Sunday, December 5, 2010

Coronado, Panama

Daryll writes:

“Pura Vida” is the unofficial motto of Costa Rica and the Tico’s use it to describe their lifestyle and way of life.  However, after just a few days in Panama, the term “pure life” or “just life” seems to better describe the lifestyle in Panama more aptly than it does Costa Rica based on our experiences.

Our next destination was to be Coronado, a coastal town about 90mins before Panama City.  Our aim was to get on the road early and arrive at our destination before being soaked by the afternoon deluge that we had witnessed for the past few days.  The Pan-American Highway from David to Coronado was something that you would find in North America, a smooth, double lane highway for most of the way.  There was only one stretch with bad potholes and it happened to be the section of road that was done in concrete as compared to asphalt.  What stood out was the number of police officers with radar guns that we noticed immediately after a reduction in speed sign posting  They were not targeting foreigners in particular and were stopping all drivers that were over the speed limit in that section.  Whether a ticket was involved, I’m not sure, but it was a good sign nonetheless.  It was a long riding day.  We did a total of 383km, our second longest riding day since leaving home.  The sun was out for most of the morning and we were just thankful that it did not rain on us.  It was the first day in over a week that it hadn’t rained whilst riding.  It was a good day.

A friend of mine from Vancouver (Meaghan) had offered us her family vacation home to stay at in Coronado.  Her step-brother (Jeff) and his girlfriend (Tania) had decided to move to Panama for a year and graciously hosted us at their family home. It was an unbelievable experience spending the last few days with them and hearing about their past travel experience, their decision to come to Panama and their future travel plans.  They are both an amazing couple that pretty much know what they want and are getting out there and living their dream.  Jeff used to be a chef in Toronto and has turned to his other passion of writing and is now a screen-writer, author and director.  He has worked on a couple of music videos and made a western movie that was released on DVD.  He also bought a Suzuki GN125 as a little run-about bike while in Panama and wants to do a trip across eastern Canada.  So we spent a lot of time talking about bikes and going over his bike.  Tania is also an artist and is an interior designer and writer and writes for several online publications.  We had an amazing few days with them and cannot thank them enough for their generosity and hospitality.  Thanks Meg for hooking us up.

It's tough at times

Tania & Jeff
One afternoon, we decided to take a walk along the beach to take in the coastline and admire some of the million-dollar homes on the beach.  The homes were breath-taking with an un-obstructed view of the ocean.  There were however, some abandoned homes along the coast which I found surprising.  There is a law in Panama, that makes the squatter on property after a certain length of time the legal owner of the property.  Sweet!  I am going to set up my tent here. 

Tania & Angela checking out possible tent spots
I later found out that it was just for the locals and does not include foreigners.  We are off to Panama City tomorrow, our last capital city of Central America for a few days before we go sailing.

Coronado coastline

New photos added to the Panama photo album.
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  1. Greg writes..Very nice write up as usual. why did you and Ang not meet us for a beer? .. we waited for you here in Playa .LOL. Enjoy your next adventure! ride safe .. Greg and Jill

  2. It was an absolute pleasure hosting you guys! Your journey is inspiring. We were rather sad to see you leave (but have a kick ass picture of you both driving up the road while Angela waves back at us)

    Ride safe....

  3. Jeff,
    Hope we can ride together one day.
    Thank you so much.

  4. Greg,
    Damn, I was never good with directions. Thought we were headed north, but ended up in the south.

  5. Awww thank you guys for the kind words, it was so great to hang out with you, the house feels so empty now. We were maybe going to try to get the city soon but likely not until Monday, and you'll already be on your way to bigger and better things by then. Enjoy the city, hope your ride was safe and sunny.
    Keep in touch :)

  6. Thank you Jeff, Tania, BB and 407 so much for having us! We thoroughly enjoyed your stories and company for the past few days and it was with a heavy heart that we rode out of Coronado.

    Wish you so much happiness in Panama for the following year. Your energy (as well as fabulous cooking Jeff) "feeds" us.


  7. So does that mean that if one were to move there then the squatters rule would apply or must you be a native? (Always Dreamin)

  8. Rule only applies to Panamians.