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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Cerro Punta and Guadalupe Parque Internacional La Amistrad

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We have jut had the worst night ever!

I felt like I was sleeping on the Dance Party floor.
Panamanian D.J.'s have a weird way to play music.
It goes in and out as the DJ over talks Spanish.
And it is LOUD... and I mean LOUD.
So at 5 am as the birds began to sing and the music and talking was still blasting
 I felt like my head was caving in.
So I jumped in the shower - and oh no - it was only cold.
It is already mountains and no sleep and a cold shower and I cracked.
I went to the manager of the hostel and nicely went to explain I was leaving a day early.
And the shower didn't work.
Well, Palacio Hostel manager - Paolo was the rudest pig ever.
Two times he threw his arms at me and walked off.
I followed him.
I explained it was not his fault, it was the loudness of the festival.
He then started to verbally abuse me.
His rudeness went on and on.
I was losing a nights pre-paid accommodation - what was his problem.
when I told him about the shower he basically called me a liar and went to a completely different shower in the hostel run on a different gas bottle to show me it worked.
I explained it was my shower out of gas.
He came in and counted to thirty in Spanish on his fingers like I was a moron.
Ahhh - no gas. Really?
So I ask him where we can go that is quiet.
He refuses to answer.
What is this mans problem?
I walk out to near the kitchen and some hippies are smoking dope bongs right where my son normally has breakfast.  So I tell him not to go that way.
We walk to Mamallena Hostel.
The guy on reception is SO NICE!
He lets me use their computer.
He suggest Cerro Punta on the other side of the mountains.
He helps us google hostels.
He even lets me use his mobile phone a couple of times.
So guys - want a good hostel in Boquete - go to Mamallena.
DO NOT go to Hostal Palacios!

So off we head with all our bags to the bus.
Yeah a school bus (converted) awaits our front porch.
They take our bags and we are on our way.
We head to David and change buses.
Another mini-bis takes us to Cerro Punta.
Awaiting us as we get out is a lovely Spanish lady and her helpers.
Hostal Elvita is right opposite the Police Station.
It is $30 a night for us two and only has one other guest.
It is delightful - and cool.

Retro heaven awaits us as we enter the foyer.
It is a mix of Swiss Alps and Panama.
Wood carvings and leather etching adds to the ambiance.

Kelly, who I think is 15 years old speaks little English.
She s a sweetheart.
She goes to the local cafe, and brings me back Ceviche.
It is a fantastic cold seafood chili soup.
I like it!
We head down the street and find a local cafe.
For $3 we share the hugest plate of salad, rice and beans and a hot chocolate.
Cafe Altura is our favourite in this town.
"Home" to Elvita Hostal, and under 4 blankets we snuggle for a movie on the laptop.
I have 3Tb Drives with over 300 movies, and these come n handy for nights like this.
Back in Fiji we purchased a lot and copied them onto the drives.
So this night sees us watching Whoopi Goldberg.

Next day the lovely Spanish lady (who I never get introduced to?) gives me a great map of the area.
We head to Guadalupe on the local min-bus.
Here we arrange horse-riding.
The local kids roam the streets.

The hills are covered in all sorts of vegetables and fruit.
Strawberries are the famed produce of this region.

Now let me share a secret.
I am petrified.
I had a bad experience with an out of control horse as a teenager.
I have not been on one since.
But this trip is about conquering fears.
So I try to explain in broken Spanish my fear.
He has no clue about what I am on about.
He figures we can both ride.
So off we go.
My son finds this hilarious that I am afraid.

I ask our guide to hold my sons rope and not let him go solo.
Yeah - he understands my broken Spanish this time.
We head up the rockiest road ever.

As we do, I watch as several times my sons horse loses its footing.

We pass over many creeks.
My horse seems to have a passion for the tropical plants around.
Wow does he love to eat those palm fronds.
I have to urge him on.

By the half way point - about 2 hours - I am quite OK with all this.
My horse De Pablo and I have an understanding.
I am in control.
We are getting along well.
But my stirrups are the wrong adjustment and my knees are aching.
I have had a couple of knee operations about 30 years ago after a motorbike accident.
The pain is getting strong about now.
Time to turn around.
Time for El Bano!

As we head back my horse decides it feels like more food.
Then it trots along at a great rate.
My son has been riding alone most of the trip and he is getting cranky about this.
Next thing, De Pablo is into a fast trot!

I am in agony.
I am riding three point.
I am about to get a blister on my palms from holding centre saddle.
My knees - oh my knees.
Let alone my bum.

We head back to town.
There are little stalls.
They sell famous strawberry drinks Bebidas Fresca .....
Mixed with berries, they are delightful.
This town is thriving with tourists when we returned on the weekend.

Back in town Kelly and her brother Christopher ask my son to go to the park.
It is a great afternoon.
Language knows no bounds.

We head to a local Restaurant Anthony for a dinner for $3 each.

The next day I wake with a cold.
I am stiff, sore and not well.
I must say - bring a good first aid kit with you when you travel.
I have appreciated my cold and flu tablets.
I also miss Panadol Rapids from Australia - I have run out of.
I had to buy an alternative in a Farmacia in Boquete at 43 cents per tablet.
Strange to have the sell you individual tablets, but at least I have supplies.
I do however have no instructions as to strength or quantity to take.

We have to head to Volcan to sort out my banking.
Failure to achieve.
When a Panamanian telephone exchange cannot connect me to an Australian exchange
after 3 hours of standing in a street, fighting to hear against thumping music.
11 calls and I cannot get through.

So by lunchtime it is raining.
We head back for a quiet afternoon at the hostel.
The kids talk to each other via Google Translate.
This is school for the afternoon.
How do I spell "?"
On it goes - it is a great time with them having a heap of laughs.


I have loved Cerra Punta.
I have no access to my bank funds and I am really frustrated.
I doubt I will resolve this until I leave Panama in a few weeks.
But, it will not cloud the wonder of this country.
I have, despite feeling so ill, really enjoyed the mountains of Panama.
The rainbow is the perfect end to our day!

2 comments:

  1. sounds awesome. We 'd like to go from Boquette to Cerra Punta on horse back with our packs and continue on up into Costa Rica. Did you see or know of any trail rides that would do that from Boquette??

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    Replies
    1. You may want to go to our new website - www.exploramumourworldtrip.com as this site is old. I am pretty sure you can, and that it is not expensive either. I only know you could make a deal with the locals once you get there. there is no way booking in advance. Several hose owners would ride through those trails and lead you. One of the best times we had on our trails, except how saddle sore I was! Thanks for following our world journey.

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