Friday, September 21, 2012

MERY'S BIRTHDAY

Today we celebrated my host mom, Mery's, 64th birthday.  The two sons and their families came, as well as Juan's sister and her granddaughter and daughter.  I skipped the dinner but had a little cake and ice cream.

Mery and Juan Lara

Marisol is expecting in December

Juan's sister

Juan Alberto and family

Mery never lets me help clean up

Sunday, September 16, 2012

VALLE ESCONDIDO

Church at Valle Escondido
On my trip to Boquete this weekend I visited Valle Escondido (hidden valley), which was established as a kind of survivalist stronghold.  It was founded in 1991 by an American nicknamed "John Galt," who was one of the main characters in Ayn Rand's book, Atlas Shrugged.  They have a river running through the valley but also springs for water and a hydroelectric plant to supply their own electricity.  People from many countries have bought homes or condos here for a safe haven in case the world falls apart.  The guards all speak English and carry guns.  I looked at homes and condos here with a realtor, who doubles as a pilot for a private air company and has pictures of famous people he has flown all over the world.  Some of the homes are mansions, and the condos range from small to huge.

They have a cute church, a hotel, golf course, tennis courts, a fitness center with a knockout pool, and trails.  The prices are similar to what I paid for a condo in the upscale area of Asheville, but the monthly fees are a less, even including electricity , cable, and water.  Asheville has more to do.  All in all, it didn't make me want to move there.


Hostal Refugio del Rio is just down the road.  Former vacation home of Noriega's secretary

Downtown Boquete


If the world truly starts to fall apart, I may change my mind.