howler monkeys close by. We made sure we had our room, and then said our goodbyes to Pedro. One of the staff showed us to our room. It was two shared rooms and bathroom with a big kitchen and an outdoor shared area.We met the people that we shared the kitchen and bathroom with. She looked like Halle Berry, and worked in the fashion industry in Germany, and he was a surfer. We quickly changed to go to the beach.As you can see in the pictures the beach was astounding, with not a soul on the beach, and I ran down to the water dramatically tossing my hat and sandals.

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The drive from Pedasi was at least 5 hours with one quick grocery stop, and it felt fantastic to be on the beach. The water was warm, and the waves very gentle and easy for swimming.

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We hiked along the beautiful isolated beach.As you can see I found a beautiful set of lime green glasses at a local store.

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Glenn found a spot to do an aerial video. See below the pictures for his video.

We spent 2 nights at Venao Cove waking up to the sound of ocean waves,howler monkeys and tropical beach. I woke up early and decided to do yoga on the bed listening to the tropical sounds outside the window. I stretched up doing a sun salutation and put my left hand right into the low ceiling fan in the dim light.I screeched loudly looking at my bloodied and contused hand.Glenn had a fully equipped first aid kit with him, and cleaned and bandaged my hand.That was quite a lot of pain for a moment of not thinking. I was grateful that nothing was broken, and it gave me an opportunity to have a caring conversation with a Hungarian woman who offered us assistence. A lifetime of learning!

Wisdom comes from life experience; life experience is the result of repeatedly taking corrective action while courageously learning from mistakes.”
― Ken Poirot

I love quotes that are just honest and state the obvious!

The next morning at 9 am we took the local bus to Pedasi for 35 cents each,for another incredible adventure.

Next blogs will be about Pedasi,renting a car ,driving through Las Tablas, Chitre,Santiago, driving the Pan American Highway, Las LaJas Chiqiri,Isla Boca Brava,Boca Chica, David,Volcan,Bambito,Cerro Punta, Boquete, Bocas Del Toro(Colon) and Isla Bastisimos. I have a feeling that internet will improve once we leave Volcan and go to Boquete.

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Coronado El Valle Expats in Panama Pedasi Playa Venao Playa Veneo

Coronado Beach Town with Black and White Shimmering Sand

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.

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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.

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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.