Wow, what a great deal for our Golf and Beach condo in Coronado Panama, only one hour drive from Panama City!! Joe and I paid only $650 each for a large two bedroom 12th floor ocean/golf course panoramic view. Bonus was the $130.00 each paid for a month golf membership with full use of all hotel facilities including 3 pools, beach club, gym and bar/food orders. The 18-hole Tom Fasio golf course is tough and beautiful!
A few days after we arrived, we had our first road trip to Panama City, picking up Gregory visiting from Calgary. We stayed at the Panama Central lofts, the hostel I planned to purchase last year. It was great to meet up with Marcela, the owner of the hostel as well as a few friends that I have known for the past few years! Joe appeared to enjoy his first hostel stay, a clean 3 bedroom unit with delicious pancake breakfast! Met some interesting travellers from around the world!
Returning to Coronado the next day, Gregory discovered a great hotel special. An all inclusive $70/night stay included all food and drinks, and full use of hotel facilities. Great deal for him!
After a couple of days of relaxing at the condo, the 3 of us headed out on another road trip. We drove 4hours to the northers part of Panama on roads mainly under construction, but very drivable!. Joe did a excellent job of getting us there! We met up with old friends that I met last year. Kim, originally from Ottawa and 85 year old backpacker Bob, a retired business man from Texas greeted us at nice T.G.I. Friday in David city. it was great to get caught up again and chat about our lives and travel stories.
We drove to the far North West side of Panama, bordering country of Costa Rica. The border to Costa Rica was amazing! The road along the Panama side was filled with a wide variety of Duty Free Shops, tire stores and souvenir shops. Pete parked the car and we walked in one of the tire stores. We were shocked to discover that the opposite end of the store entrance was another street in, can you believe, Costa Rica. Frontera Costa Rica was the boarder town we were suddenly arrived! We entered Costa Rica without going through immigration. First time for Joe in Costa Rica. We then drove Kim’s town of Puerto Armuelles, a busy open area beach town. We stayed the night at Heavenly Beach Hotel located on a beautiful secluded sandy beach. Home cooked dinner of fresh fish and veggies was amazing! Next day we drove through David, the 2nd largest city in Panama and up a long windy road to the quaint mountain town of Boquete, at 5,500 ft above sea level. We had a nice visit with Backpacker Bob again and drove around the small windy roads. Boquete is an old, very fertile volcanic area known world wide to rock climbers, coffee berry beans and summer Jazz/Blues concerts. We stayed the evening at another great hostel/hotel Pension Topas, and met some very interesting travellers from around the world!
Story from Pete Montgomery and Joe Forzani
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