Twenty years later…..

Happy Birthday Jim:-)

Twenty years ago today, we sailed away from Granton harbour in Edinburgh on the good ship Charmer. Since then we’ve sailed thousands of miles together, met wonderful people and seen amazing places. The friends who waved goodbye that day, are still our friends. The new ones we’ve met along the way have changed our lives. The plan ( did anyone say ‘plan’?) was to be home in Edinburgh circa 2002, so we are a little behind schedule. Instead, I wake up to the sounds of howler monkeys most days, and look out at the Caribbean. We work, sometimes it feels like torture, to make Tesoro Verde the kind of place where people feel welcome, and can share our adventure. I am looking forward to the next one (!)

Your smile makes my day, every day, love you……. H


Weather-proof Pizza?

Jim and I are always a wee bit nervous around the time of the full moon. As sailors know, the full moon can mean stormy weather, and when you are catering for hungry guests, the last thing you need is a downpour, and, heaven forbid, soggy pizza!

We decided the solution was a roof. Now Jim knows a person very handy with an industrial sewing machine ( that’s me ) and I know a person who can make a simple request of a few tarps over the serving area, into a major design project ( that would be Jim ). Keep it simple is NOT in his vocabulary.

The result, though, as always, is stunning.

From now on, Full Moon Pizza is pretty much weatherproof, and our new, sheltered, eating area was so over-subscribed, we had to do it all again the next night (!)


Archaeological dig anyone?

We know very little about the history of our property. Panama itself is a young country, before it was Panama it was associated with present day Colombia, and very little is known about the centuries before Columbus ‘discovered’ the area.

Our hill is called Loma Vigia, or Lookout Hill. It is the highest in the area and I do wonder who was looking out for whom. Pirates planning attacks on nearby Portobelo, indigenous Indians watching the Spanish ships sailing this coast?

Much of the land toward the summit is incredibly steep, and really only the bottom third of our 20 acres/almost 7 hectares could have supported simple farming or the building of houses.

We keep coming across broken shards of pottery, lots of it, and spread over several areas, hundreds of metres apart. Some of it is quite deep, more than a foot or 30cm down into the thick red clay which lies below the rich black topsoil. Our resident person with any experience at all (aka Jim!) says the pieces haven’t been fired at a particularly high temperature. Only one piece so far shows any evidence of an inscribed design, but several hint at the original shape of the object – and some of them were huge pots. For cooking? Storing water perhaps? We don’t know yet….. another research project for our ‘spare’ time…P1090459

Frankie’s “Panama Best Bits”

P1070648Good friends Sally and Mark Fulford visited recently from Devon in England and brought with them their daughters Mia and Frankie. We had a great time with them all and thoroughly enjoyed taking them to our favourite places. Frankie was a great hit with us since it became apparent after only a couple of days she was what we call a “nature magnet”. Seldom seen animals and birds presented themselves on a regular basis when she was around and although she was seeing many species for the first time she frequently spotted the wildlife before we did! After the family returned to the UK Frankie was kind enough to send us a post about her stay at Tesoro Verde for the web site. She called it Panama Best Bits, here it is. Thank you Frankie!

“Writing about my best bits at Tesoro Verde, Panama is very hard because it was all so brilliant, from waking up and seeing the beautiful sunrise in the jungle to jumping off the top of waterfalls. It was AMAZING! Though somehow I have managed to shortlist it down to the top three.

At number one is horse riding, snorkeling and a boat ride all in the same trip! We started by driving a short distance to a little village where we got our beautiful horses and began the ride to Playa Blanca. On the hack we went through different terrains and saw many interesting and fantastic sights. When we reached the beach, Playa Blanca, we tied off the horses and went snorkeling. When we were snorkeling I saw a golden spotted eel. Cool! After that we had some delicious food and started to play a little game of piggy in the middle, after about ten minutes it had somehow turned into an intense game with 3 teams of 2. As the day started to come to an end we got a lancha back to the village and then headed back to Tesoro Verde for another amazing night in the rain forsest.

At number two is zip lining! The zip course had 9 different lines weaving through the forest canopy. The veiws you got when in the air were beautiful, it felt very special interacting with the jungle in this way. On one of the lines you had the option of going upside down, all of us wanted to try it but when it came to it we all whimped out! When we finished the course we went for a little walk in the forest and discovered an ant motorway -there were several different little roads leading on to one big road, there were a few tunnels and seperate lanes. Proof that ants go to school!

At three is fishing! When were staying at Jungle Land (on the beautiful Lake Gatun) we had the option of lounging about and swimming in the lake or fishing, I quite obviously chose fishing. We rode in a lancha for about ten minutes before settling down and casting out our lines. It wasn’t long until I got my first bite and then 11 more, it was like the fish were queuing up to be caught! My Mum got 3, Dad 2 and Jim 3. When we stopped getting so many fish we packed up and went to a different spot, unfortunately we had no success so we called it a day and went back to the floating hotel. When we came back we gave the kitchen the fish and had them served up for lunch.

All in all I had a great time in Panama and was really sad when it all came to an end. Thank you Jim and Heather for making my time in Panama truly special, I really loved it!”