A few weeks ago after I had just finished 2.5 months off on the ship, and had come back home to Boquete, one morning Nikki & I went into town [“downtown” Boquete is about 10 minutes from our house] and on the spur-of-the-moment decided to do “The Loop.” The Loop is the road out of Boquete, up past Ruiz Coffee and Mi Jardin es Su Jardin, turning at Los Naranjos, up past Arco Iris and then down past La Feria and back downtown. In our retirement we have created a lot of work, Nikki running a coffee farm and in many community activities, me, in writing, lecturing, and working on ships. So “The Loop” is our escape route, a drive to renew our spirits and realize how beautiful Boquete is and why we came here.
With a spontaneity that’s sometimes gotten lost in a rush of our own making, we decided to forget “the list” and turn off the main highway and explore, something we used to do a lot more of when we came to Panama. And we headed up the road to Boquete’s famous Tree Trek. I had never actually been there choosing to do my zip line adventures in Costa Rica when I was on the ship, compliments of Shore Ex. Nikki and Rebecca did the Tree Trek zip line years ago when it first opened. What we discovered was a spectacular little mountain resort with cabins, an excellent restaurant with an incredible view, and good food at fair prices.
The other day, to celebrate Nikki’s “special day” … she doesn’t do birthdays anymore … we drove up to Tree Trek for lunch. It was a spectacular morning in Boquete while much of North America was battling snow and cold. Tree Trek is a like finding yourself transported to somewhere in the Alps or Vail Mountain in summer.
We ate on the patio looking out to Volcan Baru, the highest mountain in Panama, and the mountain on whose slopes we live. I ordered a delightful Spaghetti Alfredo which I had before at Tree Trek and loved. Cooked to perfection, not mushy like most Panamanian restaurants serve up, and Nikki had a steak smothered in mushrooms and an excellent wine sauce. I had a glass of a good white wine and Nikki had cappuccino. With our pensionado discount, ITBS tax and a good tip for our delightful English-speaking server, Priscilla, $25. Priscilla got the very simple recipe for the dressing which Nikki loved. The service and food were excellent. Unlike most Panamanian restaurants the cutlery was served wrapped in a real cloth napkin! (Usually it is wrapped in a tiny, flimsy paper napkin which is also expected to serve as your “dinner” napkin.)