A Wonderful Weekend Getaway…You may wonder, Getaway from what? I’m not sure! (Although, Scott may be able to tell ya!)


We went away for the weekend with our friends Bond & Luana and what a great time we had. Although, we all four agreed that just about everyday is great, even at home in Boquete. One big thing we have in common with Bond & Luana is the genuine pleasure we feel everyday, with our choice to live here in Boquete. So, going away for a little mini vacation is just that much more wonderful for the fact that we really weren’t ‘getting away’ from or ’taking a break’ from anything so tiresome or stressful. Of course, Scott may beg to differ! Hah! He really needed a break from our crazy project! And I happened to know that he thoroughly enjoyed every moment of our weekend away. We went to a newish resort in Boca Chica called Isla Palenque. It has only been opened for about a year and a half and we had all read about it and were looking forward to experiencing it for ourselves. We bought an Oferta Simple coupon for half off , for two nights. Boca Chica is not too far away from Boquete, only about an hour and a half drive.

They take you by boat, out to the island and its only about a 10 minute boat ride. We all four agreed that there was nothing that could have made our weekend any better or more enjoyable than it was. Every aspect of our experience was just as pleasant as could be. The entire staff was so friendly and helpful , even remembering our names. All the food was delicious and based on our liquor bill at the end of our stay…we also really enjoyed the cocktails! They offer many different day trips to other islands as well as guided kayak trips but we opted to hike to the other side of the island where we were told they had a bar on a secluded beach with nice swimming, why not! Right? The hike took us through an incredible jungle with magnificent trees and plants. We also got to enjoy watching a troop of monkeys who looked just as curious about us as we must have looked to them. We saw a huge iguana and lots of birds, some huge mushrooms, I just love the jungle. I think its my favorite thing to see. The hike was fairly easy and only about a half an hour.

The beach and bar were manned by our new favorite bar tender in the whole wide world! Okay ….maybe I exaggerate a touch, but only a ‘touch’! Benny took such good care of us and it didn’t take him long to figure out exactly what each one of us likes to drink. In our minds Benny is the master of all bartenders and we wished we didn’t ever have to leave him and that beachside haven! It was one of those perfect swimming beaches, nice, shallow, warm water, no big waves. We could just walk out and float around and chat until our skin started to prune! The only little glitch in our ‘perfect’ beach was that for some reason there were a bunch of smallish sting rays swimming all along the shore, eating crabs. So Benny told us to shuffle our feet as we walked out so we would avoid inadvertently stepping on one….Ugh! But we didn’t let a few little sting rays stop our fun! And then after enjoying the water and the great conversation ….back we would stroll to our shady, beachside bar to see what Benny would make for us. We also had a great time playing a couple of games, Bananagrams and Toman dos , both similar word games but one in Spanish! Benny even joined us in playing Bananagrams and he managed to kick our butts! He apparently taught himself English and he’s really good at playing! We invited him to visit us when he comes to Boquete and I think he may just do that!

It’s so nice that we have so many beautiful places to visit that are just a short drive away. We hope to do a bit more travel down the road, after our project is complete, but for now just short trips are keeping us very happy. In April we are planning a trip to Peru which will be really fun. I’m looking forward to seeing Machu Pichu and Lake Titicaca and exploring other amazing things that we are reading about right now. We had originally thought we’d take a longer trip but have come to realize that we would be smarter to wait until our project is closer to being done before leaving for too much time. Right now we have seven guys working for us and leaving them is not especially easy or smart. We wouldn’t want to just halt all work because we’d risk losing our crew. So, for now its probably best to try to stick to shorter trips. It shouldn’t be much more than another year or so until our main house is built and most of our infrastructure is all done. And I gotta tell you this last couple of days I’m seeing some big progress going on up here! I’ll tell you whats going on…

Well…where to start? I think I mentioned Scott was looking for wood to buy? And he managed to locate a large amount of wood , several different varieties that some man who used to live here but moved someplace else, was trying to sell. I think its somewhere in the vicinity of 20,000 board feet, (whatever that means!)…but I tell ya, its a LOT of wood! In case your wondering why he needs so much wood, well, he will be making all our cabinetry for both houses as well as doors and he’ll use wood for the soffets of the house and the casita as well as the ceilings on both the outdoor terraces. So lets hope this will be enough wood for all his projects.

After agreeing on a price for all that wood, Scott then had to figure out how to get it transported to our property. His little truck would take weeks to transport that much wood! So, we had seen a guy who lives in town who owns a big four wheel drive dump truck. On the side of the truck it says that he rents it…well, not really rents it, you can pay him to do things with it. So Scott went to talk to him and the guy came up to our property to check it out. Well, it turns out that he also owns a tractor….and, coincidentally, he told us that he was the one who did the original excavation up at the top of our property for the man who we bought our property from. So, he said he would need to repair our road in order to get his dump truck up the road, YES! I’ve been dying to get that darn road fixed up. And then yesterday he dumped four huge loads of dirt , today the tractor has been leveling out the road while both Scotts truck and the dump truck have been bringing loads of wood. So far they have each brought four loads of wood and it may be a couple more days before they finish transporting all the wood to the workshop…did I mention….its a lot of wood! And you can imagine, Scott is very pleased!

