Keith's Panamanian Travel Ramble

The wanderings of Andrea and Keith around Panama

Posts from the ‘Real Estate’ category

A New Career in Panama?

Hi All,
I couldn’t help myself today! I just had to post this!

Last January, while we were in Panama, we rented a home with a spectacular view from a Canadian friend. While we were there, I took lots of pictures and we arranged for some work to be done on the house, which meant that I had to take more pictures to show the work. We recently heard that the house was up for sale.

Today, while doing some research on the Internet in preparation for a Skype meeting with our builder, I found the Realtor’s ad for the house:

http://www.encuentra24.com/panama-en/real-estate-for-sale-houses-homes/vistas-de-la-ciudad-cerro-azul-4-recs/4069420

I was surprised to find most of the pictures in the ad, were mine, including an interior shot with Andrea looking out the window at the view.  I thought this was enough evidence to start a rumor that Andrea was in Panama selling Real Estate.

2014-Pan-D610-0033

What do you think?  Can we pull it off?

The Monster Deck at Rio Mar

Hi Travellers,

When we first visited Panama, now five years ago, we went on a little real estate tour out of our base in Coronado.  One of the properties we were most impressed with was a resort, then under construction, called Rio Mar.  The plan was to build three 22 story towers with two suites per floor, a pool complex with a restaurant, a spa complex, a low-rise beach front apartment building and around a half-dozen million dollar individual beach front homes.

At that time, there was nothing actually built but the first tower, which had just completed.  We looked at a couple of units and found the finishing was excellent.  The resort appealed to us because of its’ beach front location and reasonably small footprint.  At that time the plan was to have the whole place built out in under 10 years, which would mean less construction mess than one of the larger resorts that probably will be under construction for the next 50 years.  Also, of interest to us was the financing to build the project.  It was equity financed by a Canadian group who were taking an active part in the build out.  The units we saw were in the $US 300,000 to $US 400,000 range.

As we have re-visited Panama over the years we have kept track of this resort, still thinking that we might pick off a suite in the low-rise beach front building which would have put us 30 meters from the Pacific.

This time, we found several of the million dollar houses either finished or under construction, the low-rise building was pretty much complete and beginning to be occupied, the pool and restaurant were open as was the spa complex but they had yet to start on the second tower.  We were told that because the resort was already occupied that they had to go back and re-think the way they would build the second tower to minimize the noise and mess to the rest of the resort.  This, being done, and with the sales being over 50%, the plan was to begin construction later this year.

We checked out the small restaurant that is located poolside.  They have inside air-conditioned seating as well as outdoor shaded lounges that you can eat from.  It’s not a fancy dinner restaurant but rather a lunch and snack place with good food and service.  It’s worth a try if you are in the area.

We decided to have a look at some of the units in the low-rise beach front building.  We saw a very adequate three bedroom unit selling for around $US 650,000 as well as a nice two-story penthouse with a couple of balconies, one of which was about the size of a good-sized Safeway store that was listed for just over a million.  It was quite breezy that day and I couldn’t help but wonder how much furniture you would need to equip that monster deck and that with the wind blowing as strongly as it was, how often you would have to drag all that furniture back out of the corner that the wind had blown it into.  Oh well.  If I had to…

I think that one of the most distracting things though, was that there will be a brand new Marriott Resort building right next door, just on the other side of the river!  This ensures a construction mess for a couple or more years at least and with the prevailing breezes coming from that direction, I would need a ride around street sweeper to keep my monster deck clean!  Hmmm!

Someone we were talking to, not at Rio Mar, believes that the stretch of beach communities beginning at Punta Chame and stretching west to Playa Blanco is going to be the next Cancun!  You can see that development has increased, particularly over the last few years.  Many of the big resort hotels are already here or planning to be here and there is lots of construction at the beach front as you driver westward from our apartment in Gorgona.  It makes sense to me that with the favorable pricing of property, solid infrastructure, wonderful climate, and growing tourist numbers discovering Panama, that it will only be a matter of time so if you are a property speculator, this might be the place to consider!

