*** RED BLACK YELLO OLD SHACK WITH ‘BOQUETE’ PAINTED ON IT ***
First night in a hostel wasn’t too bad! There wasn’t any A/C, so it was a little sticky, but the bed was surprisingly comfortable! After showering and packing up, we headed upstairs to make breakfast. We had intended to make banana omelets, but last-minute decided to use the whole wheat bread we bought at Sugar & Spice to make French toast. It turned out yummy! The grocery store didn’t carry real maple syrup, so we went with organic honey instead. A small container was only $1.50!
*** UPSTAIRS IN THE HOSTEL MAKING BANANA PANCAKES – 2 PIC COLLAGE ***
We departed Hostal Gaia and headed up the street on foot, eager to explore this mysterious city.
*** 2 PIC COLLAGE KRISTIN IN FRONT OF GAIA ***
Looking up the street, you see shop after shop in downtown Boquete. Unfortunately, it was a lot of the same that I’d seen in the other places we visited; a lot of cheap imported stuff.
*** MULTIPLE PICS OF STREETS OF BOQUETE, SHOPS, BIG RED HIBISCUS, ETC ***
It’s Sunday and there’s a lot of bustle in the city, including a little street market. I browsed the tables, but didn’t find anything I needed to have. Kristian, on the other hand, found a machete. He’s determined to find some bananas or mangoes to chop down on the side of the road sometime during our travels. A machete will run you $4 and most men carry them around here… and everywhere we’ve been in Panama so far, outside of Panama City. The store that was selling them had a bird and the shop keeper was very intent on making sure we all held the bird on our fingers AND our shoulder. We convinced Kole to give little birdy a try, but Karter wouldn’t have it.
*** 2 3 PIC COLLAGES – US WITH BIRD, POISON TOAD AND BOYS ***
The boys were chasing this 8″ Cane Toad until some locals intervened and let us know, in Spanish with dramatic charades, that this was a toad that squirts poison up to 2 meters!!! Eeeek!
Exploring the mountains of Boquete!
We decided to just drive up into the mountains and see what we see. Again, the pictures just don’t do this place justice. The views were majestic!
*** FARM PIC ***
*** BOQUETE PIC ***
View of some homes from the side of a mountain
*** KRISTIAN/KOLE LOOKING INTO VALLEY ***
Overlooking a valley
*** COFFEE TREE ***
*** HOUSES IN VALLEY / GATED COMMUNITY ***
Houses in a valley
So we were driving along, taking pictures, “ooh”ing and “ah”ing at the glorious sights and came upon a sign:
*** WATERFALLS SIGN WITH 2 OTHERS ***
Hiking to the Lost Waterfalls
Seeing that there are waterfalls, we decided to park and take a “little walk.” We THOUGHT it was going to be a little walk but we had no grounds on which to make that assumption, nor were we (read: I) prepared to make such a walk . Here are some snapshots of our 45 minute-in journey:
*** KRISTIAN N KOLE WALKING AHEAD ON PATH TO WATERFALLS ***
An optimistic beginning…
*** SCARY BRIDGE ***
Over the scary, scary bridge…
*** UP HILL ***
Starting to climb…
*** MORE UP HILL ***
*** KRISTIAN LOOKING AT FLOWERS ***
Stopping to “admire the view” (a.k.a catching our breath)
*** SOUND OF MUSIC PIC ***
I couldn’t help but break out into song… “The hills are alive… with the sound of muuuuusiiiiiic!” We are officially in the clouds!
*** VIEW LOOKING DOWN ***
The view from up there!
*** KRISTIN IN ALL WHITE ***
White and mud don’t mix! It was VERY muddy.
The Lost Waterfall in Boquete! (We made it!)
*** FAMILY PIC IN FRONT OF WATERFALL ***
*** TIME LAPSE WATER ***
An artsy shot
*** MORE TIME LAPSE ***
*** KRISTIN N BOYS STARTING TO HIKE DOWN ***
And then we hiked down!
We got to the bottom just as the rain started. And once it starts, it doesn’t really stop until the next morning here in Boquete.
By the time we got back to internet access, I had an email confirming our reservation to stay in a little cabin just outside of Boquete for a couple of nights. Yeah… we didn’t know where we were going to stay until it was getting dark. We’re honestly not trying to be quite THIS fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants. It’s just turning out this way. We practically live on TripAdvisor.com these days!
Ulisses, the owner of the cabin, is going to meet us in downtown Boquete and show to the cabin, but first, ice cream. We stop at a place called “Anna’s Sweets” for $.50 ice cream cones! I like the cones here, they have a cinnamon flavor!
We got to our little cabin and it’s really adorable. Ulisses built it himself and paid close attention to detail, which is hard to come by in Panama. It has a good-sized back porch with a table and chairs which I’m sitting at right now, enjoying the fresh rain and the tropical plants all around. I can’t see the hills right now because the clouds have come down and are resting over the whole of them.
We head out for one last excursion: Big Daddy’s Grill for fish tacos. It’s a guidebook-recommended restaurant owned by a couple from Florida. The fish is the “freshest in Boquete!” It was really good, but it’s hard to get substitutions for fries. Kristian and I have a joke… Panama’s slogan should be, “Drink refills? Someday. Substitutions? NO WAY!” We’re not exaggerating either. They are sticklers.
We’re exhausted, so it’s time for the blanket show!
P.S. A couple of notes about Boquete:
First off, I will say that Boquete isn’t as smiley as the other cities we’ve visited. Many times, when you say, “Hola!” to people, they look at us like we’re martians. Even the Americans don’t smile. The locals seem annoyed that we’re here.
Boquete is much, much cooler than the rest of Panama. Of course, being up in the mountains at this elevation has brought the temperature down 10-20 degrees! And with the rain, it smells fresh and clean.
There aren’t as many mosquitoes! Hooray!
Prices are higher. Not just on food, but everything seems to be priced for tourists, which is understandable, as this place seems more touristy. I’m seeing backpacks on people everywhere, whereas in Pedasi, we were the only ones! Accommodations are way more pricey – it’s pretty ridiculous actually. We’ve decided to cut our Boquete stay short and head to Bocas del Toro earlier than expected.
Green lights blink here to signal that a yellow light is coming. That gave us a good laugh because when we were back home, Kole had come up with that idea saying, “If yellow warns us that red is coming, we should have a light that warns us that yellow is coming!”