Sunday, May 21, 2006

The Boquete Garden Inn (May 20, 2006)

It has been a long day. This morning we drove to Amirante, and from there took a water taxi to the Panamanian island of Bocas del Toro. We had lunch at the Hotel Bocas del Toro, walked around a bit, took another water taxi back to Amirante, then drove back to Boquete. We just had to at least set our feet on Bocas del Toro. It is known far and wide for its charm, its scuba diving, and snorkelling.

This evening we had dinner at one of Boquete’s many delightful restaurants, a place called Hibiscus. We were joined by a charming couple, Janie Pageau and Dennis Baugher, owners of the Boquete Garden Inn, at which we are staying while in the Boquete area. Janie and Dennis have owned the inn since September of last year (2005) and are doing a great job of providing reasonably priced accommodations in a beautiful and tranquil location, beside the Caldera River. Janie, a Canadian, and Dennis, an American, met in Florida. They dreamed of leaving the United States and starting a new and exciting life somewhere else. By last year, they had decided that the time was right, and that Boquete was the place they wanted to be. Not willing to retire completely, they bought the former Cabanas La Via Lactea and changed the name to the Boquete Garden Inn. It is a great place to stay, and they are great hosts. Tell them I sent you.

No, they haven’t paid me to say this.

Like Janie and Dennis, there are many other Canadian and American expats in this area. You can’t help but run into them. They’re everywhere. The ones I’ve met are delightful, helpful, adventurous; exactly the sort of people you would expect to want to escape their overtaxed and over regulated homelands. Want to meet a bunch of them all at once? Drop into Olga’s Place restaurant (officially Cafe Punto de Encuentro) for one of her famous breakfasts. You will meet lots of gringos there. Every one of them will be friendly, and eager to tell you all about the great Panamanian adventure.

Tomorrow, we are meeting again with the owner of the land on which we hope to develop our proposed Stonehedge Estates. The surveyor who we will contract with to develop a site plan, will present us with some suggestions for the layout and with an estimate (shudder) of costs and time needed to perform his part of the project.

One step at a time. I seem to be saying that a lot lately.

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