My project to finish the little casita on our property in Boca Chica got off to a rough start: I fell down the hill and cracked my ribs. Stupid me. Jorge, the 21-year old helping us, had already fallen going down the hill, but I thought I knew better. Not so! Guess I need to start acting my age. So we lose a couple of days. It only hurts when I laugh, sneeze, or turn in bed.
It’s taken a while but Boca Chica is starting to get “on the map” as a Pacific resort area. There have always been fishing lodges like my neighbor Bruce’s Gone Fishing Panama. Just off shore is the huge Chiriqui Marine Sanctuary with an abundance of giant fish, dolphins, whales and even whale sharks. Palenque Island which is being developed as an upscale resort community. A week here for a couple during the “green season” (i.e. rainy season) runs from $3000 to $4200 in an ocean suite. A more affordable new resort is Bocas del Mar just across the water from us where rooms go from $139 to $200 during the “green season”. And, by the way, the “green season” or rainy season is my favorite time in Panama! First everything is lush green. It generally will rain, sometimes hard, sometime in the late afternoon, but usually the mornings are bright, blue and sunny with clouds building up after lunch and a thunder storm in late afternoon, just about the time you are ready to curl up with a book and my newly discovered “Panama Red” rum.
Not exactlyESCAPE TO PARADISE but a movie entitled “Paradise Lost” will be shot in Chiriqui starting next week.
“Paradise Lost”, a romance-thriller involving the niece of late Colombian drug kingpin Pablo Escobar, to be played by Puerto Rican actor Benicio del Toro . . .The source refused to give details about when the shooting would begin or at what precise locations, saying the production company has asked for “maximum discretion”.
But media outlets said some technical staff had begun arriving in Panama, while Del Toro, 46, will be in the Central American country next week when filming starts in the western province of Chiriqui, which borders Costa Rica, and Cerro Azul, a mountainous area outside Panama City.
The film will be the directorial debut of Italy’s Andrea Di Stefano, who also wrote the screenplay. As an actor, Di Stefano has appeared in more than a score of TV productions and movies, including Taiwanese-American filmmaker Ang Lee’s “Life of Pi”.
“Paradise Lost” tells of the romance that develops between Pablo Escobar’s niece, Mary, and a surfer named Nick (Josh Hutcherson), who falls in love with the young woman during a trip to Colombia.
Hunting For Scorpions
Our friend and neighbor, and renter of our casita, Shaun, has officially become Panamanian – all in less than 2 months! They’ve bought a house, a car, opened a bank account, and their container is even already here and sitting at Chiriqui storage awaiting the move in date for their new home. Does all that make you officially “Panamanian”? No! But the other day, on his birthday no less, Shaun dutifully shook out his slippers before putting them on, but never-the-less there was a scorpion inside! A big sucker! So now having been bit by a scorpion, even although he hadn’t managed the appropriate swear words in Spanish, Shaun is officially Panamanian!
James send me the picture of the black light flashlight. James has been here checking out Panama on several Panama Relocation Tours and he is now packing up his container for the move. Wisely, he ordered the black light flashlight from Amazon so he could go “scorpion hunting” when he gets here. Like tee-shirts washed in Tide, in the black light the scorpions show up a brilliant white!
Speaking of the Panama Relocation Tour . . .
How do you think James knew to pack a black light flashlight? I doubt if that practical fact is mentioned on the pricey real estate relocation tours that are pitched by companies whose business is getting folks to Panama and where the presenters generally pay to participate.
The Panama Relocation Tours are boots on the ground tours where nobody is selling anything. You just get to see, and experience what life is really like in Panama in many of the areas expats like to call home. Of the recent tour, 1/3 of the group, three couples, are escaping to paradise. One couple to Volcan, another to Valle Escondido in Boquete, and a third planning to come down and rent and explore further. My connection? My book ESCAPE TO PARADISE: LIVING & RETIRING IN PANAMA is the textbook and required reading for tour participants. And whenever we are in Panama we always have everyone over to our house for wine and cheese.