just another day in the life of a retired expat in Panama….
One of my longer bike routes takes me northwest of David through the countryside and up into the hills. It is so pretty! The other day I decided to take the camera with me and share a bit of what I see.
This pretty yellow headed caracara was in front of the house. I have seen them a lot in the country but they are unusual in our neighborhood.
There is a big lot down the street which has recently been fenced in. I wasn’t sure why since nothing goes on there, but now there is a bunch of horses enjoying all the tall grass and relaxing under the trees.
As I left our neighborhood, Volcan Baru looked spectacular!
There isn’t a good way to go west along the Pan-American highway so I cross the highway and go southwest through town, and the cross back over at C Sur. This takes me by the neighborhood “La Princesa” (I’d live there just for the name), and then through the town of Aguacatal.
On the way to Aguacatal there is a huge residential neighborhood under construction.
As you go farther, the countryside is so beautiful with green fields (often with cows) and mountains in the distance. It looks like something for a travel magazine.
It is unusual to see snakes but this day I saw two in the road within a few meters of each other. This is a beautiful and harmless Mangrove Cat-eyed snake.
This is a not so harmless little coral snake. “When red touches yellow he’s a bad fellow”
What day would be complete without an interesting bug. This was running around like an ant but was a lot more interesting.
The route takes you across some very pretty rivers. This is actually a bit east of the main route but I love the chair in the water.
The route then goes through San Juan, and continues at pretty much steady climb until it intersects with 425 which comes up from San Pablo. (I know this doesn’t mean much if you aren’t familiar with the area, but if you find a Google map of the area you can find where I am)
The elementary school in San Juan. The kids will usually holler greetings if they are outside.
The route continues to go through beautiful green fields with cows, and green hills.
I like this simple little house with the saddle waiting outside.
I don’t think this little old house is being used, but it sure is picturesque.
Almost to 425 in a beautiful area, but quite far from anything, is this sign.
Just beyond the sign is this new housing area under construction.
When you reach 425 it feels like you have gotten somewhere but actually, the climbing will only increase.
I passed this guy riding his horse. They were just walking along, while I was starting to grind my way uphill. It shows how strong a horse is to not only go up, but do it with a man on his back.
This very basic house is in a pretty spot next to a small river.
I’m getting there! The tops of the hills aren’t as far up as they used to be.
One of a number of places on the route that makes cement blocks.
A turkey vulture (red head) and a black vulture on the fence posts.
After awhile 425 intersects with Ave. Joseph Halphen which not only takes you back to David, but goes mostly downhill.
Yeah, heading downhill! It is surprising how much things change in each area.
Along here there are a lot more food crops. This is yampi, a type of yam (Dioscorea trifida)
There is a lot of yucca in this area.
Some plantains are growing next to someone’s house.
There are still lots of cows too, and sometimes they come to the fence and look at me so I can take some good photos.
Another interesting and picturesque old house.
There are a few of these big trees all around the area covered with bright orange flowers.
It looks like someone has crops on this hill.
Yeah, almost home! I have yet to make it even half way up this hill though. It’s hard enough to do even on foot!
Once I get to the top of the hill, then it’s only a few minutes more to get back home.
Thanks for going riding with me! This is only a small look at the beautiful areas but I hope you enjoyed it.
About Kris Cunningham
We live in David, Chiriqui Provence, Republic of Panama! This blog is about some of our experiences in our new country.
Thanks, it was really enjoyable. Its nice to go virtual traveling from Philly. What made you decide to live in Panama?
My pleasure, glad you enjoyed them.
I wrote about our reasons for moving here on this page https://blog.thepanamaadventure.com/why-panama/ I think this page on the website says about the same things http://thepanamaadventure.com/about
Duh, yeah. Of course you would explain that in the about section, dont know why i did not think of that. My brother and I had played with the idea of buying property in Panama a fee years back. Thanks
LOL No problem.
Panama is a pretty nice place to be. If you haven’t been here check it out if you get a chance.
MORE Great Photos of Life in Panama
Thanks, glad you liked them.
Wow Kris!! These are really outstanding pictures! Well done. Susan and I love to ride our bikes. We did a 50 mile bike ride last Saturday in LA called Tour de Sewer.
Have you thought about writing up a bike tour map? I think you would probably be the first and it would be very informative to other bicycle enthusiasts. Maybe organized bike tours? It would probably be a great business to launch. Maybe we can do a partnership??? Bike Rides in Paradise!
Wow, 50 miles! You are some serious bikers. I’ve done over 30 a couple times and thought that was long.
I don’t know how many other bikers there are around here. I see someone else once in a while. I have heard that there is a group that goes out early on Saturday mornings but they are serious, and fast, and if I managed to get up that early I probably couldn’t keep up with them.
If you want to organize bike tours that would be great! I’m old, retired, lazy.. not into organizing much but I would love to participate. As for a bike tour map, I’m not sure how much call there would be for that. There aren’t that many routes to map around here. The Panamanian bikers are probably familiar with all the good ones and the expats think they are dying of the heat in David.
Really beautiful, Kris! It looks a lot like Puerto Rico, I love it! Thank you for sharing your countryside with everyone 🙂
Really! I have heard that Puerto Rico is very beautiful. Glad you enjoyed the photos 🙂
Thanks for the ride! Lots of interesting sights along your route :). We were wondering how possible it is to keep horses, looks doable: those horses look pretty healthy! Thanks for sharing!
Oh my yes it is possible to keep horses. There are many of them in Panama. In the summer it isn’t unusual to see a few in our residential neighborhood in yards or in some of the lots without houses. Check out the parade they do every year – https://blog.thepanamaadventure.com/2014/04/01/cabalgata-the-parade-of-horses/
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That was an awesome post about the parade!! We’d like to have two horses once we’re done renting and have found a place to call home :). Thanks for the link!!
It was amazing! I couldn’t believe how many horses there were. If you get horses here you can ride in it too!
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Chiriqui is definitely going through a residential building boom. A couple of times in the last month and a half there have been serious accidents on the Interamericana so the busses I ride diverted up into the hills for miles and miles which are necessary because there aren’t many roads that parallel the main highway. It’s awesome how many new communities are out there. And they’re all Panamanians living in them, not expats.
It seems to be going through a boom of all sorts of building, but there are definitely a lot of houses being built. Panamanians must be doing well because they are nice houses too. There are some small starter homes of course, but most of them are fairly big and comfortable looking homes.
Interesting that your buses are going up through the hills, and interesting that they can choose any route they think is best. I wonder what’s up with the highway. We were out yesterday afternoon and the traffic was nuts.