Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Come On SUN!!!

Monday morning brought us together with a great group of hikers led by our hosts, Jim & Lesia! The weather wasn't cooperating much so they decided to take the "river walk", which is supposed to be a more leisurely hike. Ha!!

You begin by crossing the river on a swinging metal suspension bridge and only a few could cross at the same time due to how much it swings. Getting across safely, my legs felt like wet noodles! But, that quickly changed when you begin to climb and climb and climb - about 3/4 of a mile or 1 km at a grade of about 6% up a gravel path!!  Fortunately, it leveled off at the top and from there we were on a gravel road and it traveled through a mountain neighborhood and out onto a paved road that then crossed Wilson's Bridge and then back to town along the other side of the river.

The trek took Mike and me about 2 hrs 15 min. an during the course of the hike it was sunny, then mist, then actual rain, cloudy, back to sun and some drying off, then back to rain, and ending with mist. We looked like drowned rats when it was over! But boy was that good for the gluts and calves!! And, I knew I was going to feel it later, which I did but not as bad as I thought.

We stayed in town and moseyed around some more finding other new and interesting stores. They even have a department store that goes on forever and has lots of name brand items at no higher costs than at home but most things were definitely less expensive. A great find!!

Lunch was at The Nelvis, which Mike had read about in the guide book. It's off the beaten path and is a local and expat favorite. Great fried chicken and pork chops!! We each had a full mean, meat, potatoes/rice, veggies with drinks - $3/ea!!

Some of the other price comparisons are manicure $6; pedicure $10-$12 or both on Fridays for $12 in one place! Beautiful ladies underwear that are very well made - $4-$6/ea. A beautifully made soft woven shawl $10.

We walked some more checking other things out until we were just plain pooped! Stopped by Restaurant Baru again and had a glass of wine and beer to just chill out until we headed back up the hill.  Met some really nice tourists from Holland, visited with some of the local expats that hang out there, and felt right at home.

Tuesday brought Market day at the Expat grounds an we hitched a ride down with our neighbor and new friend, Rick. Bought my daughter's birthday gift there and tried to get it shipped to US.  They wanted $91!!!! Oh hell no!! So it looks like it'll get mailed by slow boat through the post office. We'll see how that goes!

After dropping off a dress of mine that needed hemming at the local tailor who will be hemming it for $2, we drove up to the Egg Store. Yup, that's all they have there - lots and lots of different kinds of eggs that you can buy in several different quantities. From there we stopped for coffee at Café Ruiz where they not only have their own great coffee but they sell Gesha coffee that sells for $104/lb!! A cup of Gesha coffee was $9, so I passed on that. The latté that I had was scrumptious anyway.

Back up the hill to our place where we watched a humungous storm come in and it poured and poured and the wind blew and blew (still blowing 25-30)!! The weather is now becoming an issue for us. Not liking to be "house bound", the weather so far has kept us very close to home or not able to go out at all to explore far.

Today we go back to David with our hosts where we'll get to see the local Price Smart, which is actually Costco. Then we're going into downtown David to explore while they go back to the dentist.  Looking forward to some better weather down the mountain and much less wind.

Our neighbor, Rick, just got word that his permanent residential visa has been approved and he flew out of David to Panama City yesterday to go get it. We're so excited for him!!  It took him 6 months during which time they gave him a temporary multiple entry visa. He submitted a copy of his passport, proof of income, and hometown US police report. That's it!  Of course, to get it done efficiently, he hired an attorney to maneuver the process.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving - so Happy Thanksgiving everyone!! We're off with Rick to a friend's house up in the hills on the other side of town where we will share a feast of typical US Thanksgiving fare!

The rain has just started again and the wind is continuing to pound us. Mike's and my colds are beginning to abate and life is good!
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