I attach photos to my emails to my mother but she can’t get them to open, so…Here’s a video and some photos, Ma!
I thought I’d cut and paste the list of countries and views that is in my summary page. It always is interesting to see what country a blog visitor is from. I’m not surprised at the US and Canadian number of views but I do scratch my head at some of the total view of some of the other countries. Love the different flags!
I thank the viewers wherever they may be from and hope they enjoyed the blog.
Hi- Kris usually posts our cost of living on her blog and since she is quite busy with all her interests she asked if I would put up a post. “Sure”, I said, and now here it is.
The accounting for September is as follows:
Rent- $385 Fixed, includes trash and water.
Cable/internet was $59.06
Electricity-$31.59 This is probably the last low bill, I bought a split LG air conditioner and had it installed in our bedroom. I remembered the house being pretty intolerable (95 INSIDE!) last summer (December15-April 15) and bit the bullet and bought one on sale for $635 installed. It’s not being used much but will be soon. I also painted our metal roof with white silicone paint (Lanco brand) and that dropped the temperature from 127 to 104.
Food- $288 This is in line with what we paid previously. We make nearly all our meals and only eat out once or twice a month.
Car fuel- $34.35 The Hyundai Atos gets about 35-40mpg and we don’t use it much.
Car yearly inspection/tag- $22 Somehow less than the other car
Miscellaneous food- Beer, alcohol, chips,bacon, etc at PriceSmart- $91
Household- $1441 – Some big ticket items ran this up: $635 for an Air Conditioner, $278 for a gas weed eater, $140 for roof paint, a power washer for $171- and then there were things like wall paint ($65), plastic dresser, paste wax, caulking gun and caulking, etc. It all adds up!
We could have spent less than $1000-Rent, food, electric bill, cable/internet, car gas/tags, liquor/chips/snacks came to $892- I really didn’t HAVE to buy all that other stuff but chose to for comfort, convenience, or because we just wanted to. We find the cost of living to be FAR cheaper than we were paying in Sarasota, Florida where we last lived. We feel like we are eating healthier with all the affordable fresh food that is available.
If you were curious about our cost of living now you know.
This question has many different answers and the most frequent one I’ve heard of lately is 24 hours, from various close friends Holly’s Blog - Cindy who were kept from re-entering Panama recently. Our last experience was of the “in and out the same day” type and quite unlike our friend’s experiences. And now the local forums have threads regarding the issue and what to do.
So what’s the low down, the skinny? I did some internet research and found precious little to go on until I stumbled onto an old and interesting (to me) article from Don Winner at The Panama Guide.
From Don Winner, circa 2011 entitled : The Panama Perpetual Tourist Border Hop Two Step – Separating Fact From Fiction
Snap Quiz (No Cheating…) How long do you have to stay in Costa Rica when you exit the country in order to reset your tourist visa status? Almost everyone is going to say “72 hours” – because that has become standard practice. Most of the people who go across the border stay out of Panama for at least 72 hours. Well, I checked the law – it’s not in there. No where is there any requirement to remain out of Panama for 72 hours. And in addition there is no time period specified at all, be it 72, 48, or 24 hours. This was a complete and total shock to me. I was sure I “knew” this one. Nope, wrong, it’s not there.”…….Panamanian authorities can do whatever they hell they want at practically any time.”
More from the same article….
“Immigration Is Heavy On “Common Practice” I bounced all of this off of Carlos Neuman, a long time friend of mine and an attorney with the Panama Relocation Attorneys. He explained that Immigration is “heavy on common practice.” He explained how they always require some documents when processing Pensionado (retiree) visas, for example, that are not required in the law. He said the 72 hour waiting period in Costa Rica is one of those things have become a “common practice” for immigration border inspectors, and all it would take is for a single inspector to decide that you’re not doing the right thing, and he can refuse entry. So just because something is not specifically in the law, does not mean it won’t come up.
The article was written in 2011. That was then, this is now….What should a person do???? I think I’ve figured out the best plan for us………………
“Go with the flow.” Relax, smile, don’t fight City Hall. Yup, that’ll work for us!
Kris and I are planning to stay a night or two in Costa Rica at a nice little place that a friend recommended. That way we make the inspectors happy and get a mini vacation at the same time! That is, unless the inspectors decide to change the time limit requirement again. I just remember to smile and keep on saying, “This is Panama”!!!
If you are going to make the hop soon, let me know how things worked out for you. And good luck!
The stats tell me that people come here daily even though I’ve not posted for a spell. My wife Kris has posted a lot about our trip to the USA that we made last month and numerous Alaska posts for those interested. My focus is elsewhere at the time being so I would appreciate those viewing to give a look at Kris’s blog. Kris gives a lot of time and thought to her posts/photos and is a much faster typist than I am, so if you have a comment or a question she’ll be glad to reply. The site is The Panama Adventure.
We’ve had a busy month and are glad to be home in Panama. It was great to see friends and family and visit all the beautiful places but now we’re back home and will plan more travels inside Panama. Our Panamanian friends want to see more of the area so a day trip with them is planned pretty soon. Sounds like fun to me!
Best to all reading my words:)
Let me start by saying that, (if you couldn’t already tell by my other posts) – I am basically quite thrifty (read CHEAP CHARLEY) so I jumped at an online offer boasting a BIG discount on a room at a lodge I’d visited last month. It was from OFERTA SIMPLE, a Panamanian Grupon type of deal. The deal was for $67 a night rather than the usual $165/180 on the website. Got my attention!
The pool is small but cozy and refreshing.
