Coronado Panama where I just spent the weekend will always be somewhere that I love. It’s where I visited in 2005 aka my first real trip out of Canada that wasn’t with family and it’s situated on this great Tom Fazio golf course that is always empty. When I came down, I was visiting a friend’s family who retired here and played something ridiculous like 256 holes of golf over a few weeks, it was bliss and I always wanted to come back here, rent a place, build profitable websites and just hang out and golf…
Coming back, I can’t believe how much has changed. Originally there was this place called “El Rey” which was the only grocery store in the area off the highway. Now the entire area is unrecognizable with a three story mall across the street and another even bigger complex across the highway. Everything you could ever want including three massive grocery stores right at your service. There is even a McDonald`s and a Mailboxes Etc. to give you an idea.
We met up with my friend and had a great night that included a tasty meal and many drinks. At dawn I went for a stroll along the beach with my friend`s mother and the two dogs, lots has changed and there are now some beach homes that can only be described as serious compounds. There are also several high rises and more developments underway. Also the price of a lot in the area has straight up doubled in terms of price per square meter, indeed.
We were supposed to make our way to David aka the second largest city in Panama but we had a really slow start, go figure. Quite glad about it as we`re here another night catching up as my friend is an old University colleague and we got out to play the golf course today. Just as 7 years ago, it`s quite barren and as a result dress code was relaxed casual, to say it loosely. After you play golf on a course to yourself, waiting at busy courses is quite the bore. I`d rather play a less than desirable course with no line than a great one with waits, seriously.
Besides seeing old friends, buying a monster chunk of Filet Mignon that was cut into 8 servings for $15 and drinking a solid ration of rum from a $12 1.75L, it is good to know that I was meant to travel and not just come here to build websites and play golf. This place is quite quiet except for the ever growing expat community that live here year round. It`s a nice place I quite enjoy but simply not enough going on for a gent in his thirties, that is why my friend lives in Bocas Del Toro. Besides the expats, wealthy Panamanians come to their second home a few days or weeks a year. If I was older and retired, this could be golf heaven.
There is no wifi connection for me to connect to so one photo will have to do, a photo essay will come later when I`m settled somewhere and as stated earlier, off to David tomorrow. I`m moving quite fast through most of Panama but I`ve been here several times and when someone you travel with has a time deadline, everything changes. Also realizing how easy and free having no return ticket is, the commitments you choose play a huge roll in carving out your future, whatever it may be.
Time to soak it all in as tomorrow I`m out the door at 7:30am; the show must go on… On the topic of going, it`s a $2.50 air con shuttle from Panama City`s Albrook Station and takes about 1-1.5 hours depending on how many stops the driver makes. Also, the entire area has expanded and at Punta Chame, they have `Nitro City` which is like Disney World for those who like extreme sports, supposedly world class kite boarding as well.
P.S: Big thanks to my friends for their outstanding hospitality, great seeing you again!