Saturday, August 4, 2007

Volcan & English Trap

There is no direct road from Boquete to Volcan. Currently, to reach Volcan, you head South to the city of David then West in the direction of the Costa Rica border then North up to Volcan. David is very still and muggy, a sharp contrast to Boquete's and Volcan's higher, breezy climates. We were surprised to see that although Volcan is situated just on the other side of Volcan Baru, the look of the countryside was quite different than in Boquete. Large, gorgeous mountains graced the sky on either side of the city, beautiful to behold but the town itself was flat. Another difference is that Boquete is overflowing with flowers everywhere you look but Volcan had very few. We drove around all afternoon, seeing what Volcan had to offer, going down side roads anxious to see what was off the beaten path. It was a beautiful area with rolling, green hills and outstanding views.
The town to the North of Volcan, Cerra Punta, is a farming community and we were amazed to see farmers working on a very steep incline. Sadly though, the town is so heavily drowned with pesticides that you can actually smell them when you drive into Cerra Punta. No thanks.

Upon arriving back in Volcan, we found an acceptable little dive called Don Tavo's that would house us for the night. The folks there suggested the Pollo Loco for dinner and it was quite good. The guitar on the wall made Randy miss and wish for his, so the owner of the Pollo Loco called a local Gringo named Wade and had him bring his guitar to the restaurant.

Wade was a nice old fellow and he and Rand traded off playing guitar and singing. It was a nice "fix" for Randy. As the two played and the evening continued, other Gringos arrived at the place. That night, it really hit us that if you don't make a concerted effort to speak and learn Spanish and really TRY and break into the local culture, you could easily find yourself with only English speakers as friends. Don't get me wrong, it is very comforting to have the option to converse in English sometimes, however these folks, while nice, seemed lonely and in a way, trapped with only each other in their foreign language "paradise" of Volcan.

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