We like to check out the various attractions close to David and had recently had a similar discounted deal at Las Olas in Playa Barqueta for $49. Kris and I had been to Boca Chica last month and had a great lunch at the Seagullcove Lodge so this was the perfect excuse to go see what a stay at the place would be like.
We arrived at sundown, pulled into the parking lot and were immediately greeted in English by a pleasant young Panamanian gentleman who asked if I was Joel Cunningham. It was a very nice way to start of our stay and after introducing himself, Marcelo helped with our bags as our room was quite a distance down on the side of the hill overlooking the bay. I had spoken to someone on the phone when setting up our reservation and it turned out to be Marcelo. We found out that Marcelo wears many hats – reservations, waiter, wait staff, even doing some gardening when the full-time gardener couldn’t show up-whatever is needed of him. Marcelo was always there for us, smiling and asking if everything was okay. He was great! I felt as if we had our own private butler!!!! I could get used to that:)
After wandering around the premises we settled into our room (which was “The Tanager ” and was EXCELLENT in every way) and spent late Saturday evening watching TV, settling on “Star Trek, The Movie”. It was fun to see Kirk and the crew and hearing the great sound track from back in the day. The off to sleep and rest up for Sunday and the breakfast that we found out that came with the room.
Breakfast is served from 7 to 9 so we squeaked in at 8:30 and both decided on ham and cheese omelets. The coffee was great and went well with the fruit boat of banana, papaya, melon and pineapple that was put in front of us. Then came the omelet, basic but very tasty, served with toast, butter from France and Mora jelly. The food is served in a very open area with views to the south over the tile roofs of the bungalows and out to the bay with it’s anchored yachts and islands beyond. The morning was clear, the great food and wonderful view made for a nice way to start our day.
Kris caught Marcelo’s attention and asked about the kayaks we had read about – he asked if we wanted two singles or a double. We looked at each other and both said “two singles” but against better judgment decided upon the double. I don’t always coordinate well with Kris in canoes or kayaks but we hoped to make it without incident.
Down the many steps from our room was the beach and where the kayaks were stored. Marcelo was there before us with the life vests,paddles and suggestions on where to go and where to avoid. We put on the vests, drug the kayak down to the waters edge and headed out and to the left. We ended up going across to Boca Brava.
Out on the island we paddled into a beach looking for a hotel/restaurant but finding instead a barking dog and a bunch of Panamanian 6 year-olds and and a gal who said “No hotel” so off we paddled. We never found the hotel but we stopped at another beach and had a banana as we walked in the shade looking at the strange rock formations.
Most interesting were the dark rocks the size of small eggs stuck in what looked like it was molten rock that hardened around the rocks. It made me feel that I was standing on ground that was the result of a relatively recent, violent and cataclysmic birth. Layers jutted from the ground at sharp angles as if pushed by forces far stronger than themselves. The land of Panama is so young and primitive in many ways. We got back in the kayak and paddled back to our beach, parked the kayak and climbed the many steps back up to our bungalow. We were tired but happy.
Relaxing and taking photos took up the rest of the afternoon. We had decided to have our dinner in the restaurant so around 7:30 we moseyed up to our favorite table and looked at the menu. Langostinos (“small, stubby lobsters”) were Kris’s choice and I decided on the filete w/balsamic vinager and spices that was heavenly as were the arroz (rice) and broccoli with almond slices. I normally don’t eat nuts but I when I was finished there was NOTHING left on the plate, the meal was truly divine and a great way to cap off a fabulous day.
I later told Marcelo that the meal was the best I had in Panama, he told the chef. I told the same to a woman I had just met by the name of Sue, who I later learned was the owner! She asked specifically what I had and agreed that it was a good choice.
A wonderful meal served by nice people in a beautiful setting with my best friend and wife, Kris. What more could one ask for? Did I mention the pool?
Sunday morning we had another great breakfast then got ready to check out and return to David. Marcelo needed a ride to David so we had a nice conversation all the way back which made the hour pass by very quickly. We learned a lot about each other, said goodbye, and let him off at El Rey to meet his wife. We then headed home, tired, but very happy. What a great getaway!
More great memories had just been made in our new home, David, Panama.
Please see more photos and read Kris’s take on our wonderful weekend at The Panama Adventure.
I have been told that some folks are disturbed by my posts on Scorpions, that bad memories are brought back. I’m sorry you had a bad experience and I do understand that many people don’t like bugs or pictures of bugs, but there are many who are concerned and my posting may save someone from getting stung. If you don’t like the post then move on or delete it.
“MOVE YOUR FEET, MOVE YOUR FEET!” was all I was able to come up with. I then mentioned the word scorpion but Kris had already spotted it and had pushed her chair a safe distance away and was grabbing her camera. Kris got a flashlight and took this shot.
I grabbed the video camera and took photos and a video of the scorpion from where Kris was sitting.
It didn’t move until I encouraged it with my foot, then it took of towards my side of the table. I shut the camera off, went and got a jar, put it down on top of the scorpion. Then I slid a stiff 4×6 recipe cars under the jar, lifted and turned the jar upright and put a book on top.
This intruder is smaller than the one that crawled up my arm but I still don’t think that I would like to get stung by it. Here are the two invaders side by side. The one on the right is the one caught in the house. I made a short video of it in the jar.
The legs move kind of fast, don’t they?
I want to thank all the people for their comments and advice on scorpions. It seems that one never can predict when a scorpion will be seen.
The main takeaway was that scorpions can be found anywhere and a person should keep this in mind when picking things up off the ground, inside and outside the house.
I hope this is the last time one gets our attention but I won’t be too surprised if we do get another visitor.
As always, be careful.