Sunday, March 22, 2009

Panama: El Valle, town in a crater.

View from the 'balcony of hammocks' in our hotel in El Valle.

Thursday, Ian and I took the bus together to El Valle as he was very sick and couldn't go birding with the others that morning. A taxi took us to the Allbrook terminal 5 minutes away from our Hostal Amador, and a very impressive terminal it was! Well organized, spacious and teeming with people. Easy to catch our bus to El Valle, 3 hours for $3.50 each.

When we arrived in El Valle Andrew and Ethan were waiting for us in hammocks with wifi connections going strong.  Residencial El Valle was my home for the next 3 nights, and very comfortable.  $55 night for 2 people, no breakfast but lots of free wifi and great common areas.
The birders, all 3 of them, left the next day for the Volcan area of Panama, about 6 hours west.

The bus was so packed the last hour of our drive that the conductor and a friend of his hung out the door as we speeded along. I don't think this is legal in America :-)

We had seats but I was a bit jostled by people going by in the aisle.  So I took a photo of one as they went by, a baby.  The red area is the upholstery in the bus.

Our bus, new and modern. 

Some hammock time.

A catholic procession in town, more hoopla later that night as well. March 19th is big party day in El Valle.

Andrew enjoying the hammocks.


The large common area at Residencial El Valle.

View of the hotel from the street.

Lunch downstairs, good food and so nice to eat outside.

Another view of the balcony of hammocks. It turned out to be a very good place to meet people, I met 2 different couples there, had a few beers, very comfortable.

Laptop in hammock.

Down a side street with Ethan in the evening, lovely.

Special candied apples for the holy day...

Everyone in town was out on the streets.

These last 4 photos are back at the canal in Panama City... 

The 3 birders stayed the night at Hostal Amador and we went to dinner at the Balboa Yacht Club.  Snazzy car rental, Toyoto Yaris, plenty big.

Deep contemplation on what to have for dinner.

The outdoor kitchen at the Hostal Amador, our free breakfast was served here and we had full use of the kitchen during our stay. I would love to have an all year round outdoor kitchen!

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