Niko was delivered to us like a pizza. It was January 2021 and we were stuck at home in Panama under some of the world’s madest pandemic regulations. He was a “tinacaro” which translates as “bin face”; a street dog in Panamanian slang. He’s come a long way; from starving on the streets of Panama to bounding around the Irish countryside…Continue reading “Adopting Bin Face”
Bringing Niko home
When we adopted Niko, we knew we’d eventually be bringing him home from Panama to Ireland. It was always going to be a complicated and expensive process. But, in the end, we checked him with Air France like a bag of golf clubs. This is how we did it…Continue reading “Bringing Niko home”
Hiking the Camino de Cruces
Panama’s famous historical trail seemed was easy to read about, popping up on loads of sites and blogs but impossible to find out about actually doing. When my sister visited recently, it seemed like a great excuse to do it properly. There’s so little information online about how get to and from the trail, whether it is easy to follow etc., that we decided to hire a guide, who in the event, came with an assistant. They turned out to be worth every penny. Here’s how we did it…Continue reading “Hiking the Camino de Cruces”
Walking along the Paseo Del Mar, Costa Del Este
This is a pedestrian path perfect for walking, jogging and small kids on bikes. And, there’s a never-ending dog show of pedigree pooches, particularly in the early morning and afternoons. Weirdly, there’s a surprising amount of huskies – considering the climate! One side of the Paseo Del Mar, or the “malecón” as it is sometimes called (meaning breakwater or esplanade), is lined with high rise apartment buildings that have a great view of the ocean. The other side is thick mangroves through which you usually can’t see much. Here’s what we love about walking on the Paseo Del Mar.Continue reading “Walking along the Paseo Del Mar, Costa Del Este”
Hiking with kids from Altos de Campana
We drove up to Altos de Campana yesterday, aiming to do Sendero La Cruz with the kids. It was our first time here, and we ended up having a lovely walk, just not the one we had hoped to do! We will definitely go back, as there is loads of trails to explore from this point. Here’s what we found out.Continue reading “Hiking with kids from Altos de Campana”
Walking with kids in Panama
With three kids and a waggy dog to tire out, we’re always looking for a good walk here in Panama.. Here’s what we’ve found out so far. It is not always obvious! Often you can’t take the dog. Official online info is not always up to date, particularly with new Covid regulations. Currently, while any amount of people can cough and splutter all over each other in a bus or supermarket in the city, on a mountain trail, sometimes you need to reserve in advance. Possibly for social distancing. Maybe for rescuing? I’m not sure. But it’s disappointing to drive a long way with the kids to do a hike, all ready to go, to be told you have to register online three days in advance (this happened yesterday at Sendero La Cruz). We had a great walk anyway, just not the one we had planned!
Here’s where we have walked so far…Continue reading “Walking with kids in Panama”
Our Sparkling Sanctuary
When we moved to Panama in January 2020, we were lucky enough to rent a house that has a small pool in the backyard. We never imagined we would spend so much time in it. Between school shutdowns, lockdowns and quarantines, those few square metres of cool blue water have been the kids’ world, their playground, our Friday night bar and our sparkling sanctuary safe from the outside world. Until last week…Continue reading “Our Sparkling Sanctuary”
Blindly we build our burrows
Scraping around in the cold dark earth.
Our subterranean labyrinth reaches out,
Then, grasping nothing, collapses.
Something calls us to the surface.
We emerge confused into the light,
Bedazzled by birdsong and breezes,
The strength of the sun
Whose vast immensity
We have no capacity to comprehend.
We feel something, understand nothing.
We turn tails and scrabble back
To the industrious dark.
By Lizzie Sherwood-Smith
Our Stolen Summer Part 3: Bubbling up by the beach
Bringing small children to stay with grandparents during the pandemic was terrifying to start with, dangerous throughout and then heart wrenching when it ended. God knows how we managed it, but we are all thanking our lucky stars we got away with it. It will always feel like our ‘stolen summer’. To try and reduce the spread of any germs we’d brought with us, our rule of thumb was simple. For the first 10 days, we’d pretend we had Covid, then for the next 10, we’d ‘bubble up’ with Mum and Dad and pretend everyone else had it. Gulp. Was that really going to work?Continue reading “Our Stolen Summer Part 3: Bubbling up by the beach”
A Day Trip to the Caribbean
Sounds impossible right? After being locked down in Panama city for so many months, then stumped by endless difficulties getting number plates for our imported American car, it sounded like a serious break for freedom, which we were delighted to take! Less than 2 hours on the road took us from Panama’s high-rise modernity on the Pacific, all the way to the low slung, laid back Caribbean. With colourful, rundown buildings, ruined forts and beautiful little coves, it felt like another world entirely.Continue reading “A Day Trip to the Caribbean”