Sueno Mar on Malibu Beach

Hi Travellers,

We are finally at the beach, where we will be for the rest of our trip!  Temperatures are higher here, around the low 30s, but there is a gentle constant breeze off the Pacific that blows through our spacious 113 square meter two bedroom two bathroom condo.   We are in the community of Gorgona at a small apartment complex called Sueno Mar which means Sunny Sea and it is right on Malibu Beach, one of the nicest in Panama.  This place has grown dramatically since we last had a close look, several years ago.  The main drag is paved but many of the other roads are very rough gravel with pot holes that would break an axle.  I think this is the local protection against speeding.

The beautiful beach is a mixture of black and grey sand so it has a constantly changing appearance.  You can walk for miles on this beach where if you walk eastbound, toward Panama City, you will see that the beach is lined by a mixture of beautifully kept private homes along with some empty lots and derelict properties.  There is even a high-rise tower, called the Biltmore.  It is not a hotel but private apartments.  If you chooses to walk westbound on the beach you will eventually get to the Gorgona Fish Market and the town itself.  If you continue, you will come to the community of Coronado.

With the exception of Sunday, when the locals appear from other places, it is pretty quiet on this beach.  During the day you will see the odd person walking, mostly early in the morning or around sunset.  Occasionally, a quad will appear from somewhere on its way to Gorgona transporting three or four people but for the most part it is very quiet.  Local fishing boats from Gorgona pass both directions across the front of Sueno Mar on their way to and from their fishing grounds.

Sueno Mar was built a couple of years ago and still has some units for sale.  There are six two bedroom units and nine one bedrooms all overlooking the ocean.  There is on site management and security gates, a couple of large bohios on the beach side each with their own barbecue and a lushly landscaped and beautifully kept pool area.  We got upgraded when we arrived, to our delight, to a two bedroom unit.  It is on the third floor so has an unobstructed view of the Pacific from the wall to wall windows across the expanse of our living room.  The kitchen is well equipped with everything you might need to survive here, including an ice and cold water dispensing fridge and freezer, micro wave oven, six burner gas stove, dishwasher, washer and dryer, air conditioning, large screen TV to play as many Spanish-speaking stations as you wish to listen to, and the always necessary WiFi which is supplied from the cable company so is truly high-speed.  Oh, and there is a honkin’ big Karaoke machine that I have to learn to run before Carnival starts next week.  It will be my pay back to compete with the loud music that locals tend to play at that time!  You need a truck to move the speaker around, I swear!  Because our unit is on the third floor, it also has vaulted ceilings that I would estimate go up to about 4M with seven, yes I counted them, seven ceiling fans to keep the air moving.  The unit runs the full depth of the building with the two bedrooms at the back with a mountain view.  When you open all the windows, you get a great breeze that blows right through the whole place.  We have not yet felt the need to run the air conditioning as the breezes keep the unit comfortable.  I have put a link to the Sueno Mar Website in the right column under Businesses We Support.  You can get prices there for rentals and for buying.

For dinner tonight, we headed back into Coronado to the Malibu Restaurant.  It is before you reach the security gate on your left just past the stores at the entrance to Coronado.  We came here on purpose because they serve a great Cashew Corvino.  That’s right, a piece of grilled sea bass liberally loaded up with fresh cashews.  Yum Yum!  It was as good as in the past but a bit pricier.  It was up to $10.50.

Fierce Mud Covered Natives of the Backwater Jungle

Hi All,

Today we awoke to a bright sunny perfect day here in El Valle.  There was quite a wind storm last night and one of the metal roof panels got pretty noisy during the night, rattling with the breezes but by morning we still had a roof and everything was back to normal; that being perfect!

We went to Artash for breakfast and an Internet connection again and got talking to Natasha.  She is a pretty Russian born Canadian girl who is now living in Panama and has an interest in Thai yoga!  She speaks several languages.  Sounds a little united nations like to me but she has a studio out back of the restaurant where she practices her yoga and even leads an occasional class or two.  She gave me a short tour and posed for a few shots of her in a couple of yoga positions.  She has striking big blue eyes and a huge smile!  Here in Panama you find people from all over the world.

