Here are a few odds and ends from our visit to Boquete...
The picture at the top is a blinged-out, converted school bus. These types of buses run back and forth all day between Boquete and David. I think the ride costs a dollar or two. Some of the buses are plain and some, like this one, have a little more pizzazz.
At the center of town, as with most Central American towns, is a central park. Unlike the Central Park in Atenas, which is mostly trees and grass, with walkways, this park is more of a plaza, with fountains, elevated planters, and a large gazebo:
One of the biggest events of the year is the Fair of Flowers and Coffee in Boquete. This 10 day event attracts thousands of visitors and it kicks off just after we will arrive there. The main event area is the fair grounds next to the river:
The fairgrounds are located just off the main bridge over the river (going into or out of downtown):
While we were walking across the bridge, we ran into a man we met at church. His name is Frank and he has a trained squirrel that is with him almost all the time. The squirrel, named DooBee, hangs out inside Frank's shirt but comes out on command and will do various tricks. Frank rescued the squirrel when it was injured about 4 years ago and they've been together ever since. Obviously, there's a lot of trust there. How many of you would stick a live squirrel in your shirt?
Don't judge a book by its cover: The first night we were in town, we got a restaurant recommendation from Justin at the hotel. The restaurant is called George's grill and it's just a couple minutes down the road. It doesn't look like much (outside or inside) but we gave it a try. The food was absolutely delicious and much more gourmet than the surroundings would suggest. The cream of tomato/pumpkin soup was incredible! We could have made a meal out of it. The Mahi and side dishes were expertly prepared and presented. [FYI: this gourmet meal, with dessert and a couple of the chef's special lime & spearmint "smoothies" cost us about $37.] It wasn't busy and we hung around and talked to George (owner/chef) - very interesting guy.
In town, there is a large rock levee that borders a park and playground. To brighten it up, it appears they let kids paint the rocks and turn it into artwork. Great idea! Put their imaginations to work.
One new experience we didn't enjoy so much were the mysterious bug bites we started getting toward the end of our stay. At first, we thought they were mosquito bites, but they looked different. We asked Judy (at the hotel) about them and she said they were from coffee flies (apparently the same as sandflies). I guess it's a seasonal thing. It was strange that, unlike mosquitoes, we never once saw (or felt) one of the little buggers when they were on us. Very sneaky. The bites have a tiny, visible puncture mark in the middle and welt up a little bigger than mosquito bites (last longer, too - I still have a couple of them that haven't completely gone away and it's been over 1.5 weeks).
As I mentioned in my earlier post, we were checking lots of different sources for leads on rentals. We even drove through some neighborhoods that we liked, to see if there were any "For Rent" signs on any properties. Here is a house we liked in a nice neighborhood - just to give you an idea. It's a 3 bdrm, 2 bath house that is fully furnished. I called the owner and spoke to her - we also exchanged emails. However, we didn't get a chance to actually tour the house before we left. The rent on this home is $750/month. If it's still available when it's closer to the time we will be there, it will be high on our priority list.
Posted by Mark