Sunday, June 05, 2011

Jack and the teak stock

Our friend Jack of SV Moonraker is here in Panama involved in a teak plantation and invited us for a tour. He picked us up at the marina on June 3rd and drove us 2 hours back to Llano Grande (N08°04.656' W081°08.026') which is near Santiago - the closest town to the teak facility. For 2 days, he gave us a rundown on the business and tours of their different plots. One plot, way back on a muddy 4-wheel drive road through the jungle, had a small river running through it with beautiful waterfalls and teak trees, tropical trees, and foliage.

Beautiful, peaceful, and exhilarating setting

Jordan and Jack amidst the teak trees

Jack, being an ardent Canuck fan, found a little open roadside bar that had satellite channels and the playoffs where the local caballeros (cowboys) whet their whistles with 50 cent beer. So with Jack and his workers, we all went to cheer on our team Vancouver. One of the workers had no clue what hockey is about but dutifully cheered for "Bancoumer". It was lots of fun given the unlikely venue with loud canned accordion music playing and trying to keep track of the puck amidst the flies buzzing around and on the TV screen.

Jack also drove us to Boquete where we stopped for lunch (on our way back to Pedregal) as this place is reputed to be fabulous. Perhaps that is why we were disappointed. We were expecting too much and were disappointed when we were there.

Jordan picked up a fan to replace our broken bilge fan at a used car dealer and we later stopped at a roadside fruit stand that was loaded with everything and we of course stocked up!

Bananas, avocados, tomatoes, carrots, melons...

As for Panama in general, we have found it to be a very clean and safe place. There is no garbage lining the streets as there is in most places in Central America. Of course, there were places that had the usual security bars on windows, etc. but it did not seem to be the usual practice. I was amazed to see all the "live" fences. These fences were built out of tree limbs - that were still living and continuing to grow as tree-fences.

And as our souvenir of our great weekend trip, Jack gave Jordan some scrap teak from which Jordan built a small bookshelf for Sea Turtle. We will think of SV Moonraker and her crew every time we use it! And he also sent us home with 4 mangoes the size of footballs from his plantation which we thoroughly enjoyed!

PS Sorry we missed you Meagan but we just couldn't make it in time!

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