Later in the morning we decided to check out the local hot springs.  It is located in a small public park down by the river and is a popular spot both for tourists and locals.  You park at the end of the road and run a gauntlet of small boys all offering to watch you car for you.  I think it is the only English they know and they all have huge friendly smiles.  It’s not really about security but more about trying to separate a few coins from the wallets of the patrons.  After paying the $2.50 entrance fee you walk across a small bridge that spans a lazy small river and leads to an area containing covered picnic tables, change rooms, a massage room, showers, and a number of concrete pools of varying sizes.  The place is well used but neat and well-kept.  There is no trash around.  The bathrooms were immaculate and cleaned after each use.  I was surprised at the number of people around wearing the official purple park golf shirt signifying they were staff.  They are there to direct the public in the use of the facility.  There is a mud bath that seemed to be pretty popular.  I got a couple of shots of people with mud covered faces looking a lot like the fierce natives of the backwater jungles in the past must have once looked except they wouldn’t have been wearing the designer bathing suits sported by todays users.  The sign said the temperature of the pools was 38C, which is not really hot but just kind of warm.   I didn’t do the mud facial, even thought somebody I am travelling with told me I needed it but I did try the pool which was a comfortable temperature for a warm day.  After being in the hot pool for about 30 minutes, the shower, when you get out of the pool was very cold!

I told you the other day that I would try to show you some of the elaborate estates around here so on the way back to the hotel we stopped a couple of times for some pictures.  Girls, if you are looking for sugar daddies, it seems that this might be a promising place to start.  What do you think?

When we got back to the hotel we met a new couple that had just arrived from California so we joined up with them and our friend Octav for dinner.  Tonight we chose Brochette’s Restaurant on the main drag right across the street from the library.  It is the restaurant that is part of the Anton Valley Hotel.   As their name implies, they specialize in brochette, five different kinds and they are all scrumptious and loaded with garlic.  We ordered main courses as well and enjoyed a leisurely meal of excellent food and good companionship.  Dinner for two, including drinks, appetizer, main courses and coffee $26.  We have eaten here before and they consistently produce good food to an often full house.  Don’t miss this place for at least one meal.

El Valle is actively working on some things to improve their community.  One such thing is to try to get the large population of dogs under control.  There is now a local ordinance where owners of dogs not tied up are subject to fines.  Tomorrow about 50 veterinarians will arrive for the day to spay as many female dogs as owners will bring to the free clinic.  The population here is quite progressive in tidying up some of the annoying problems that seem to get ignored in many other places.  Impressive!

One Very Special Property

Hi Travellers,

I have one more thing to cover before we close the book on Cerro Azul.  Last Sunday, in my post “The Expat Affair”, I mentioned a special property that is now for sale in Cerro Azul that I wanted to tell you about.  I have made it the topic of this whole post due to the extraordinary value and beauty of this property.  I want you to see that this area is not for Hillbillies.  This home is the quintessential entertaining center.  I now have the details so here we go.

“This air-conditioned 3-bedroom/3-bath house is situated on 2,580 square meters (0.60 acres) of pristine land.

The home is designed in stunning contemporary Spanish architecture with 390 sq. meters (4,100 sq. feet) of grand living in 3 levels with slate floors throughout, Berber carpet in all three bedrooms, and protected by electric gates and an exterior wall.

 

 

 

The main level consists of a large open concept Living/Kitchen/Dining area complete with fireplace and a bar with plenty storage for liquor and glasses. The new Italian Scavolini gourmet kitchen has gorgeous granite countertops, plenty of modern space-saving storage, a stunning amount of counter space and stainless steel appliances. Frosted glass upper cabinets allow filtered light to keep the kitchen bright and airy.  Conveniently next to the kitchen is a huge pantry complete with Washer/Dryer and storage for kitchen appliances. The dining area has built-in storage for china, linens and silver drawers.

