Thursday, April 28, 2011

Nature in Boquete

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We drove to Boquete sometime last year. It is in the Chiriqui province not far from Costa Rica. It literally means the opening or the mouth. Apparently it was some sort of a detour for early explorers. The wiki link sums it up nicely - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boquete,_Chiriqu%C3%AD

It took us about six hours to get there from Panama City. It's not the most difficult journey. Just make sure that you drive out early enough in the day so you can make it before night fall. There are long stretches, especially in David, where the roads aren't that well lit. It's a beautiful drive though. Enough rest areas on the way.
River behind the Inn
We spent the first night in this place called Boquete Garden Inn. I've never seen a more charming location. There were little apartments all built into the greenery all named for the flowers they had growing in profusion around. The rest of the world has no room there. Seriously. Yes our cell phones worked and there was a TV. Just no alarm clock- yippee! But they do have internet access and an office etc. You had to get down and walk! They've done their best to play up the natural beauty of the place and not take away from it at all. Walking the next morning to the river, Mini-Him was captivated by showy birds so completely unafraid and not bothered. The river just danced along. They actually have these little gazebos everywhere so you could just sit and drink it all in.

River behind the Boquete Garden Inn
Little areas with botanical names, bird species detailed


















That morning some of us went white water rafting(The folks at the Inn arranged it all with breakfast- you'll need it for the rafting!). Chiriqui has 150 inches of rainfall annually and with it's topography, you have some awe inspiring scenery. Perfect for the rafting. We were going on a mild-sounding grade 3 rapid that surprised us. The rain swollen river was rather unpredictable and while there were no sheer drops, the raft was on a wild and unpredictable merry-go-round. We had excellent guides and instructors. Of course, I was the first to fall out! Managed to grab on to the safety rope as instructed and I went right under the boat. For a moment, I remember thinking that the water was just the right temperature and so pretty and sweet tasting! Lol! The air in Boquete will revitalize you completely. So completely untainted that you feel every cell clamoring to be overcome. The rafting area is about an hour away from the lodging with a pre-arranged bus that transports you to and back. My biggest regret is not taking pictures when we went rafting :-( Couldn't let go of the oars long enough. I'm not kidding when I say that it was action packed!

Inside Paradise Gardens
Him and Mini-Him didn't come along. Mini-Him is still too...well...mini for adventure. Him had a disdain for the grade 3 announcing that he'd been on the mother of all rapids. This seemed unexciting I suppose! Anyway, they had a blast at the Paradise Gardens. A home for rescued animals. The owner herself took Mini-Him along to show him the birds, bears and miscellaneous beauties that had a loving home there. Him raved about the private gardens that they visited. Didn't figure him to be a "gardeny" type. But here he was, smelling the flowers. Literally.



In the Paradise Gardens

Mis Jardin es su Jardin


Links to help - http://www.boquetegardeninn.com
                       http://boqueteoutdooradventures.com/boquete-hotels-and-hostals

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