Sunday, January 13, 2013

Week 1 in Gorgona Comes to End

When I last wrote I wasn't having a very good day.  I was a bit disappointed with our new "digs", feeling sorry for myself because I was missing all of new good friends from Pedasi & Boquete, and feeling quite disjointed!! 

Today I'm still feeling a bit that way although things have smoothed out a bit.  I miss that there is no "town" core, that although we've met many other expats at the local hangout La Ruina, most - no really ALL of them are just passing through too. At least in the other towns, we met people who were actually living there - not so much here.

Mike had a very good fishing trip up to Lake Gatun, the huge lake created by the Canal.  They caught about 98 peacock bass and some Oscars. A very good day indeed and he was absolutely bone tired when he got back!!

Thursday we returned the plastic outdoor chairs that we bought because they were not comfortable. We were given only store credit, so we bought a fan to help blow the air conditioning into the bedroom from the living room where the air conditioner is.

Mike also got a hair cut. As usual, they cut it shorter than he wanted but, hey, it's only hair and it'll grow back!! Funny, I'm letting mine grow so that I can pull it back up off my face since it's hot and humid here and my hair goes flatter than a pancake while Mike's just gets beautifully curly!

That evening Frank, owner of La Ruina, had a fish fry for the guys who went fishing.  I got to meet them all and we ended up playing Jenga, a block game, with several people including another Canadian couple that we've met, Janie & Dave.  We had a blast!

So, we've tried to figure out a way to make the most of our time.  We've decided that while here we are going to be "tourists" and go exploring.  We've already gone up to a beautiful small village in the mountains called El Valle. It's located about 600 meters up the mountain in what used to be about a 5 mile lake caused by the volcano exploding several million years ago.

We went by bus from Gorgona - $.30/ea out about 4 miles to the InterAmerican Highway, crossed the highway to catch another bus to Las Uvas (the grapes), another $.75/ea, then up the mountain to El Valle, another $1.50/ea.  The total round trip was a little less than $9 for both of us and about 1hr.15min. total travel time.  Not bad!!!

We really like the feel of this village.  There was a beautiful open air market where we bought a few molas - hand stitched art by the indigenous people of the mountains.  We had lunch at a new terrific pizzeria right on the main road. Mike had their pizza but I never tire of trying everyone's lasagna. Neither of us were disappointed!

We then walked a big loop around the west side of town on what is called Millionaires Row. El Valle is where the wealthy Panamanian City dwellers come for weekends to cool off from the city heat.  The homes and grounds are gorgeous!!  We also found the Pozos Termales - Thermal Pools right on the outskirts of town. Didn't have our suits with us so we just have to go back! There is still so much to explore up there. Another day we will get up and get going much earlier!! 

That evening we also had a wonderful crisp, clear Skype call with Mike's cousin, Denise, and his Uncle Donald in Carlsbad, CA.  The connection is so fast that it seemed we were all in the same room! As Uncle Donald is 95, he was simply amazed at the technology!!

Yesterday Mike & I finally decided it was time to actually go swimming in the ocean rather than just walking up to our knees in it.  We've noticed that here the ocean is always calm no matter even if you can see white caps much farther out.  It's also very flat and you can walk out quite far. It was absolutely luscious!! 

But, before we went down our neighbors needed some assistance with their wireless router. Got them fixed right up and they were grateful that they could now communicate with their 5 children back in Texas. They have a "Tricia", so they thought that was quite neat and they are now forever indebted!

Our weekends are now being filled with playoff football games. So Mike is already down at La Ruina watching with the guys while I'm staying at "home" working on the blog and puttering around. I'm going back down to the beach for a swim before I head down to be with him for the latter game. Since Seattle is loosing quite badly at the moment, I'm just as glad I'm not there!

This week we plan on venturing up to the BIG city - Panama City by bus. It, too, is only about an hour away.  So much we want to see and do!! Quite excited about that!!

So as I watch the ski doos and sun bathers from our window, it's beginning to call me down.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!!


susan said...

did you buy any molas? have fun in pc. xo s

Tricia Lyman said...

Yes, I bought several for friends. Since I'm not in the buying mode, I'll have to get mine later. Thanks, Tricia

Allison said...

Loved El Valle! We are staying in a B & B there for three days on our next trip. I want to go to the thermal baths with the mud that you wrote about this time (took an amazing ATV tour given by Ty Miller--has Ty's Sports Bar there). Cannot wait!