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Toddler travels: Boquete, camping, mountain hike



More travels with a toddler!

Just a couple months after settling into our new home, November 2014, and peaceful stress free environment, we did some exploring!

Traveling by bus with a toddler can be quite the adventure!…to say the least!

Well traveling by 5 buses from 7 am til 5pm, most with no AC and one of them a school bus, well, things can get quite interesting!

From our home to the first bus was an easy enough walk, cool morning breeze, ok all is well. Second to third bus was ok as well, no AC wasn’t too uncomfortable and it was a short ride. Third to fourth bus was quite the ride! At least it had AC, but then we hit traffic and Jas had to peeee! Thankfully, the traffic was so slow Rudy was able to hop off with her, help her pop a squat and jump back on a short distance away…Panamanians can be quite understanding when it comes to children, yay!

The last bus was the school bus…there were more foreigners on this one than the others, meaning we were close to our destination.

Boquete is quite the foreigner/expat haven. Definitely a change of pace from our new beach life. Up in the mountains, fresh pine breeze and the sound of a stream close by, joined in by english speakers, American, Australian and maybe a couple here and there I can’t even recognize.

The town center was a nice walk, lots of little shops, hostels, adventure tours, and restaurants. At this point we weren’t missing out on those types of joints yet. I was mostly missing rock climbing and motivated for adventure.

But first….rest!

Our trip really wore us out and our hostel was a little piece of heaven. Refugio del Rio was a cute little hostel right by the river, offering shared rooms, private, a tree house room, and tents! Well the tents suited us just fine for $15 a night and Jas loved her new place. The sound of the river was definitely a highlight, we even got to jump in! The cool air was refreshing after being in Miami and our new beach home…too much heat and rain!
The hostel had a sweet little family area with a guitar, a red out-of-tune piano, other fun instruments. Rudy and Jas had a fun time playing some tunes and playing around in there some evenings. We bought panela and enjoyed aguapanela to keep warm (you Colombians will know about that!) a community kitchen in the hostel helped us stay frugal on our trip, we bought groceries and prepared our own meals. A couple nights we did enjoy eating out for a change. But 10 days can become a bit pricey.

One night we even stayed in the tree house room of our hostel. It was right next to the river, closer than our tents were, the room was so simple yet luxurious. We had our own shower and could walk around the room–a tent can feel a bit tight after a while.

The highlights of our trip were rock climbing, hiking, and hot springs!

So the hot springs took a bus to get to, wasn’t too bad though we almost missed the bus back, it was a little ways between the stop and our destination, can be quite the hike with a tired toddler. It cost $3 to enter the area. It was totally in nature, no man made pools like some hot springs we’d been to in Colombia. There were 3 pools surrounded by stone which were all quite warm, though they did tell us which we could go in with Jas. The best were the ones in the river!

Right in the river were a couple pools surrounded by stone, no different than the cold pools of water created by the natural stream…Only of course, it was hot water! It was great, you could just move a stone and let the cool water mix in with the warm sit and enjoy. Or dip into the cool and rest in the warm water. We went when the sun was still warming is, the cool air had t kicked in yet, so the cold water was still welcome. Then we rested and snacked before our journey back to the bus stop.

Hiking….oh man what a disappointment, oh no! It was our fault I suppose for not asking properly. There was a misunderstanding in how far a hike was to the nearest waterfalls, and which waterfalls we could actually dip in. Mind you, we have to ask such questions when hiking with a toddler, walking for an hour to get to one waterfall is not cool. Having to hike almost 2 hours to get to the waterfall we can actually dip into….not ok! So this part of our trip was rather blah indeed.

Thankful the day didn’t end at horrible waterfall hike experience! After a long walk along a quiet road in hopes a taxi would pass soon, we came across a waterfall! At this point even a small cascade on the side of the road was beautiful to us! And plenty of taxis. A little ways down we decided to ask our cabbie where’s a good place to eat, he abruptly stopped the car and told us that right here was the best….an argentinean steakhouse! And indeed our meal there showed the day can always get better.

Rock climbing definitely made our trip memorable. Boquete was one of our first choices to explore because of the natural climbing options. In Miami I had only the opportunity to climb indoors and really loved it. Thanks to my sister/friend who got me hooked!
All in all the trip was enjoyable and created everlasting memories for the whole family, while staying frugal too! We thank the Most High for keeping us safe and allowing this time of joy in our lives. Glad we can share our experiences with you!


Teaching Jobs Overseas / Joyjobs.com This the affiliate link to the website who got us this great opportunity that launched our journey into teaching abroad! 

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