Monday Chat

I continue to gain followers at my site www.TravelSketches.info. As of this writing, I am up to 27. You may remember I had a goal for December of 30 followers. I’m almost there. Can I make it? I’m not sure. I would welcome your help by sending me some new followers. All they must do is subscribe at the site and the posts will just popup in their email boxes, like it does for you. Thanks!

I also want to point out to newcomers that my posts can be seen in their “finished” state if you go directly to the site instead of just reading the email you get. WordPress, who manages my blog, has been unable to get the blogs I upload to look the same in email. I can’t do that, either. I don’t know if anyone can. That’s the weakness of email. Take a look and you’ll see that the layout is a little different, a little more polished, if I may say so myself.

The blogs that have drawn the most reaction are the outside and inside of my yurt. That’s not too surprising, as most people haven’t experienced a yurt. Comments have been: I always wondered what the inside of yurt looked like; you’re the most adventurous person we’ve even known; your whole life is an adventure. I seek new experiences and I am enjoying my life. