Thursday, November 5, 2009

Why Panamá?

Sunrise in Puerto Lindo, Panamá

I am always on the lookout for ways to sustain my wanderlust. A few months back, I received an email from a lodge owner who found my ad on the ecotropical resort site, and we began to communicate. She owns a house with two guest rooms in Panamá, on the Caribbean Coast. Click for Panama Adventures. Annie bought her tropical getaway five years ago.

Her property is located in the Portobelo National EcoParque, where both rainforest and marine life are protected. Annie lives on the banks of a river and a short walk from the fishing village of Puerto Lindo, population 300. It is truly tropical rainforest with five species of monkeys, over 900 species of birds, including toucans, parrots, and quetzals. There is an interesting array of animal species due to Panamá´s unique location between North and South America. Its rich history is evidenced by the remains of forts and cannons, churches and cultural traditions. The coast from Portobelo to beyond Puerto Lindo is famous for its protected bays and inlets, used by boaters since pirate times. Some of the visible history dates to the early 1500's. Today the bays are dotted with pricey yachts flying flags of many countries. The area is a jumping off point for hitchhiking sailors bound for South America. Panamá's north coast is a beautiful and interesting little corner of the world, and although it has a long wet rainy season, it is not in hurricane alley.

Annie has been alternately working in the States and on her property every few months to reach her goal of opening a guest house and setting up snorkeling, kayaking and fishing excursions. She thought she was ready to open this year, on her autumn visit. We talked about me going to "resort sit", once she opened for business and then had to go back to her US job to earn more money for continued improvements. She would like to build palapas and acquire more water sports equipment. One of the tricks of operating a guest lodge in the tropics is that once you open those doors and take the first reservation, set up online services with tour operators, etc., those doors need to remain open. It's smart for Annie to line someone up to stay there, continue to check the bookings, and receive the guests who have made reservations for periods during her absence.

Pablo and I had an attack of wanderlust and had Panamá on the brain, since we didn't make it that far on our previous Central American excursion. It seemed like serendipity that Annie would contact me out of the blue. I wanted to go there on a scouting mission and meet Annie, see the area, and see if it would be feasible to plan for three month stays. She invited us to come as her guests and check it out. And so we did.

1 comment:

Linda Dorton said...

I was going to say that this is part one of the Panama series. I was also going to upload some photos but somehow I hit the PUBLISH instead of the SAVE button. I guess I got tired of writing and rewriting these particular paragraphs.