Also on this floor are a guest bedroom, bathroom and garage with a tool room.  The balcony runs completely across the house with sitting, dining and barbecue areas. Each room on this level has its own access to the balcony. The sunset views from this balcony are breathtaking.

 

 

 

There is a grand staircase in the foyer that leads to two bedrooms with private baths in each. The master bedroom is over sized with a sitting area. The master bath is very unusual with a walk-around shower. Both bedrooms have balconies and amazing views.

Downstairs are an air-conditioned darkened home-theatre room and a game room with pool table, gym, and a Yoga area also with spectacular views from its balcony.
This level also has large storage room with a 7000 KW generator hooked up to the house and designed to keep the entire house with power.

In the backyard an unbelievably immaculate garden with flowers, orchids, orange and lemon trees and a seasonal swimming area with a deck. A concrete bridge leads you to the gazebo with patio furniture and hammocks…perfect for reading.  Also included is a caretaker’s cottage at the very end of the property completely removed from view.

Priced to sell this home is offered partially furnished at USD $315,000 firm.

The property has excellent drinking water, electricity, telephone, two separate Internet providers, (ADSL and Wireless provider for backup), and satellite TV.

“Los Altos de Cerro Azul” is a private residential development in the mountains of Chagres National Park: one-hour east of Panama City (40 minutes from Tocumen airport). This gated community is guarded with 24-hours security and has an impeccable record for safety.

A January 2012 property appraisal estimated the market value at USD $411,000.”

Contact information:
Bernardo Lopez
(507) 6766-5970
panalat69@gmail.com

Now imagine the price of this property at home, and remember it comes with many of the furnishings you see in the photos!  There is a caretaker living on the property who looks after the exterior of the property and landscaping as well as other tasks designated by the owner.  He  is paid $350 per month.  This could easily be equated to condo fees in many of todays modern complexes and would be at a bargain rate when you consider all he does.

Cerro Azul Final Impressions

Hi Fellow Travellers,

Today, we leave the beauty of Cerro Azul and the perfect climate we have experienced for the last couple of weeks.  We have decided to move a little further west to El Valle, a beautiful small mountain town that is a popular day trip destination for locals and tourists.  It tends to be cooler than the city, at 800M elevation, and there is always a pleasant breeze.  There is a popular farmers and craft market here that bustles with activity on the weekends.  During the week, this sleepy little mountain town is slow-moving and enjoyable.  There are lots of walkers on the street and bicycles are a popular method of transpiration.

We have one last stop to make so I can get a couple of shots of, what I think is a spectacular property here.  It’s an old property that l think was built in 1985 and is supposed to have won an architectural award.  It is beautifully sited on six almost totally level lots and provides an unobstructed 180 degree view from the wrap around deck that includes the City.  There are two apartments in a separate building and one other out building.  It has been well maintained and includes beautiful heavy wood furnishings.  Apparently it has been on the market for a long time and we think the price is at about $235K.  Amazing value if its true!

As we pack up our little Toyota and say good-bye to our now quite large group of friends, I would like to leave you with a few of our impressions of this area.

1.  It is an area that many, unjustly, consider to be quite remote, even though it is only about 45 minutes drive from Tocumen airport.  It will take you longer to driver across the city than to drive here;

2.  If you are going to visit here, you need to have a car and be comfortable driving mountain roads;

3.  Remember that you are in a National Park and conduct yourself accordingly;

4.  Accommodation here is difficult to find before coming to Panama.  There are no hotels except a hostel that we found in our Moon travel guide but it is outside the park and it looked closed when we drove by it.  Try the Canada Panama Realty website, as they have rentals available (See the Business we Support list at the bottom of the right column of this blog for a link).  You can also contact Antonio, who has a couple of suites available in his home with Internet (See the post called “Another Place to Stay in Cerro Azul” in this blog for information);

