From Las Tablas to Bucaro

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Each week on Wednesdays or Thursdays, which ever day Nellie, our housekeeper comes, Mikkel and I have decided to go out for the day so not to be under foot with Nellie. As she moves around the house cleaning inside and outside, it’s best we are not there having to move around her. Sometimes we go to Las Tablas or Chitre to shop; sometimes we go to the beach; sometimes we go on a day trip.

Today was no exception and we decided we would drive down to Tonosí and Bucaro, towns south of Pedasí, where we have never been before. Our friend Tim told us of a road from Las Tablas that goes to Tonosí, and since we needed to stop at MailBox Etc. for mail, we chose to go north and then west and south instead first and then come back by way of the more-direct road to Pedasí; that is driving in a big triangle.

We found the road from Las Tablas was well-paved with painted lines and even center bumps. It wound around the countryside and up over hills, some with very steep inclines and several small towns along the way. At the top of one hill before descending back down into the lowlands, we could view the ocean to the east and more hills to the west. We continued to Tonosí, a somewhat larger typical pueblo, and then onto Bucaro, located at the south end of Isla de Cañas. Many of the homes in this area are built with wood planks instead of concrete blocks. Playa Bucaro is lined with these homes right up to the edge with a few areas that allow public access. At almost the end of the paved road, we parked at one of these accesses and spent a couple of hours wading in the water. Of course, Bella enjoyed her chance to run and jump into the small waves and roll around in the sand.

“Commercial” – While taking pictures with my iPhone at Bucaro, I accidentally dropped the phone in the water close to shore. For a short moment, I was unable to locate it due to the black sand that swiftly was washed over it by the waves. And during that moment, I thought I lost it for good. Finally I spotted the bright blue cover about 3 feet away in the shallow water when it resided back. As I grabbed it quickly so as not to lose site of it again, I thought that I might have to bury it in rice and hope for the best that it would still work. Then realizing that before I came to Panama, an employee at the electronics store chain, Best Buy, where I once worked part-time, talked me into purchasing a “Lifeproof” cover for my iPhone 5, claiming it was waterproof and shockproof, protecting it from humidity and breakage. So I pushed the button to turn it on and “wa-la”, the camera worked, the phone worked, all the apps worked. It may have been a little more expensive for the cover, but I am glad I invested in it. The proof are in the pictures on this posting.

Anyway, after having an enjoyable time at the beach, we returned by way of Tonosí and then Carretera Nacional which took us along the coast back to Pedasí. The road, surprisingly, is nowhere as nice as the one we took from Las Tablas; mostly unpaved and full of potholes between El Cacao, just outside of Tonosí, and Cañas, before Playa Venao. We took a short drive off the highway (on a paved road) to Isla de Cañas, only to find that it end at the waterfront where those who live on the isle take a boat through the narrow shallow water pathways. We continued then to Cañas, and exployed the little fishing town that borders Rio de Cañas, and ends at a natural lagoon and marina formed by an isthmus. Isla de Cañas is known for the where the wild sea turtles come to lay their eggs at night, mostly between May and October. It is a protected area surrounded by a large mangrove. Watermelon, coconuts, and bananas are plentiful.

So we returned to a very clean home with another fun and interesting road trip under our belt. Nelly, our housekeeper, was almost finished, after a full day of dusting, sweeping, mopping, washing windows and screens, and raking the garden. She is such a God-send. Bella jumped out of the car and plopped down on the clean tile to rest for the remainder of the evening. Mikkel and I ate dinner a little early that night since all we ate were snacks we brought along in the car. We had enjoyed the trip so much, we did not stop at any restaurant to eat lunch. Wherever I have gone, be it the U.S, Canada, Ireland, Kenya, and now Panama, God has created a beautiful world for us to enjoy. There is so much to explore in this country still, even in the simplest of things, and I am grateful we have the opportunity to do just that in our “Third Life”.

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Check out the Tree at the Top of the Hill

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Picking up Milk from the Farms along the Road

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Ocean View at the Top

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Down to Tonosí

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Herding Cows Down the Road

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Bucaro

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Back Through Tonosí

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End of the Road to Isla de Cañas

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Town of Cañas

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Road Ends at Marina & Lagoon

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