Zach wrote in response, "I'm disappointed but value your honest assessment... I think my main concern is the bus noise and diesel fumes. I'm surprised to learn that the street is a (busy?) bus route. Where are these buses going? Any idea on their frequency?"
So I headed out this morning with Laura and the baby to time the frequency of the buses. Hey, I have to blog about something. And it gives me an excuse to get outside in the sunshine and the breeze, and enjoy the local scenery, and lets my readers see more of El Valle.
We drove to the lot with Salma sitting in her car seat, looking out the window and babbling happily. I parked the car in the shade at the front of the property at exactly 10:30 am and proceeded to eat my breakfast of scrambled egss with black beans and hot sauce.
I decided to do a half-hour photo survey, taking pictures of the buses that passed. I missed the first two because I was still eating my eggs and couldn't get the camera out fast enough.
This minibus was the third bus to go by. It passed the property and headed out toward the end of the La Piedra Pintada road.
A few minutes later it came back, returning to town. So the end of the route is not too far away. As the sign on the bus says, it goes from El Valle to Panama. Standard fare is $3.75 to Panama and the buses end up at Albrook Mall. Notice the lovely forested hillside in the background. As usual, you can click the photo for a much larger version.
A big diablo rojo came from the direction of the Oriente Market.
It stopped immediately in front of the property to board a passenger. This one was belching diesel fumes.
And then continued up the road. This bus, oddly enough, did not come back. That was the last bus in the half hour test period. So, five buses in 30 minutes, with one of them passing twice.
This pickup taxi is typical of the taxis that operate within the town limits in El Valle. Of course many other vehicles drove by as well, as well as dozens of pedestrians, includling locals going into town, children, dogs, and tourists walking out towards the painted rock. At one point a small Datsun drove by honking its horn. The driver had a cooler in the back seat and I suppose he was selling fresh fish that he had caught down on the coast that morning. Many vendors do this. Some have a special tune that they play, but many just honk their horns.
This house is catercorner. The signs on the tree and fence proclaim that they sell cypresses, juices, arraucaria (I don't know what that is), ornamental plants, popsicles, drinks, ice, jello and ice cream.
This little corner store is only a few dozen meters from the property. Certainly handy when you want a cold drink, a candy bar or an emergency roll of toilet paper. These types of small corner stores or kiosks are scattered throughout the back roads of El Valle and all Panama towns.
This little place, offering fried frish and Panama style ceviches, is even closer than the corner store. Just a few paces down the road. And if you need a dose of evangelism to go with your corvina, look at the fish store's larger sign below:
It says, "Kiosk Jesus is My Guide: fried fish, ceviches, saus (sauces?), sandwiches, chicken, drinks. Open until 12:30 am."
Great if you need a midnight snack.
I hope you enjoyed this tour of backroads El Valle.