Subject: Greetings from Boquete

I got my new bridge at Potrero( actually Haucas) in NW Costa RIca.  It is hot there getting to about 95 degrees each day.  It is the dry season and will be until April so no rain.  Phil and Carol have been so helpful.  We eat out a couple of times

together and went to there house several times for some great visits and lots of info on ex-pat living there.  It has gotten expensive now to buy and live here.  IMHO it would make a lot more sense now to just rent for a couple of months but for Edith

and it is a little to hot.  It is dry so if you are in the shade and have a good breeze you would be OK.  It does cool off to about 80 degrees at night which is still pretty warm.  The total bill for the teeth came out to be about 30% of Salem prices and Allen

speaks perfect English and his a very modern, nice office.

 

We left Potero for San Jose.  It was really pretty looking east toward the cloud forests around St. Elena.  As we approached San Jose (SJ) the mountains were high and we wound around and the  traffic was bad but the scenery is very good.  In SJ

we got from the bus station to another bus station to buy a ticket for David Panama and then a taxi to a hotel which was really old.  Edith was not impressed with ti but it was not so bad,  at least is was reasonably

clean.  We took a taxi to the bus station to David but it was not the correct bus station.  What had happened was the day before the taxi driver knew there was a new bus station to David and took us there but did not

tell us.  Eventually the taxi driver got the address of the new bus station and we got there with plenty of time to spare as it was before 7 am so traffic was light.  That was a new experience for us.  These sort of things are

obviously a lot harder to figure out when it is all Spanish.

 

The trip south of SJ is the best scenery yet.  High mountains, very green, decent rain here even in the dry season and lots of clouds floating around below us and on the mountains but you could still see well.  We

met a couple of fellows on the bus who live in SJ and were going to David so they could renew there VISA for another 90 days by leaving the county for 72 hours.  You can get permanent VISAš but there are requirements

and it takes a lot of messing around.  The one sitting next to us was Phil.  He teaches English at SJ Univ. and has been in SJ for about 4 years.  we learned a lot about living there as an ex-pat.  He speaks excellent

Spanish.  The border crossing into Panama was a real pain.  We got our passports stamped out and had to walk a half mile to Panama entrance and get a sticker to get a tourist card and prove we had a ticket

to leave the country.  We got by with our airline ticket which really should not of worked but we facked it.  After we got our tourist card we went back to the original window and got our passports stamped and then we

had to get our baggage inspected and by then the bus had made it there and get our stuff under the bus.  I had to make change for the on American.  He just could not believe the hassle.  We took it in stride,  the

worse it gets the more I start laughing about it.  You have to realixe this is all 99 words of Spanish to maybe one word of English.

 

It is flatter in Panama,  we had a nice lunch break where the bus stopped.  The water is safe in CR and Panama so it is weird drinking tap water.  We do fill up our bottles in case we get someplace where we have

a doubt.  We have had no problems and the food selection is good and things are quite modern relatively speaking anyway.  We got to David and got a taxi for downtown and a hotel which turned out to have room and

was nice for $40.  I found an internet cafe and had a message from Louis HP3XUG that there trip to AL to get the boat had been delayed a week and to call him.  I tried to find a phone place but no luck so I got the

satellite phone and got ahold of him.  It turns out they had driven from Boquete to David to have supper with us based on my e-mail the day before.  We were about an hour late because of the border mess.  Anyway

they picked us up at the hotel.  His wife Yarvi is from Panama but speaks good English.  She is a really a ®HOOT®®!   I have known Louis for about 30 years and we have met a few times over the years at radio gatherings.

We had a great visit and found out about there life in Panama and his work in the Navy in the Philipines and S. Korea and there boat business in HI and the last 4 years in Bocas del toro in the carribean which is about 50 miles

from here.

Louis said he would drive down from Boquete on Saturday and pick us up at 10 am and they would take us around Boquete.  WOW! how nice of them,  it was just the greatest!!!  When Louis came here in the late 80īs

there were only about 6 Americans here.  There are several 1000 now.  Boquete is considered the second best place in the world for a USA ex-pat to retire.  It has some of the best coffee in the world.  Up around 1800 M they

found the taste was the best.  It sells for about $100 a pound.  We had some from the lower elevations that is very good cafe.  We got to visit there new home which has a fantastic view.  It is about 700M so it is a little warmer

but it is dry so if you are in the shade it is pleasant.  As you go to the old part of Boquete it gets higher and is nice and cool.  Huge mountians with jungle on them,  water runnng and a rain call Bajareque which means

it does not make it to the ground during the dry season.  With the clouds and Bajareque and the mountains, trees and water and all the coffee trees and other things being grown it is beautiful.  We had strawberries and

ice cream and later the great coffee and pecan pie.  What a wonderful day.  The local Indian natives who pick coffee and do the farm work have very colorful native clothing.

 

We met Louis and Yarvi for church.  There is an English and Spanish service and we had communion.  We were introduced and met a lot of people.  It was a great time.  It was early for noon lunch so we went SE up the

mountian side looking over old Boquete and looked for Mot-Mot bird like I seen in CR which are often seen in this area but not today.  Like the day before Louos got a lot of Orchids for Yarvi to plant at the new house.  Actually

they are air plants that live as a parisite on trees.  Some will  grow in the  ground.  The are very pretty.  We got back and had  Peruvian food.  I had sea bass stuffed with shrimp.  It was great and I have never had anything

like that.  Well all good things have to come to an end but what a wonderful time Louis and Yarvi gave us in Boquete.  We will never forget it and we easily seen 200 times more t han if we would of came here on our

own on the bus.  The great thing with amateur radio and e'mail and digital pictures we can keep in touch.

 

We are so appreciative of our radio friends like Phil TI7/N5BEK and now Louis HP3XUG for being surch wonderful hosts!!!  I sure hope they can come and see us sometime!!!  Today we go to David and get bus tickets for

tomorrow to go to Panama City where Yarv has gotten us a hotel reservation which was hard to do and we have lots of excellent information on Bocas del toro from then.  We do plan to go to Volcan after Panama City, then

Bocas and then into CR to Limon and on to the NE to Tortuguero to see wildlife.  I t hink time wise things are going to work out good.

 

Love Ed and Edith