We had a scenic trip planned for today. The horseback riding didn’t pan out but we think it’ll work out for another day. It was probably a good thing because the girls got to sleep in and everyone seemed a little more peppy today.
So off we went to Volcan, which was a very pretty area. It would have been amazing if it was a sunny day but it was still gorgeous. I’ve never seen so much green. Once we got to Volcan we stopped for lunch at a little restaurant that looked promising. We went in and there was no indication of if we should seat ourselves so we did (in Panama it’s best to be bold, even if you mess up. Tentative doesn’t work so well here). The gal came out (we sat outside on the patio) and I asked for a menu. She said they serve chicken. Ooooo K. We’ll have chicken! While we were waiting we were visited at our table by two stray dogs, a live chicken and what we though was some kind of ostrich/turkey combination (turned out to be a baby chicken).
Lunch was yummy – chicken, rice, beans, a salad thang and a sweet banana. I was loving it all. The girls liked it too (especially Haley) but Dan was jonesin for a cheesburger and fries. It was here that I realized one should always carry some kleenex in your purse because not all Panamanian bathrooms will provide such a luxury as TP. I learned this lesson several times over today. We aren’t in Boquete anymore, Toto.
After lunch we set off for Cerro Punta. We knew this is where there are a lot of farm lands but our road was windy, narrow, had frequent spots where there was a recent mudslide (including large trees) and by now it was pouring. And did I mention that the double-line indicating no passing was merely a suggestion and frequently not followed by Panamanian drivers? Uh huh. It was that kind of drive.
We drove and drove and drove and it seemed like it was much too long for the 20km that Cerro Punta was from Volcan. And this was definitely not anywhere that veggies were grown. Zoe was getting carsick and I was getting so nervous with the rain and the roads that we just about had to pull over for a bathroom break, ala nature. We finally checked the map with our limited cell coverage and learned we had taken the wrong road. Oooooo K. Back we go. We got back to Volcan, took the right road and very shortly saw tons of farm land, greenhouses, fields of veggies and a veggie stand every 100 feet. It was a nice drive, a small town and probably had amazing views if you could see more than 1/3 mile in front of you. Which we could not.
So we got some strawberries and cream at a little roadside stand (“stand” is a bit of an overstatement), which we thought would be great because surely the strawberries were fresh and the cream would be homemade from local dairies. I was disappointed when she pulled out the cool whip and squirted some on the strawberries. Really? But the girls were happy. Dan got a shake but it was more like chocolate milk. He’s not faring too well in the food department so far.
We got lots of vegges for the week (again, Dan is not impressed) and then headed back to David. We killed some time before dinner by looking for cars to buy and then checked out a big BIG grocery store where I ate dinner (the fam at this point had decided to go to Pizza Hut so I opted for the cafeteria at the grocery store where I got pretty much the exact same meal as lunch).
We wrap up the day with a quick stop at PriceSmart again to get some groceries (much less chaotic at 7:30 on a Sunday – more like Gilbert Costco on a weekday) and now we are “home” and tucked in for the night. We return our rental car tomorrow and resume our Spanish and home-school schedule.
I have more to tell you about my impressions of driving in Panama, since this was our first weekend on the road on our own, but I’ll save that for tomorrow. I don’t imagine we’ll have any major adventure to tell you about then. But then again this is Panama so anything could happen!