#InSearchOfEternalSummer

Blog posts are high on my priority list, however posting keeps getting kicked to the side by other important tasks. This morning I had to shovel snow. The temperature here in Michigan is below 20 degrees and it is snowing like crazy. Our outlook for today and tonight here in Van Buren County is more than 12 inches. I hope that explains the title for this post. Much of blogging and social media is still a mystery to me so I am not too sure about the hashtag thing. I do know that in search of eternal summer is quickly becoming my mantra. Today’s post is not under the category of Adventure Central by mistake. The adventure planning is continuing in Boquete and David.

Boquete is in a beautiful valley with scenic views and rocky mountain rivers. There are many expats there who visited and quickly fell in love with the town. Boquete is a small town but its culture and activities run large. Here we will find  activities such as the Jazz Festival, Tuesday Market events, Coffee and Flower Festival, art exhibits and classes, theater plays and more. We will find multiple coffee plantations, a great selection of restaurants, and outdoor activities that range from scenic tours in ATV vehicles to rock climbing, mountain biking, canopy zip-lining, horseback riding, golf, bird watching, hot springs and much more. The climate in Boquete is springlike year round which makes it a major contender for a place we may like to retire. Nearby, David offers all the conveniences and services that we would find important. There is an airport where we can get a short 1 hour flight to Panama City, shopping and world class healthcare. Boquete has been appointed one of the top retirement communities in the world with a great quality of life.

While we explore Boquete and David we will surely want to visit the Lost Waterfalls. The Lost Waterfalls is a moderate hike through the cloud forest to three fabulous waterfalls. We will also want to try world class whitewater rafting and visit Volcan Baru National Park. The summit of the Volcan Baru is the only place on earth that you can see both the Pacific and the Atlantic oceans. My research tells me that the hike to the summit and back takes the entire day and may be difficult. Our list of adventures in Boquete also includes a trip to Finca Dos Jefes. Finca Dos Jefes is a 7 acre organic coffee farm that will give us a hands-on experience. After touring the fields and sampling a couple of the roasts, we will roast the beans and pack our own custom bag of beans.

With only 50 days to our departure for Panama the excitement is building. If today’s snowfall is any indication of the winter we are about to have here in Michigan, we may have an easy decision to retire to the “eternal summer of Panama”.

Today’s Spanish lesson is Anhelo eterno verano. Translated it means I long for eternal summer. Please, keep following, like, and share. If you have not yet subscribed to e-mail delivery of our blog, do it soon so that you will get all our posts when we get on the ground in Panama.

Adios,

Greg and Jen

Boquete Panama

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Today, Let’s explore El Valle de Anton

Today we are researching what we may find in El Valle de Anton. This village is located about 2 hours west of Panama City. It offers sports like hiking, horseback riding, and ziplining through the rainforest. We will also find sightseeing adventures such as the El Nispero Zoo and Serpentario (snake habitat). El Valle de Anton is the site of the worlds second-largest extinct volcano. We will also find a well known open air Sunday market.

The Sunday market is one of the biggest draws to El Valle de Anton. We will be able to shop for vegetables, fruit, ornamental plants, flowers and orchids. We will also find handicrafts such as wooden bowls, bateas (wooden trays), woven baskets, hats, paintings on wood, carved and painted totumas (cups made from squash), trinkets made from acorn, hammocks, baskets and ceramics.  The Kuna Indians offer their handicraft like colorful molas (blouses) and jewlery. The market is in the center of town, under a roof that was recently rebuilt.

El Nispero Zoo is more of a nursery than a zoo. That being said, we will find very well maintained trails and an extensive array of tropical plants, which include the country’s national flower – El Espiritu Santo. Orchids Center (Aprovaca Orquideas) concentrates on conserving endangered native orchids and promoting ecotourism and environmental education. The Zoo is also the best place in El Valle to observe the famous golden toads. Most of their natural habitat has either been destroyed or is inaccessible, so it’s virtually impossible to view them in their natural habitat.  A frog exhibit, which is managed by the Smithsonian Institute, has a large showcase for the famous golden toads and additional exhibits for other frog species. It offers visitors an opportunity to see these reptiles up close.

Outside the Hotel Campestre we will find the famous square trees. They are members of the cottonwood family. Saplings of these trees are now being grown at the University of Florida to find out if they will retain their squareness in a different environment. It is believed, however, that the shape is probably due to an unknown but purely local condition. That is indicated by the fact that the tree rings, each representing a year’s growth, are also square.

We have read that it has been around 5 million years since Anton Valley had a volcanic eruption, so it is highly unlikely that there would be another eruption anytime soon. The valley does, however host many hot springs that evidence continuing volcanic activity. These hot springs are a naturally occurring phenomenon caused by hot magma passing through tiny fissures before contacting fresh water. This produces a warm, therapeutic, mineralized water.   Anton Valley’s Public Hot Springs provide a rare natural product that treats several skin problems while leaving your face and body perfectly clean and feeling great. This is a destination that we will certainly visit.

A short walk from town, we will find the Petroglyphs (Piedras Pintadas). All of these writings can be found on one large vertical rock face. They are at the base of the trail that leads to the Sleeping Indian (La India Dormida).  The Sleeping Indian, who acquired her name based on local legend, is a chain of hills who’s formation resembles the shape of just that, a sleeping Indian. These hills help form part of El Valle de Anton’s volcanic rim.

The town of La Mesa is located nearby in the Valle de Anton. It is the site of the Chorro el Macho waterfall. This 280 foot waterfall is considered one of the most beautiful areas of the valley. It is a short 30 minute walk north through the lush rain forest. At the base of the falls we will find a large natural pool where people are welcome to swim. Walking paths throughout the area will allow us to explore the area. There are suspension bridges that cross the river providing views of the falls. For the more adventurous, (Jen says she will never do this) there is zip lines through the treetops that provide breathtaking aerial views of the Chorro el Macho waterfall. If we hire a guide they will point out the local birds, animals, butterflies, and other points of interest.

This area sounds like one of the best opportunities for adventure. It is perhaps a strong contender for a place we would eventually like to live in Panama. I borrowed most of the adventure content from various travel websites. Once we experience these first hand, we will give detailed reviews of our experiences.

Today’s Spanish lesson should help us in the market: ?que’ es la costar de la fresco el vegetal? Translated…What is the cost of the fresh vegetable?

Thank-you for continuing to follow. We continue to be excited about our upcoming adventure. Please remember to like, share, and comment. You all are what makes this incredible adventure worth sharing. Buenos Dias.

The Panama Adventure Guide is here

We have been stressing over getting around in Panama. We were told that google maps and Garmin will not help us much. That being said, we will be taking taking our Garmin and google maps along, however, the need for a back-up plan was definitely on our radar. We love Amazon Prime, and that is where we found our detailed road map and lots of other goodies. It came from National Geographic. Now we can match up our destination and adventure list to create a plan that makes sense. This will also help with scouting out places that we may want to live. In the very near future we will be unfolding the map for you to show where some of these great adventures are going to take place.

Today’s Spanish lesson is this: Por favor, poder usted la ayuda me encontrar la centrar de el pueblo…translated Please, can you help me find the center of town?

Today’s post is short and sweet, but we must keep things rolling. Next time we will return our focus on adventure planning. Thanks for continuing to follow along and please remember to like, share, and comment. For all our Spanish speaking friends, please feel free to weigh in on our Spanish lessons. Learning Spanish will probably be easier when we are on the ground in Panama, however it is important that we get the essentials down before we leave. Adios