Punta Carnero

We took a drive with our friend Tom on Sunday over to the Mar Bravo side of the peninsula and stopped at the Punta Carnero hotel. The views are just magnificent but these waters are very dangerous and there are signs warning not to swim because of the riptide and undertow. At high tide it does not look like there is much of a beach behind the hotel but I’m sure at low tide it would be a beautiful walk. The hotel is very quiet, dining room was large and airy.  They have a pool and you can walk down to the beach.

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The hotel is located on Mar Bravo approximately 20 minutes by taxi from the malecon in Salinas.

Farallon Dillon Hostal – The People and The Food

Sorry this has taken me so long to complete. This is my last post on our stay at Farallon Dillon in Ballenita.  Here are some of the folks that made our stay at the Farallon Dillon so wonderful:

Dennys and his lovely wife helped to make our stay with them memorable.  We really appreciated their attention to all the little details.

David was also most attentive. His Long Island Iced Teas were “”to die for” and his knowledge of the area and history of the hotel made our stay more interesting.  He was kind enough to show us many of the rooms and we especially liked the beautiful room overhanging the cliff shown below.

What a view!!!

If you get the opportunity to visit, please do. The accommodations were very comfortable, the food was excellently prepared and served. My all time favorite dish has to be the Butterfly Swordfish with Garlic Wine Sauce. Second choice would be Mahi Mahi with Seafood Sauce. Joe liked the Seafood Rice and the Seafood Soup.

I took many pictures of the nautical antiquities Captain Dillon collected over his 30 years traveling the seas. For those who want to see more, I am posting them. You really should pay a visit yourself if the opportunity arises.

We will be going back to visit very soon.

Carnival Salinas 2011

We have decided to pass on carnival this year. Our four years in Panama with carnival celebrated one block from our home gave us all of this type of festivities we could handle in a lifetime.

Below is a poster we saw at the local restaurant last week.

As you can see from this poster the entertainment is for the younger set. I’m sure that La Vencia, Mr. Wilson, Mac Delincuente and Big Marvin will put on a grand show along with DJ Rakataka and Mc Lovel.

If your planning on being in Salinas from March 4 through March 9 you will no doubt see some outrageous activities. We have heard that besides water you can be covered with flour and assorted other substances. A taxi driver said the new thing is spraying paint in your face. What fun.

The above canisters contain silly string, I have seen these being sold in the bigger supermarkets since before New Years. They will be used during carnival.

It looks like there were be other activities for the folks at this site near the Alamar building.

Have a wonderful Carnival 2011 in Salinas.

Aerobics on the beach

This weekend Fybeca, the local pharmacy, had aerobics on the beach. Early on both Saturday and Sunday morning and then in the afternoon an instructor conducted a very intense aerobics class for anyone interested in participating. The beach was packed with a very enthusiastic group of folks all strutting their stuff.

Our weekend crowds were larger the past two weekends. I guess we’re building towards carnaval. We have found that many more restaurants, a few more clubs and many more vendors are open or working during these busy times.

A stroll through Chipipe

After taking our laundry in, we decided to take a stroll through Chipipe.  We don’t often walk the streets behind the malecon because our fascination with the water, the beach and all that can be seen on the malecon keeps us going back for more.  But on this lovely morning we decided to stroll around the Chipipe area slowly; no real purpose,  just some quiet time.

We found a beautiful park. It is not very big but with some trees for shade, benches for a quick respite, and some beautiful flowers and birds.

The place was immaculate: not a leaf on the walkways, benches in good repair, trees and bushes pruned and no basura to be seen anywhere.

The above statue is of General G. Alberto Enriquez Gallo. According to the plaque he founded the Canton of Salinas.

It is a beautiful place just to sit and relax. Have missed the birdsong so prevalent in Panama, we will return.

We saw several birds on our visit.

This park is very close to the military base and we just could not help ourselves when we saw this whirlybird. Hope you had a great day also!

Baños Termales San Vincente

At 6:30am one morning this week,  I met our friends Monica and John and we headed for the thermal baths.  After a few taxi rides we arrived at San Vicente.

If you are looking for fancy and fussy with lots of ambiance, this is not the place for you.  This is a basic thermal bath that has the addition of the mud pool and massages and a steam room.

It was very inexpensive. A $2 entrance fee gave you the option to use any of the basic facilities which include the thermal bath, swimming pool, mud pool and showers, bathrooms and changing areas.

Here Monica, John and I have just gotten out of the warm, bubbling, mineral laden spa after spending about 20 minutes. Those with high blood pressure are advised to only stay in for 10 minutes at a time.

They also have massages available at $4 for either the volcanic mud or the aloe.  They also offer a steam bath called vapor for $3 which had several wonderful herbs including rosemary and eucalyptus.

What a fun time. When we first got there we changed, showered and then took the first dip in the warm, mineral filled bubbling pool.  It was very difficult getting out — so soothing and relaxing!

After 9am the massage staff arrives and we were surely warmed up for a good deep massage.  I asked for the volcanic mud massage. It is a 30 minute, pretty intense massage. I used Lucy in room #7. Hands of steel.  After, you move to the outside area and lounge on chairs until the mud dries.

John & I decked out in MUD

Both John and I got the mud massage – then you sit for 15 minutes to allow the mud to dry and then “try to get it all off”.  I must have been in the showers for 20 minutes, I had more in my hair and my ears than on the rest of my body combined!

After we were showered we went back to the mineral spa. By the time we got back, there were about 15 people using it.  Come early because the place fills up.

The mud pool is much larger than I had expected.

All the facilities have separate buildings. The above structure houses the swimming pool, which also has the mineral waters.

There was a display at the entrance walkway showing the bones of an extinct bear once found in this part of Ecuador.

It was a wonderful day and I would love to do this once a week. It was so relaxing and my skin felt like silk after the treatment.

Preparing for New Years Eve, Salinas Style

In taking my morning walk the past few days I have noticed a few interesting things on the malecon.  First in front of the port office there are two boats with a few passengers aboard.

Next at the Alamar condo there was this powerful looking guy! I’m not sure what GAP is so if anyone knows please leave a comment so I can update this post.

Now sitting alone in the parking lot of our building you find this guy, he seems to be missing a few things.  No he was not hit by that car…

Today I found him in better form, ha ha

Then I saw this guy in one of the condo windows looking out to sea… or maybe just waiting for the big bonfire on New Years Eve.

A tradition here in South America is to make an effigy and put lists of all of the bad things that happened in the past year inside.  Oh yes and did I mention fireworks? These are then taken to the beach and set on fire at midnight on New Years Eve.

We are expecting to see quite a show New Years Eve between the bonfires and the fireworks. Joe and I will be up watching the show from our private box (balcony) overlooking the action.

We wish you a great 2011.  May God bless us all with health, happiness and of course His peace.  Nancy & Joe