And the other bit of good news is that Scott also hired the tractor guy to do our trench for our electricity run! Which is so great! This will make our electricity installation go much faster…but, we had to order the transformers and have been told they will take eight to twelve weeks to get! Ugh! Not to worry, we have a big generator so It will easily run our fridge and lights. Theres no need for heat or air conditioning up here, so we’ll be fine for a while without power. Another thing that happened yesterday is that our last two, (of four) huge water storage tanks were delivered. They will now begin installing the filtration and sanitation system for our water. Of course we won’t have power to run it yet…so we’ll be buying drinking water for a little while! Oh well…I can think of way worse problems! I just can’t wait to move into our little casita! We’ve also got most of the walls and ceilings all textured and I think next week I get to start painting the walls with my colors! After paint is done then they start installing tile. Then we need to buy our appliances and figure out what we will do for counter tops. Install all the light fixtures, which I bought a long time ago, and we should be good to go! It will be far from perfect but at least livable!

The holidays are nearing and we’re making plans for Thanksgiving. Since Thanksgiving day is not a holiday here and Scotts guys are working, we won’t celebrate on that day. Instead, our friends have kindly agreed to postpone and have our Thanksgiving meal on the following Saturday, the 29th. We will also be enjoying the big Panama Holiday on the 28th! This is the biggest celebration here and includes parades that begin early in the morning and continue until about 11:00 at night!! Whew! This should be fun! Last year I missed all the fun because that was when I hurt my ankle and I was not able to walk! This year I’m really looking forward to checking it all out. I’m sure we will be able to hear all the partying from up here where we live. We are pretty much directly above town and the sound really carries! There will be huge drumming contests and school bands travel from all over Panama to Boquete to compete! Its not going to be a peaceful weekend, but a ton of fun will be had by all!! …….several hours later…Luana just texted me and told me that she just found out that they have changed the date of the big celebration, cuz’ that’s how they roll here in Panama, yeah, they just randomly decide to change the date of big holidays! So it looks like they have changed the big parade from Friday to Sunday…Okay…we shall see what actually ends up happening.

As you can see, our life continues to be anything but boring. Just the opposite. Many who read my blog tell me it’s exhausting just reading about what we have going on. Hah! That’s so funny because even though it may sound crazy, we’re thoroughly enjoying it! Each day is a day that we own. And we love knowing that we’re creating a life for ourselves that is making us happy on so many levels. Many friends here tell us they’re glad its us and not them…but at the same time they’re enjoying witnessing our progress and are incredibly supportive and happy to see us so happy with what we’re doing. We couldn’t imagine doing it any other way. At the same time…boy will I be glad when this part of our adventure is over! I’m soooooooo looking forward to living in our new house and enjoying the view. For now, I’ll be glad to have electricity and drinkable water one day! Hah!


6 responses »

  1. Holly,
    Great post! You and Scott are sharing exactly the kind of information we need to keep focused on our move (which is less than two years out now!!). Our plans are solidifying for our visit during the coffee and flower festival (hope they don’t switch up
    The date on that one, hah! Also we wil try to work in a visit to Isla Palenque 1/6 -1/9 hope the reply to our request to reserve a room. See you guys soon!

  2. Yes–that is a LOT of wood—good thing you’ve got a place to store it. You will enjoy your trip to Peru. Machu Pichu is such an interesting place–I loved my trip there back in 2009—we didn’t get to Lake Titicaca–wanted to go there but our trip when the other direction toward Ecuador—(even through I didn’t take that part of the trip). Cusco is also a very interesting city to explore. Perhaps your travels will take you there as well. I would go back to Peru–I loved the food, the culture, the colors, the history, the music, the dancing. Good luck with the water, electricity, etc. —and Happy Thanksgiving–whenever you celebrate it!!

  3. Hi Holly!

    I am so thrilled to hear about the progress on your homestead! I know you’re looking forward to being in your very own space for the first time in a couple of years — and what a beautiful place it’s becoming!

    Linda and I can’t wait to get back to Boquete and hopefully joining you on one of your beach mini-vacations! The photos certainly show how much fun you all had!

    We’re doing our Thanksgiving tradition as usual — kinda sad that it will be our last Thanksgiving in the USA — and this year, we’ll be giving thanks for all you have done to help us decide that Boquete is the place we should be!


  4. Fun times! And we are planning a trip to possibly Peru (or some other Central American country) next fall with those friends you met with us when we were in Boquete! So take notes (haha)! Here, I think they are celebrating Nov 28th holiday on the following Monday, so as not to interfere with the big retail day of “black Friday”. I wonder when the parades will go on in this area? (Won’t see them since I am off to the States–yippee!).

  5. Sounds like you are getting very close to your dream of moving into your casita soon. I always enjoy reading about your house progress as well as your adventures. We plan to do a lot more exploring around Panama when we are next there in a few weeks. Boca Chica is one of the places we want to explore. Thanks for sharing information on where you stayed. Sounds great. I would love to do some island hopping and kayaking. Susan

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