Mi Jardin es Su Jardin

(THE ENTRANCE TO “Mi Jardin es Su Jardin)

This end of town feels very different than the last place we were in.  It’s closer to the coffee plantations, more established, with fabulous gardens, and lush greenery everywhere. The photo above is the entrance to a private garden around the corner from us, and means “My garden is your garden” — because they have opened it to the public. I will try to figure out an easy way to post more photos because really, you have to see this place to believe it, very whimsical and fun.  And the entrance fee is …. $0.  Roads in this neighborhood are paved rather than dirt/gravel, and yes, while there are some roosters, they aren’t as close and grating on my nerves as they were in the other house. Instead, there is a cat that wanders the complex, patrolling the patios and roofs. The only prey I’ve seen him stalking was a tiny little chameleon.

Our “casita” is perfect for us, part of a “complex” of  two houses and a duplex  tucked into the hillside. We are the only gringos here. There’s a huge “grand manor” type residence on top of the hill  that’s for sale (http://www.casasolution.com/properties/casa_piedra.html , if anyone is interested, I can offer up  some very inexpensive caretaking 🙂  I think ours is the nicest in the complex. It’s the closest to the “manor” house, so we get full enjoyment of their gardens too.  It’s  tiny, like a little Thumbelina house, but bright and airy, and very nicely laid out. The building is old  but immaculately clean. Like most of the houses here, the roof appears to be the half round terra cotta tiles that you find on Spanish style houses in the US, but it’s not — it’s TIN, which makes quite a sound in the wind and rain.

The only problem  we have with the house is the doorways to the bathroom and bedrooms….I’m guessing they’re about 6′-1″.  Mark kept forgetting to duck, so I hung little decorations from them, as a reminder.   Seems to be working!

The sounds we hear  from our new  place are quite a contrast to what we heard in our last house. Here, there are church bells , faint “cock a DOO do’s” in the distance,  the revving of a car engine from a teenager working on his car, the occasional clippity clop of a horse when a Juan Valdez look-a-like comes down from the hills where the coffee is being harvested, the beat of Latin music at night as people celebrate carnival, and of course, our neighborhood “cat on a hot tin roof” (he can sound like a herd of elephants when he’s chasing something down!), all combine to make it feel as if….well, as if we’re in a foreign country.  🙂  I absolutely love it here!

MARK (The Pack Mule) SAYS:

So far, I am only aware of one pack mule in the neighborhood.  That would be me!  As you are probably aware, Valerie and I have decided to try and live without a car here in Panama.  This can make daily trips to the grocery store pretty exhausting.   Trudging up and down hills while dodging cars, taxis, trucks, dogs and horses with a back pack full of groceries strapped to your back can be quite a workout!  Of course, it is all worth it when I sit down to a delicious meal prepared by my wife!!!     Like Valerie, I am totally enjoying this experience.

P.S. — Valerie has never even hinted that we should take the stray cat in.  Yea!!!

(One of our grocery routes)