Thursday, 2 October 2014

0012 La Concepcion to Bojo Boquete, Panama

The sun came up hot and early, so we were up and ready to go before 7 am.  Greg and Estelle had airconditioning, so they were not worried about the heat, and we set off down the road before they were up and about.

The road through Panama is all dual carriageway so far, and the country is obviously much more affluent than the last few countries we have enjoyed.  They use US $ for their currency, so we don’t even need to change any money here. And with diesel at 98 cents a litre, it is the cheapest we have had all trip so far.

Plan was to stop in David just down the road for coffee, but as it was still only 8 am, very little was open.  In fact, we got right through David without finding anywhere, and once again had to do a U turn and go back into town to find somewhere.  I am hesitant to write that the only place we could find open was a McDonald’s – So we ended up in there for coffee.  Plus they had wifi !!

While in there we looked at our maps and decided to head north to a place called Boquete, only about 30 kms north but up on the slopes of a volcano – Volcan Baru, at 3450 metres.  We are not in a hurry to get to Panama City as the ship to Columbia doesn’t sail until the 10th, and it will be a lot cooler in the hills.  So we set off from McD’s north, later finding out from Greg that we missed a major traffic jam on the road east to Panama City !  So it was up into the hills again, and we spent an hour or two exploring some very narrow and steep (1st gear)
hills that wound around the mountains.  Then we went into the local Information Centre and asked about camping, and they gave us the address of a little pension (Topas) in town, which, after having a coffee at the info centre, we then drove down to.  And found a delightful little pension, run by Axel from Germany (but 20 years in Panama), and his wife and family. And a fine little collection of vintage British motorbikes – A Triumph Tiger 650 with only 8000
miles on, a couple of BSA's, a Norton Commando, a Royal Enfield (of more modern Indian origin, I think), and a couple of others ! (If anyone is interested, I believe they are mostly for sale !!) Anyway, they have rooms around the garden, and a lawn area where they allowed us to park and camp – And a HOT shower !!! Together with the hot shower, they also had Wifi, so once we knew that, we couldn’t get in the gate fast enough !  A very pleasant spot, and we have decided to stay here for a couple of nights and rest for a while. N 08.46.371 W 082.25.926
I include photos of the directions of the man road in case anyone else is interested in either camping or staying in Axel's little rooms (that sleep up to 4 people) around the garden, and wants to know how to find it.

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