Saturday, June 21, 2008

Alanje or Bust

After my morning bird walk where I took these photos and a mid day (because the tide was low) beach walk, I couldn't resist a bike ride to Alanje.
Ajanje is the closest town and 7 miles away. My proper address is Las Brisas Del Mar #101, Alanje, Chiriqui Province, Republic of Panama. I had a delightful ride (especially after changing out my narrow, hard seat for a wide, cushy one). All around me was the sound of parrots (Brown-throated Parakeets, Orange-chinned Parakeets & Mealy Amazons). If I wasn't hearing parrots, I was hearing lively Latin music... especially as I neared the bars of Alanje. I crossed a river (Rio Chico) right before I got to town & noticed they mine the rivers for gravel just like we do in the USA. I passed many others on bicycles (the main form of transportation in Panama since only 25% of the people own cars) and people walking. Everyone said Hi, Hola or Buenas Tardes. I saw another White-tailed Kite (yes, I bicycle with small binoculars around my neck stuffed into a shirt pocket) and got to observe it hovering (watch out little animals below). As the bird book says, the White-tailed Kite "has a graceful flight with deep wingbeats; often hovers, the body then angeled at about 45 degrees (not horizontal as in kestrel)."

By the way, I did close on the condo... but it was one of the most painful experiences, ever! The bank made me hire a translator (a Boquete Chica friend named Mitzy who did a great job) since I'm not from Panama. Mitzy translated every word (13 page legal-sized document) & there was endless lawyer-eze. It took 3.5 hours & I paid Mitzy $70 (very reasonable fee but it was still painful). With any luck I'll pay the condo off in the next few years.

Tomorrow I'll spend the night in Boquete (with Penny B.) so I won't have to drive back after the June Birthdays (there's 2) dinner. The bonus is that I can take a bird walk up the substantial hill by her house. Just think, in another week I'll be landing in San Francisco, spending the night with long-time friend Paula, then heading on to PDX Sunday (June 29) afternoon. Another adventure! The real adventure will be taking the bus from David to Panama (a 6-hour ride on a modern, overly air-conditioned bus). Wish me luck!!

No comments: