Monday, March 23, 2009

Solo travel in El Valle, Panama

Ian and his friends left El Valle on Friday for the western part of Panama. I moved into a room for one and spent the next 4 days on my own, and had a lot of fun. I wasn't sure if I would like solo travel, but I met some very friendly travelers, learned a lot and found I was more self sufficient than I thought. Panama isn't my favorite country, I found the local people in Ecuador to be much friendlier.  El Valle is the cool mountain escape for the wealthy in Panama City, many lovely homes throughout the town with beautiful landscaping. The downside for me was the constant gale force winds that wouldn't quit. I was told it is very windy here during their summer: January to April or May. Then the rains start. I never heard a mention of the wind in El Valle from my research, but you can't escape it, it's constant, strong and loud.

A very nice couple I met from the Netherlands, Ivo and Marga. They are world travelers as they both work for KLM. I met up with them again back in Panama City at the Hostal Amador.

One of the beautiful homes in El Valle.

View of the main street in El Valle, Avenida Central. My hotel on the left.

Another hostal I checked out that had lovely open outdoor common areas. Posada Los Aramos. I would have liked to stay there but there was no internet connection...

Another very nice couple I spent time with, we had dinner and lunch together and walked to the square trees. Malcolm and Laurie are from British Columbia and travel for 3 months every year to a new place, and have for 10 years or so. Very inspiring listening to their stories.

Avenida Central from my balcony.

My room at Residencial El Valle, very nice high count sheets, high level of clean, wifi in the room: all for only $45/nt for one person.

The town is nestled in an extinct volcano valley and surrounded by mountains.

This is as good as it gets for a supermarket, they were very bare bones and dark inside.

The Ponderosa, one of many very big homes.

I'm not sure where the green comes from, fast moving leprechauns? Phosphorescence? 

Fastidious care is taken of the lawns and gardens, burning is the way they manage the excess brush.

I just liked the way the spikes looked on this metal wire.

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