We made it out of Chiriqui on February 12. Our last day, until we return some day, in Boquete. We’re really going to miss some of our new dear friends! Especially, Greggorio & Kathy & their boys Arie and Kai, Dr. Dru and Jasmine, William, Elizabeth & Larry. They are still our favorite restaurant “Big Daddy’s. and some of our local friends Doris, Hildla, Lydia, Camillo & daugter Yveth…our good friends from down in David, Yamileth & Genaro…but who knows when the winds will blow us back in that direction?
It looks like the Ngobe Bugle protests have tamped down for a while..they’re still talking with the government of President Ricardo Martinelli about their demands to end all hydroelectric projects on the rivers of Panama. We encountered one such huge project the day that Rosi, Pete, Georjean & I went rafting on the Chiriqui Viejo River just along the frontera with Costa Rica. The world’s richest (who’s counting?) man, Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, bought a concession from Panama to build a hydo project on this river. People say that there are already impacts to the river. Not too many people I talked with see the hydro projects going anywhere!
We took an uneventful 7 hour double decker bus ride to the capital. Managing our growing amount of mateial possessions became a challenge for us at the bus terminal. A quick and easy ride to Cerro Ancon -the highest point in the city – to our b & b, La Estancia. Nice, safe accommodations in a city that isn’t always. Our driver, Daniel, pointed out the areas of the city, notably Chorrillos, where the US had bombed during the Bush Invasion. Thousands were killed during the first 48 hours. Much of this part of the city has never been re-built yet still thousands of people live here.
We ate an incredible ceviche dinner at Chiao Pescao in Casco Viejo or “old city”. The ceviche was made from a fresh sole. We hadn’t eaten any food like this in the six months we lived in Boquete. It was a bit of a contrast eating in such luxury near some of the worst slums in Central America.
Waylon mixed it up with some kids in the plaza.
Our driver, Daniel came back for us around 8:30 pm. We were glad to gethome to a nice, warm bed!
In the morning I walked up Cerro Ancon about sunrise. Cerro is the highest point in Panama City. I took some good shots from there. The thing to note is the picture of teh Panamanian Flag which flies proudly atop the hill. It replaced the Stars and Stripes when Panama took over the canal in 1999.
We spent the afternoon at the Mecado de Artisanas and a visit to the Miraflores Locks. Note how the Curator of the Museo has a resemblance to the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue!