We were stuck this past weekend at the Panamá/Costa Rica border on our way to Los Sueños in Costa Rica because of some very minor bureaucratic paperwork necessary to bring our car over the border (the right office were already closed when we arrived there on Friday). They just shrugged their shoulders and said, “Come back Monday”. You can’t believe the bureaucracy and inefficiency at the border — this happened last time we tried to cross! Oh, well, might as well explore the area while we’re struck here and see what there is to see.
We found some absolutely breathtakingly beautiful and remote spots tucked away on the Pacific coast near the Costa Rican border. We could not believe the beauty. It truly was a feast for our eyes. We have seen some awesome places around Panamá, but this one took us completely by surprise. The beaches were beautiful, the forests were beautiful, the mountains were beautiful and everything was so tranquil and quiet. It is so thinly populated, and people still use horses to get around. There is just nature, abundance and beauty.
We happened upon a remote town, or, rather, a tiny authentic fishing village tucked into the mangrove forests along the coast facing about 120 small islands, including one of the world’s largest protected marine sanctuaries, Coiba. We learned that this is where everybody who likes to fish dreams about, yet it is not at all well known (thank goodness!).
Most of the people who fish here are not Gringos. We spoke with a couple of the guys who had just come in after a day on the water. One lives in Panamá City and the other came here from Brazil to fish because the waters at home are overfished, he told us. He says he catches just about everything here, from mahi mahi to tuna to sea bass, you name it. One of them said, “You want some?” He was referring to his 150-pound tuna. Sure, twist my arm! We ate and ate and ate and still had some left over. We’ll just have to freeze the rest, I guess.
Here, like all over the country, there are mango trees everywhere — the ripe fruit just falls to the ground and mostrudi mango of it doesn’t get picked up. I am just going crazy with the abundance of my all-time favorite fruit. There is nothing better than tree-ripened fruit. I love it!
We finally got to Costa Rica to do some renovation on our condo in Los Sueños, a luxury resort. It is still so beautiful there, but so different from Panamá in so many ways. I do love both places, but feel more at home in Panamá. It is hard to put my finger on it, but my wife and I both say that to each other often. Maybe it’s just the weather. Costa Rica is much more humid and due to the east-west orientation of Panama, the breezes and ocean currents make the daily living here so much cooler and more pleasant. Of course, the pensionado program in Panamá is unrivaled in other Latin American countries and we save money all the time.
The best thing is that even in the most remote places in Panamá I am still able to conduct my business and affairs in the States. It is all being done via conference calls, e-mails and Skype. I have my electronics with me at all times wherever I go. Sometimes I find myself sitting in the middle of a forest or on a remote beach somewhere reading and editing a legal document or whatever, and e-mailing back and forth at all hours of the day and night. Luckily, there is great cell coverage everywhere in Panamá, which gives me the freedom to move around and be in the most exotic and remote places you can imagine and still get on Skype to make my conference calls. Living here sure helps keep the stress level down. It is like therapy for me to live and work in the tropics with all this beauty and tranquility all around. I feel very lucky indeed. Life is good.
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