Sunday, August 13, 2006

Panama Trip Part 4 - El Valle

On our trip to Panama this summer we made sure to visit one of my favorite places in the world El Valle de Anton or just El Valle. I haven't been to a lot of places in Panama but out of all of the places I have been to, El Valle is the only place that is cool weather wise.

I have been to El Valle about 5 times now and each trip that I have made there has been a wonderful one. It is due to the combination of the nice cool weather, the extremely friendly weather and the amazing scenery. El Valle is so beautifully decorated with natural greenery. To me, the town is like one big nursery. There are so many different types of plants to admire there.

We stayed at the Hotel Campestre during our last visit to El Valle. Many years ago, I remember driving by the Hotel Campestre and all of us thought "Someday it would be nice to stay in such a nice place." On my visit two years ago I did get to stay there. The nightly rates were quite reasonable. Two years ago, my dad, Sabi and I stayed there for around $45 a night. The rooms were huge and simply decorated. They weren't fancy necessarily but the view was amazing and the Hotel was very quaint. This year, we stayed at the Hotel Campestre again. This time, we paid $40 a night. The Hotel was more run down this time. In fact, most of the Hotel was under construction as it is being remodeled. We came at night and I couldn't get the full effect of the hotel. When I looked at it in the morning, it reminded me of the Hotel in The Shining for some reason!

The Hotel - El Campestre

Anyway, despite the Hotel being under construction and being a bit more run down, the Hotel was very clean and we had a good stay there. My favorite part of the stay is always waking up in El Valle. There is nothing like waking up to fresh clean air in a beautiful looking location with an incredible view of the glorious green mountains.

View from the Hotel

The Hotel was also the only place that I was able to get a good view of the famous Rana Dorada this time.

Panama El Valle


There are three places that we make sure to visit when we go to El Valle. The first one is the Restaurant, La Santa Librada. Why we go to that place, I am not quite sure. We just picked it out on one of our trips a while back and have kept going back ever since. This time, we had a nice conversation with the owner. She told us about the name of the Restaurant. Her dad is from Las Tablas. There is a festival in Las Tablas each year, in July, for La Santa Librada.

la dueña del Rest. La Santa Librada, contando los milagros de la misma santa

She told us about a sister of hers who had been very sick with cancer. She prayed and prayed to La Santa Librada and after sometime, her sister recovered from her cancer. Ever since then, she has made a trip to the Festival for La Santa Librada. Not only that, she rents a large bus to take people to the festival and she buys food for the people to eat. She doesn't charge people to go. It is her way of paying La Santa Librada back for curing her sister.


The other place that we always visit in El Valle is El Nispero.

Walking through the zoo

El Nispero is a zoo/nursery. It is the the best zoo/nursery that I have ever been to!

Avestruz

The plants and animals are very fun to look at but it is the setting that gives the place its charm.

Monkey

There is one spot in particular that I love. It is smack dab in the middle of El Nispero. If you stand in one direction, you can see the zoo.

If you turn in another direction, you can see a very beautiful and calming man made waterfall and pond.

In the Middle of the zoo in El Valle

If you turn in another direction, you can gaze upon the most amazing mountain view.

The other view

I hate leaving that spot. Nothing else is like it. If I had the money, I would love to buy a house there and spend days on end there doing absolutely nothing. What a life!




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