5.  Be ready to cook most of your meals while in Cerro Azul.  The only restaurant (of sorts) is at the Club, but it closes at four PM daily and is not open on Monday.  You can pick up lots of supplies at the Super 99 or Super Extra markets at the bottom of the hill before you come up.  Of course, you could drive the road into town for dinner but the road is not good to drive in the dark.  It is narrow, hilly and curvy and there are very few street lights.  Locals walk on the side of the road and they don’t seem to be aware of the need for light-colored clothes to be able to be seen at night.  Drivers here tend to drive in the center of the narrow road and are slow to move back into their own lane when they approach traffic going in the other direction.  Be careful;

6.  Don’t come here if you are looking for a partying infrastructure.  There are no clubs.  If you want to party, bring it with you.  This place will appeal mostly to people who love the outdoors and those that enjoy nature and hiking;

7.  Take a few moments and get to know some locals.  We found them to be extremely friendly and helpful in providing information about the area and suggestions of things to do.  There are lots of Expat Canadian and Americans here so English-speaking people are relatively easy to find;

8.  If you need an Internet connection, there is one available at the restaurant in the Club.  It works great when it is working but has been subject to a bit of down time;

9.  Do take advantage of the beautiful big pool in the Club area.  It is quite cool, as Panamanian pools go, due to the elevation here; and

10. We have seen many places in Panama and this one is our favorite!  Partly because it is a well-kept secret and is not busy and partly for the perfect climate.  Be sure not to miss it when you come to Panama.

Our trip to El Valle takes us down the mountain and across Panama City to the Pan American Highway. This is the highway that runs from here all the way to Canada! We met some people here that drove down from Quebec… 9,700K. We cross the canal on the newest and only other bridge, the beautiful Centennial Bridge and head west on the recently improved modern four lane divided highway. Be careful of semis hauling containers. We passed two along the way where the container tipped off the chassis on a curve. Its 175K to our destination but it takes us about three hours due to traffic and a lunch break in Coronado at one of our favorite restaurants. We left the Pan American Highway and headed up the newly paved two lane road for 25K to El Valle.

Andrea booked our accommodation over the Internet.  It’s a place called Cabanas Potosi and the rate was $44.50 per night.  Oh, and you also get the seventh night free when you book a week.  Now I don’t know about you but that rate made me nervous until we read the client reviews and found that almost all of them raved about the place.  After finally locating it and turning through the main gate, you could tell the place would be fine.  The gardens are elaborately planted and manicured perfectly.  There are four units arranged in two buildings.  The grounds are massive and there are little round concrete tables and benches scattered around the property, each set in a perfect place such as sheltered in the shade under a tree, nestled in the center of ring of tropical plantings, out in the open or secluded.  There is a covered patio with a ping-pong table and hammocks are stretched between trees in groups or singly.  The place is neatly painted and the rooms, although not elaborate, are neat and clean and contain a fridge.  The place is casual and everything you see suggests relaxation!  I love it all ready.  What do you think?

The Expat Affair

Hi Everyone,

Today is Sunday, here in Hillbilly Heaven and the weather is again perfect for this busy day in Cerro Azul.  There are lots of families and groups of people up from the city to spend the day in the cooler weather here, escaping the sweltering Panama City heat.

As we made our way over to the club for breakfast, you cross a bridge over the river and when you look down river you see little covered picnic areas with barbecues.  One was occupied by a larger Panamanian family group with mom and dad in the small shelter with the barbecue smoking, and the rest of the group were sitting below in the river, chatting and playing as the cool clear mountain water rushed by.  They were a friendly bunch and waved while I took their picture.

In the late afternoon around three, we made our way to Jim’s house, where we and 50 or so other expats from the area were invited for a little pot luck dinner and get together.  There really was no particular reason for the gathering, according to Jim other than to say goodbye to a couple who were returning home after several years in Panama.  Now this is one of the things that I really like about this place.  There are lots of Canadians and Americans living here and all that we have met are friendly and seem willing to be helpful to new people.  We met lots of new people today and found it a really interesting bunch.  Some are permanent residents while others just part-time.  Some own homes in the area while others rent.  All seem to have interesting stories and they all love the Cerro Azul weather.  Here are a few shots from the party.

