Monday, January 5, 2015

Summertime In Panama......A Pool In The Road?

It's summertime in Panama when the days are hot as usual, but there's no rain for the next four months.  Unless watered, the pretty flowers, shrubs, grass and other green vegetation turn to brown and dry up. Every weekend the locals that live in the city head to the interior of the country to spend time at their weekend homes near the beaches.  For those of us that live near the beaches that means heavy traffic on the highway all weekend long. 

Summertime means the stores are stocked up on coolers, tents, pools, straw hats, beach towels, bathing suits, beer and other necessities. Panamanians tend to paint the outside of their homes with the absence of rain. Store employees can be seen wearing straw hats with visions of beach filled days coming soon on the weekend.

Yesterday we made a fast 30 or so minute drive to the mall at Costa Verde to visit The Do It Center.  Similar to stores like The Home Depot in the US, The Do It Center is a home improvement type of store common to Panama. The ice maker on our fridge went out recently and despite Clyde's trying to repair it, it's still not working. Clyde figured it was time to buy a new one and instead of ordering one from the US we thought we'd first look locally.  A friend mentioned that her husband tried to order one from this store so we thought we'd follow suit and do the same. Unfortunately the girl in the appliance department said they didn't have any and couldn't order one either. But she did give us the name, address and phone number of a Frigidaire dealer in Panama City that she said could help us.

Do It Center At Costa Verde Mall

On our way back home we drove off the highway into a huge development of houses called Montelimar.  We drove through the maze of small cement homes lined up on each street.  All were unique in their own way yet similar also.   Situated on small lots these belong to more of the middle class Panamanians that have decent jobs in Panama City but don't want to live in the chaos that is city life. As we turned down one street and followed it to the end an above ground, round blue swimming pool sat half way out into the street.  We laughed as we thought of the innovative parent that set this thing up obviously trying to entertain kids on the weekends with no where else to put it.  Clyde managed to drive around the pool and turn around at the end of the dead end street as we made our way out.  I wanted to get a photo but Clyde pulled out the memory card from our camera and forgot to put it back, so no snap shots of that one for this blog today.

Montilimar.....A Large Housing Development
A Typical House in Development
Last night after Clyde (not me) was working on a sewing project (more of this in another blog) we decided to head out for a quick dinner.  But since this IS summertime or the dry season the roads were bumper to bumper with weekend travelers headed back to their homes in Panama City. So creative Clyde decided to head out of Chame on the back roads so we avoided making a U-turn onto the crowded side of the highway. We ended up at El Pampero, a hangout for locals that's known for it's "chorizo" or sausage, and rolls. For $1.50 each Clyde dined on two different types of chorizo in a bun, each topped with a special sauce.  I choose a chicken filet accompanied by fried yucca which looked like fries but is thicker and denser.  My meal was $6.75 and so large that I brought some home for today's lunch.  This restaurant is so close to our house that we really could have walked but instead we made the quick five minute drive there and back.

El Pampero Restaurant.......They Recently Remodeled
So It Now Looks Different
What Are These Pigs Doing?
The Long White Thing Is A Thermometer 
   We Think.......But It Looks Like Something Else.....

Portable, blue, above ground pools pop up almost everywhere as locals prepare for the dry days of summer. It's odd to see tiny, run-down, unpainted cement homes that might not have electric or indoor bathrooms manage to invest a few hundred dollars in a temporary swimming pool.  Guess that shows us what's important to Panamanians.  Spending time with large extended families over some good food, a dip in the pool and of course some adult beverages. 

As for Clyde summer in Panama means taking it easy from weekly mowing of the yard and trimming of the shrubs.  Often people ask us, "why don't you water your yard?"  Clyde's response to this is, "it's the cycle of plant life here.  It dies off then regrows once the rains begin again. And besides it gives me a break." For me it might mean a little more time out in the sun at a pool or beach.  The trade winds change direction and provide a refreshing but sometimes annoying bunch of wind gusts. 

Clyde is out today doing some handy man jobs again for extra money.  I ventured out by myself with our two Dobermans, something I'd never tried before.  While we do try to walk our dogs on most days I'd never attempted to walk two 65 pound Doberman's on my own. I merely needed to maintain the pack leader mentality and the walk actually went well.  After that I enjoyed some time in our home gym lifting weights, something I enjoy more than cardio.  I love to feel the sensation of my muscles waking up as my whole body comes alive with strength.

No Explanation Needed!

Hard to believe it's snowing with freezing cold temperatures in other parts of the world.  Here it's 90 degrees and breezy, blue skies and sun shining over us.  In other words it's just another day in paradise here in Panama.......along the gringo trail.


  1. I think I saw that pool from the hiway one day driving by... Hard to believe it winter somewhere!!!!

  2. The neighbor across the street from us has a pool in his yard, and he has teenage relatives that come to visit and you can hear the splashing away until late at night!


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