Friday, July 24, 2009

Catching Up With Ourselves

It's been a busy week. Monday (July 20th) we met with our lawyer & picked up a rental car. Tuesday we looked at a few houses. Wednesday we squeezed in a birding day - went to Pipeline Road again. Thursday we took a drive to Capira, Lidice, to the beaches (Coronado, San Carlos) and Penonome. Today we returned to Barro Colorado Island for a full day.

The rental car is a tiny 4-door Toyota Yaris hatchback sedan. The wheels are tiny, too. But it has a lot more nice touches and is far more comfortable than the crappy Caliber we rented while we were in Kansas City and Omaha earlier this month. It's also about half the price for a 1-week rental.

We love our lawyer (Mayra Lamboglia de Ruzzi on Calle 50 in San Francisco)- she's brilliant, experienced, warm but business-like, and we feel completely confident that she will be able to guide and help us through the complicated processes of real estate purchase and immigration. She comes very highly recommended, and we both got a good vibe from her.

Pipeline Road on Wednesday was very productive, although there are often slow periods as we walk along. In addition to the usual species we've mentioned before, we found Black-cheeked Woodpecker, Crimson-crested Woodpecker, Streak-headed Woodcreeper, Chestnut-mandibled Toucan, Mealy Parrot, Red-lored Parrot, Slaty-tailed Trogon, White-tailed Trogon, several more Fasciated Antshrikes (previously mentioned, what what an extremely cool bird!), Bay Wren, Dusky Antbird, Checker-throated Antwren, Red-capped Manakin, Blue-crowned Manakin (a pair each of these two species of Manakins were foraging together), Scarlet-rumped Cacique.

Yesterday we drove west from Panama City through Capira and up into the hills above, through the little village of Lidice. The terrain and craggy, rocky peaks above Lidice are spectacularly beautiful. It's not a place we would chose to live, since it's so far from services, medical care and the airport, and the gravel road is rutted and potholed in several sections, but we sure enjoyed the drive. Above Lidice we did a little birding, finding several familiar birds (American Kestrel, Crimson-backed Tanager, Palm Tanager, Blue-gray Tanager, Variable Seedeater, Yellow-faced Grassquit, House Wren, Plain Wren) and one lifer: Yellow-bellied Seedeaters. The locals on the dirt roads above Lidice were so friendly, awkward though it was, since most of them speak about as little English as we speak Espanol. After Lidice we drove a little further, through the beach communities of Coronado and San Carlos. Enjoyed a fabulous pollo picante empanada and pizzas at Carlito's, in San Carlos.

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