At the party, we met Greg, who has a very unique house for sale.  Several people had suggested we have a look at his house because of the landscaping, architecture and decoration.  It’s one of a kind, we were told.  I’m going to save the pictures for a day or so until I get some more information from Greg and then I will dedicate one whole post to this incredible home.  The house and property are appraised at much more than the selling price.  You will be amazed at the value for the money here as many of the furnishings are included with the house.

A Day With No Plans

Hello again from beautiful Panama,

We awoke today to the nicest day so far on our trip.  Now that’s not to say that the weather as been bad but today was just a little better.  The low flying billowing white cumulus clouds that have chased each other in a never-ending race to the Pacific were gone and they stayed gone for the day.  The temperature is up a bit, probably to the high 20sC and the constant breezes were more gentle than normal.

Our neighbor, Brent, has asked me to take a few pictures of his still in progress but almost finished Panamanian rehab, to be used on the Panama Canada Realty website (check out the link at the bottom of the right column of this page under Businesses we Support) as a rental so we headed over to the neat little white house, about five minutes from where we are staying.  The inside is not quite finished and Brent will be back here in March to actually use the house for the first time.  Here are a couple of shots of the outside.  If you are looking for a place to stay…

On the way home, we drove down a side road and found a magnificent example of what looks to me to be an“old money” estate.  The property was large and the house massive.  I would characterize the style of the house as a kind of Mediterranean Tudor.  The expansive gardens were manicured to a tee and nothing seemed out-of-place.  Now this is my idea of a nice little summer cabin!  What do you think?

When we got home this afternoon, there was a scrap going on at our humming-bird feeder.  There was an empty feeder here outside our dining room window and we have trying varying combinations of sweet stuff and water to attract the humming-birds.  They don’t like pancake syrup and water!  Now they know it is here as you see them coming to check it out but after a quick taste they leave.  It’s like they think that if there are people around the house, the feeder should be full.  Each visit is accompanied by a chirp, as they leave as if to thank us for filling the feeder.  Finally, we found out that the magic combination is one part sugar to four parts water and you have to warm the water to make sure all the sugar dissolves.  Picky, picky!  So once we had the right formulation, more hummingbirds came and they would stay longer.  But back to the scrap.  There is one bird, the smallest one, who seems to think the feeder is his own private domain.  He will allow only one other bird to feed with him, maybe he is trying to impress his girlfriend.  He keeps a close eye on the feeder and when another bird comes too close, he puts the run on them.  It’s funny to see the caution the other birds exercise when they approach the feeder to be sure the feisty little one is not around to give them trouble.

The Hacienda Country Club

Howdy Traveller,

Today, another sunny day in paradise, brought with it a somewhat clearer view of the city in the distance.  The giant skyscrapers are like eerie ghosts showing partly through the mist in the distance.  We are told that the clearest days come after a rainy day in the wet season.

I thought you might enjoy some bird pictures from this area so after some futile attempts to attract birds to our big stone deck I packed the camera and headed down the road to talk to the expert, Antonio.  He has a small feeding station set up off his upper deck and the birds are used to being fed there.  A ripe banana, in the skin, is all it takes.  There is a large pine tree close to his deck so the birds can gather in the safety of the tree and make the short hop over to the feeding station when it is their turn.  There is a definite pecking order!  Here of some of the characters that came to breakfast with us.  I love the vivid colors and wide variety, although I was told that this is a small sampling.

We headed into town to get some gas for our Toyota and on the way back, we decided to explore what was behind a large statue of three concrete horses by the side of the road.  We have passed it many times and always wondered what was down the road through the large archway, so today we headed down the road.  Shortly, we came to a gate house with a security guard.  Now our normal approach to these kind of things is to press on like we owned the place, which is what Andrea tried with the non-English speaking security guy.  There was lots of motioning and finally, he stuck a clipboard through the window indicating we should put our names on the list.  I noticed something that seems to becoming a trend on this trip.  Any time a name is required by security people, it’s always my name that gets given.  Hmmm.  We handed back the clipboard and the gate was opened to us.  We drove for several minutes on a well paved divided roadway before we could see a structure in the distance.  It was a massive sprawling one story structure that looked very opulent from the distance.  We continued to drive for several minutes more before coming up to a large covered driveway and entrance to the building.  We parked the Toyota and walked in trying to look like we belonged not tourists.  It was a massive open structure with fountains, archways, an open air restaurant and some offices.  Andrea went into the office and came back with Josy, the English-speaking Events Coordinator for the Hacienda Country Club, that we had just crashed!

