March 28, 2015
It was fun visiting Boquete for the first time. It is a pretty town (about 40 minutes north of David) with many gringos. Unfortunately gringo prices follow gringos. But Jen and I stayed at Mamallena Hostel right in town and it was very clean, cheap and a great place to meet other travelers. Hostels aren’t just for youths anymore and since they usually provide a community kitchen and dining area, you end up meeting many folks from all over the world.
I made some contacts there at the local Farmer’s Market. One of them is a local expert on trees in the area. I haven’t met him yet but his American wife was working their booth at the market and she told me that she would share cuttings from their trees if we had some rooting powder. Of course we would share any unusual trees that we find with the too. I would like to find a tree whose leaves produces a lovely smelling soap. Jen tried some of these leaves in Equador and said it made her hair feel and smell great. I did pick up quite a few herbs and a lemon, eucalyptus and avocado tree that I carried home on the bus in a cardboard box.
The countryside around Boquete is very hilly and green. I couldn’t believe the cost of real estate here compared to where I bought land. Granted, my location is more isolated and has few gringos, but the soil and weather and scenery are just as lush….if not better.
Instead of going on a coffee plantation tour for a chunk of money, Jen and I just jumped on a local bus for $2.50. The bus dropped us off at the Milagrosa coffee farm. The tasting room must have been closed since we weren’t on a scheduled tour. We walked up the path to the workshop to find a humble guy sitting in a chair sorting through a tray of coffee beans by hand. Come to find out, Tito, who they call Don Tito (a sign of respect), is a kind of local success story. He served us a small taster cup of his well-known coffee and we tried to communicate in spite of our language barrier. He brought out a magazine article written in English and it contained a big glossy picture of himself and also pics of his farm. http://www.hablayapanama.com/blog/2014/07/interview-with-don-tito-from-la-milagrosa-coffee-farm-in-boquete/. His story illustrates the difficulties the small coffee grower often faces here in Central America.
Our local internet provider in Rio Sereno sent me to David (which is on the way to Boquete) to get a faster package. After having difficulty understanding what the gal at the Mas Movil office was trying to tell me, she called her brother on her cell phone. He spoke some Spanish and helped me understand what she was trying to explain. I was disappointed to find that there is not a better internet package for the area of Ville Santa Nela where I live. I have a 2 gig chip for my modem and I can’t usually open youtube without constant pauses. Just trying to connect to email and update my website can take hours. Apparently, that is as good as the service gets in my area for now. So if I want to Skype or watch Youtubes I would have to use the internet cafe in Rio Sereno. :-(.
I did find a PO Box address using Mailboxes etc. They give you a Miami address and the mail is forwarded to the Mailboxes Etc. in David. They will email me when I get mail and I have to pay $3.00 per letter. Bundle smaller letters into a bigger envelope if you send more than one envelope. Packages will get mailed to the street address of Mailboxes, etc. and I pay $15 per kilo. Don’t send junk please. I don’t expect to get much mail and that is why I chose this plan. Let me know if you need the address…..
Jen and I said “bye for now” at the bus terminal in David. I was on my way back home to the farm and she was continuing her travels on to Bocas Del Toras….I had a great time seeing Jen again. I hope she comes back soon.
That’s all for now…