Some of you know, Nancy (my wife; mi esposa) and I are spending a couple of weeks down in Panama. What will surprise the florists even more is....we are staying in a town called Boquete. (pronounced Bo Ket EH). Which I think must mean Boquet in English. But honestly, I am not sure how to spell boquet in any language - but I think you know what I mean - a bouquet is a pretty arrangement of various flowers.
Well anyway, lets spend a minute or two talking about beautiful Boquete, Panama. There are approximately 12,000 souls in Boquete, only about 1,000 of the souls are Americans. I think this may be a good thing. The pace of life is very slow here, almost nothing happens on time. This really fits my personality to a TEE! The temperature here doesn't vary much on a year round basis; by and large it will be between 65 - 80 degrees Farenheit daily. The temperature is pretty much constant because 1. Boquete is very close to the equator and 2. Boquete is high in the mountains along the continental divide here in Panama. Essentially, it is spring time all year round.
Here they grow what is arguably the world's finest coffee. There is a farm here (finca in spanish) that raises a variety of coffee bean called Geisha. This coffee was rated number 1 in the world for flavor a couple of years ago; it sells in some elite coffee shops for $18 US per cup; or you can buy a pound to take home for around $400. Suffice it to say that the coffee here is extraordinary and the best I have ever...or probably will ever have. If you would like to order some great coffee fresh from the hills of Panama, this is a place I can recommend highly: http://www.fincalerida.com/
Those are Finca Lerida beans growing on the right. Click to enlarge. I have met the owner and can testify to this fine coffee's taste and to John Collins' dedication to making the highest quality, environmentally friendly coffee in the World! Cheers John, or as we say down here Salud!
The flowers here are absolutely amazing. Corn Plants, which I have been wanting for my office grow wild here on the side of the road; so do bird of paradise plants and these other things that are called Heliconica, according to my sister.
If that's not enough for you get a look at these Callas......no they are not at a flower shop...they are at the local Texaco Gas Station, along with these pretty red things that Nancy is holding in the picture.
The orchids are from a not-for-profit animal shelter and they were taller than me. And there were lots of them, I tried to just focus on one - because the wind was blowing and I was getting blurry pictures; but hey...this is the best I could do.
On the fruit and vegitable side of things - Banana's seem to fall out of the sky - I think you can buy 10 bananas for about 25 cents. Coconuts are about the same. Worse yet, there are so many orange trees and oranges here - that I would bet that most of them are never eaten.....they just fall off the trees and lay there.
The only problem I can find with Boquete is that Gringos have come in and driven up the prices of land and homes. Right now an acre of land here would set you back as much as $50,000. Again, this is due to ignorant speculation, and will most likely change soon. But you can almost see how it could happen; a lot of the Gringos say that this is the Aspen Colorado of Panama. I don't believe that for a second, Aspen isn't near as nice. This is the Garden of Eden, before Adam and Eve got the boot. Check the picture to the right, this is the first place, I was ever able to find a fig leaf big enough to work for me. Yoiu can click in this picture to enlarge...but it mostly enlarges the fig leaf.
Buena Vida y All the best.