Boquete, Panama; Day 1

Today was a travel day from the tropical, sunny Caribbean up the mountains to a lovely house a few minutes outside the city of Boquete. We lost 15 degrees of temperature and gained 1,800 ft in elevation. We crossed the Continental Divide and said goodbye to the Caribbean since we don’t know when we’ll see it again. The views were beautiful as we rose high above the sea and deeper into the mountains.

Today’s route
Our last view of the Caribbean Sea

We started out from Bocas town on the water taxi just how we arrived. Rental cars are not readily available in western Panama so instead we returned to our trusty transport company Caribe Shuttle. We couldn’t book a private shuttle this time so we crossed our fingers it wouldn’t be too crowded.

Our not private but actually is private shuttle

Luck was on our side – we had the whole thing to ourselves for the long 4 hour trip. This was particularly valuable since our house was off the official route and we feared we’d get dropped off 20 minutes from our destination looking for a bus or a taxi. As it turned out, our driver happily took us directly to the front gate of our AirBnB. It was such a relief, particularly since it was pouring rain at the time.

With no car, torrential rain and the closest restaurant 1 mile and grocery 4 miles away, we decided dinner would be a new adventure – the Va&Ven at the gas station 40 yds up the road. Va&Ven is Panama’s 24 hour come and go convenience store chain at certain gas stations. In addition to snacks, it has fast food to order like hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken fingers and some pretty tasty empanadas. We were hoping to get dinner and some basics like milk and eggs to tide us over for tomorrow morning. We did get dinner but they don’t sell eggs or milk like a big convenience store in the US. Perhaps that’s because in the morning instead of hamburgers, the kitchen will serve you breakfast.

We’re planning to stay here for 3 1/2 weeks for one of our ‘live a normal life’ periods. We’ve got some home schooling to do and maybe some projects for Brian and Tiffany. We’re sure to pepper in some adventures too but for tonight we’re just setting in.

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