Wednesday, October 22, 2008


After over a month of travelling, we decided it was time to stop for a while and take the time to really get to know one place in Panama. We are now taking two weeks of intensive Spanish lessons in Boquete in the Chiriqui highlands. Although we are getting plenty of opportunity to speak Spanish in Central America, we thought we could do with some more lessons to give us extra confidence. More about classes later, but first Boquete. It is a truly beautiful spot high up in the mountains, making it cool and fresh; a welcome change from the heat and humidity of Bocas. However, the weather here has its drawbacks too; every morning is clear and bright but by midday the clouds hang low over the mountains and the rain begins. As we sit here now, there is the usual afternoon downpour outside, which will probably last for hours. Luckily we have lessons in the afternoons so it's bearable!

Can't complain too much about the climate here, the regular rain and sunshine means that everything is lush and there is life everywhere. Flowers like this gorgeous orchid grow in hedges and gardens and the mountains are carpeted with cloud forest.

We spent a lovely (relatively rain free!) day walking in the mountains near the Rio Caldera. It's a perfect river with clear sparkling water, waterfalls and rapids. It's best to see it this time of year, too, because the rainy season means it's at its full force.

There's a large idigenous population in this area, largely Ngöble-Bugle people who live high up in the mountains in wooden houses or communes with several small dwellings grouped together. The women wear lovely embroidered dresses, as you can see on this little girl, and the children are very inquisitive and friendly.

Because of the altitude - most of the farms are around 1500m above sea level - and the climate, Boquete produces the finest coffee in Panama (some say the world!). During our stay here, we're living with a fantastic Panamanian family who have a coffee farm (more about them in a later post).

We're really enjoying a bit of routine and stability here and are in no rush to get back on the road yet. Boquete feels like home for now and we're thinking of staying for an extra week!

Rachel x

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Do they make those dresses in adult sizes? regan