This beautiful place was empty, except for a goodly number of staff tidying up tables, fussing with the landscape and preparing food in the kitchen.  Off in the distance, under a huge tropical shade tree, stood two brown horses, seemingly enjoying the cool of he afternoon breeze.  With them was a large white crane.   Josy gave us a tour of the facility, pointing out the only polo field in Panama, a show jumping ring that gets used for rodeo from time to time, a beautiful outdoor pool area that will accommodate functions of up to 2,000, stables to house the horses, numerous banquet rooms that can be rented for special functions and a golf driving range.  Josy told us that there are now around 70 members but they hope for more in the future as they complete the 18 hole golf course and the kids pool area.  In the future, you will be able to buy lots to build a house, or mansion, inside this gated complex.  Want to join?  It will cost you $8,000 for a 20 year membership and $100 per month dues or you can go month to month for $300 per month.  Josy explained that the Guatemalan owner of the property had a vision for this place 18 years ago and that it has just come to reality over the last year or so.  If you like polo, there is a match on Saturday at 5PM.

There was nobody around except us and the staff so we had a late lunch before saying goodbye to this fascinating place and heading back home for a dip in the pool.

A Whole Lot of Nothing

Hi Travellers,

It was a dark and stormy night, or so the cliché goes.  Here, it was dark because the power was out and it was stormy because of the wind and rain that pounded down during the night.  It all fit perfectly together as Andrea had just started another book, this one by Stephen King!  If you know the author, you will know he can tell some brutal stories.  I guess because it was so stormy the moths, which there are lots of, all wanted to come into the house.  Screens do not fit very well here so  a few got in.  Andrea went on a killing spree during the storm with our brand new $0.79 fly swatter.  I’m glad not to be a  moth judging from the body count on the floor the next morning.

By morning the sun was out and the gentle breezes had dried off our big stone deck.  We had thought we might go for a hike in the jungle but after the downpour last night we thought we would wait a day or two for the mud to dry out.

We had been lot looking with Paul and he showed us a number of lots of various quality and price.  We wanted a second opinion so asked Antonio if he would take a drive with us and look at some of the lots.  The lots we were looking at had all the brush removed so you could see the real lay of the land.  This one has a beautiful view of Panama City in the background.  They were also fenced along the lot lines so you could see how large they are.  We spent several hours wiling away the afternoon looking at various lots and discussing the pros, cons and pricing.  An interesting afternoon, for sure.

Back at the condo with the big deck, I was grabbing some sun when I noticed the little ant with the big flower that is today’s feature picture.  This little guy was the epitome of determination.  The flower is several times larger than the ant, as you can see, but even when the stronger breezes blew him back the direction he had come, he held on to the flower and pressed on to his unknown destination.  I wonder if he was taking the flower to his girl friend?

There is quite the little Canadian community on our street.  New folks arrived during the storm last night to occupy the other suite here.  This morning, we met Brent and his sidekick Gary.  Brent came out of his apartment and walked over to me saying “You must be Keith and I know you like bacon!”.  He had read the blog before coming to Panama.  The little group grew last night to include John and Paul who all know each other from way back.  It was like a reunion.  Everybody owns here!

Also of interest to me was that Antonio had received a rental inquiry for one of his suites as a result of the information posted on this blog, just yesterday!

I did get a comment on the blog about not showing pictures of the food and the pretty girls serving it… err umm, its Andrea and her cooking!  Now I know this person has seen her cooking and that this person knows how camera-shy she is.  Maybe he is trying to get me in trouble?

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: