Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A Beautiful Week!!

We've certainly settled in here in Pedasi, Panama!

Monday we were off early with Rick (we even had to set an alarm!) to meet our "captain" who would be our water taxi over to Isla Iguana, a nature preserve with beautiful white sand beaches and nice snorkeling.  Rick had met a Danish couple, Helen & Otto, on holiday who he invited to join us.

After all of us helped push the launch off the beach into the water, we piled in with life vests secured. The water was a bit choppy so it took us about 45 minutes to reach the island. It wasn't so great for Rick's back issues but with a little snorkeling in the beautiful warm water, he loosened right up. Once on the island, you have to register and pay a $10 fee. There's a small museum explaining about the island and some foot paths in and around it.

We were on a gorgeous large white sand beach that was an inlet of sorts.  The beach is white because of all the white coral from a reef about 30' off the shore. The island is also mostly lava rock so you can't walk around the shores much. There are also bomb holes from the US using the island as target practice when the US had bases here.

What was awesome was that we had the beach all to ourselves as no one else came that morning until just as we were leaving. We snorkeled, swam, laid in the sun on the beach, walked across the island (it took 5 minutes), and just relaxed and enjoyed!

Our trip back took only about 20 minutes because the ocean was very calm. We said our goodbyes to Helen & Otto and deposited ourselves at the Café Arenal right on the beach. Once again, I had fried chicken and Mike had shrimp (camerones). The menus are very limited here but the food is good!

We headed back to our place as I needed to get ready to go to a baby shower! Yup, was here 2 days and get invited to a ladies afternoon right next door at our hosts home. It just so happens that the lady who runs the language school here where we're going to be taking lessons, is having a baby in February.  I met 15 of the most wonderful ladies of all ages and we had a great time!!

Our last night with Rick was dinner at Café Iguana and I had fried chicken and Mike, shrimp!!! LOL  We ended our evening at Smiley's with a drink and bid our adieu to Rick. We're hoping he'll come see us in Costa Rica!

Tuesday morning I went off with a couple of the ladies I met at the shower to a yoga class down on the beach about 40 minutes south from here.  Our instructor was also another lady that I had met at the shower.  These ladies are all expats from all over the world and have a terrific time together.

Instead of just one hour we ended having a 2 hour session.  My body is feeling it a bit today! But it was great!!  And, there's nothing more beautiful than focusing on a beautiful beach through the palm trees!

Once back, Mike & I went into town to do some grocery shopping and walking around. HaHaHaHa!! It was "siesta" time and they take it very seriously here! For good cause, as it's quite hot during the afternoon.  As to groceries, it's also definitely a very small town and not as many choices here. You need to go to Las Tablas about 1/2 hour north for the better choices. So we brought home what we did buy and gave in to "siesta".

Mike took a nap and I read for the whole afternoon.  About 6pm we walked back into town to figure out where we wanted to eat. We decided on the small café at Pedesito Hotel right in town. This is a boutique hotel with a small spa. The restaurant/wine bar is very quaint and the food was delicious!!  I actually had a salad of fresh greens and lots of tomatoes with a wonderful dressing.



After lounging over dinner we made our way back to Smiley's, where we knew there was going to be live music.  It was a hopping place but fortunately there was one table left right in front for us.  Robert Benson, who used to play with Bachman, Turner, Overdrive (BTO to those that are old enough to remember!!) was playing!!

I had met Robert and his wife, Lisa, the day before at the shower.  They have land here and visit often from CA. Unfortunately, they're leaving this Saturday but sooooo soooo glad we got to hear him play!!!  It looks like we'll catch him again on Friday night.

Anyway, it turned out that there was a drummer, key boarder, 2 guitarists, and a harmonica player/singer. They jammed and played Blues to the delight of everyone! Such beautiful music!!  I also got to visit again with Lisa and we chatted with other visitors from the states. Didn't want the night to end!

Today is a really, really lazy day.  As I had a bit too much wine last night, I wasn't moving too fast this morning. LOL  Mike got itchy to move about, so off he went to take some of our shoes that need repairing to the local cobbler down the road. Unfortunately, he wasn't there yesterday afternoon nor this morning. Oh well, we have time.

When Mike got back, we walked over to the Bueno Vida language school owned and operated by Ingrid, the lady who's having the baby.  Mike & I signed up for private lessons for 4 weeks on Monday, Wednesday, & Friday. Mine will be at 10am and his at 11am, since we're at very different levels! So excited!!

Back home to make lunch and do some internet work.  We're planning on walking down "our" road for dinner at the local palaypa. And, tomorrow, I'm going to yoga again and then to lunch with the girls.  And, Mike has a date with Wayne, our host, to go fishing on Sunday.

Like I said, settling in....

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