In Spanish they pronounce ‘wow’ like “gwau”. So I will say “gwau” what a filled day! And most of it was really fun! We met up with the Smith family quite early and headed to the Pipeline trail. Miraculously we found it on the first try (thanks to Candace’s map – you have to know this does not usually happen in Panama). We parked and headed up the trail and were soon joined by a dog who accompanied us the whole way, along with two others who came and went but for the most part stayed with us.
The hike was lovely. There were creeks and very narrow bridges and huge trees and huge plants. It was great and the kids had a blast. We had a little climb at the end to get to some waterfall areas but the hike in general was nice and tranquil.
We did not see any sloths or really any birds at all. This is partly due to the fact that we were chatting and partly due to the need to watch our footing. The one time I tried to look around I just about nosedived because of a rock I didn’t see. So we will have to find sloths later. We bumped into another hiker who said he saw a sloth on another trail yesterday and the sloth is probably in the same place today!
After the hike we stopped to pay the person whose land we hiked on ($9) and the kids got to see some very little kittens and also witnessed an unwelcome pairing of two of the dogs who accompanied us. One dog was not interested in this arrangement and even more so when they got stuck together, if you know what I mean. That was the first time I had seen that whole sticking together thing and I could have lived my whole life without seeing that and been just fine. I’m pretty sure we also have some traumatized children as they were all gathered around the coupling, aghast in horror. Parents were in a small panic, wondering if the smaller kids should be watching this as it was readily apparent that the female was not happy. It was VERY unpleasant. Haley wished she could wash her eyes of the memory. Ugh.
After the hike we got cleaned up and met up for a meal with the Smiths. We got a recommendation of a cafe for breakfast but by the time we got there it was noon and they appeared to be closed (the locked door was a good indicator) but they opened up for the 9 hungry gringos and we all had a nice breakfast. Haley got waffles. Another exciting discovery of a favorite from the states.
After lunch the Shermans headed off to David, the major city about 30 minutes away. Gotta take advantage of our rental car, y’know. The girls need new shoes. Yes, 10 days after arriving they need new shoes. Haley did not bring ANY athletic shoes (we did come from AZ summer, after all) and Zoe’s were too small. So we found the mall and with my ever expanding confidence speaking Spanish, we navigated two pairs of athletic shoes in short order.
The last stop was PriceSmart, which is Costco’s Panama store. Same brands, same layout, pretty much Costco. We got a membership for $35 for a year (yay! savings!) and off we went shopping. Never seen a smaller Costco or more people trying to get into one at the same time. Last Wednesday was payday so our timing was poor. Prices were pretty much on par (to slightly higher) with the US, except for certain things that were obviously made in Panama, like fresh donuts.
We are still in our short term place in Boquete and although we have 3 more weeks here, it’s still not enough to stock up on Costco type items. We bought a few things, we confirmed they have a Panamanian version of chicken nuggets (= Happy Haley) and for future reference they have some great household items for the kitchen. They didn’t have all our favorites, but enough to seem like we could get some of our nostalgia fed. There is not a PriceSmart near our soon-to-be hometown of Pedasi, but we can stock up before we go or go to the one about 2 hours from Pedasi in a few months when it opens. It’ll be like a quarterly field trip.
The lines to check out were long and a bit unorganized but we muddled through (doing a lot of that here) and even got a snack. By this time it was pouring down rain so we, along with what seemed like a zillion other people, tried to figure out how to get our stuff in the car. This was complicated by the fact that they discourage carts from being wheeled out into the parking lot by having big curbs. So everyone and their grandma was driving up to load up their stuff. We each grabbed a few items and made a run for it. We got soaked but it wasn’t cold. Dan called it “part of the experience”. I checked him for a fever, that does not sound like Dan! But he is good at reminding us all that we came for something different and if we wanted it just like the USA we would have stayed there. He did get in a quick jab at how this rain is exactly what we disliked about Oregon.
A few more stops for some things we forgot and soon we were “home” in our apartmentito with much to put away. Dinner, a meltdown by one adult (not Dan) and one child (not Haley), some showering and now everyone is settling in for the evening. Look the other way. Nothing to see here folks.
There is talk of horseback riding tomorrow but it has yet to be confirmed. So stay tuned for another possible adventure tomorrow. Maybe the horses know where the sloths are. Because obviously, we don’t!