Bye, Bye, Boquete

Wow, I’ve been falling behind quite a bit lately. Had a few odd days in Boquete, tons of rain and a bit of difficulty sleeping with signs of irritability in the mix. The little unit we rented developed a roof leak in the kitchen and the floors were all wet. We would get out early though and choose a direction to head off and roam the rain forested hills before the downpours arrived by noon or so.

PJ found a by road that wound around the curving hillside above us that went into Jaramillo. We walked through the town, what little there is of it, then did a big circle back down into Boquete by the bridge with the children’s garden. It started to rain so we popped into the colorful restaurant on the corner. PJ declined their menu options so I dined alone on some chicken and rice while she took pictures on the bridge.

Our one big outing was a hike to two of the three waterfalls out by Bajo Mono. We parked at a trailhead by the river and crossed a little suspension bridge to get across the water. It was a steep uphill path for a while to get us to the ranch where you pay at a booth to hike into the falls.

The ground was muddy from the recent rains but we were able to mostly avoid it by walking over rocks or grassy areas. The trail rose and dropped, going through little tunnels of trees and along narrow ledges that fell away to the valley below. We bypassed the first falls to see the 2nd one first before catching Falls #1 on the way back.

Beautiful awesome rain forest. The falls were misting all over us and PJ lithely climbed over a fallen tree and went up to the pool while I took pictures of the falls and the valley. As we were turning back, I realized that I had lost my glasses somewhere along the trail. We searched the area to no avail. We started back out slowly scanning the trail to see if we could find them on the hike out. The rain was beginning to fall and the trail was getting slick

When we reached the fork that led to falls #1, I told PJ to go ahead and take the loop to see the falls while I retraced the main trail continuing the hunt for my spectacles. I walked slowly until I reached the fork where the falls#1 loop rejoined the main path. I waited and waited but no PJ. The rain had picked up and it was a steady downpour. I became concerned then ran down the slippery, muddy trail to the falls. No sign of PJ. I saw the cliff face at the overlook and hollered down into the valley. No answer.

I ran back up the back of the loop and continued back towards the entry hut. What if she had taken a dive off of the bluff? I hurried back slopping through the mud, no longer worried about picking the cleanest path to avoid the quickly deepening mire. I figured the worker in the hut could take one direction on the trail while I did the other loop and we would find her in the middle if she was looping back behind where I’d already searched.

He said she had already passed by a while back. So no longer fretting, I chased her down the long hill and caught up with her near the hanging bridge by the car. A wet, muddy adventure but all’s well in the end. Except that I had no glasses. I’ve got a back up pair that will do until we get home to Costa Rica and replace the ones I lost.

Boquete is nice, but it’s time to get back to the beach. We spent our final rainy evening baking fish in the damp kitchen and packing things up for the next day’s trek down to the area of Pedasi in Panama’s far south.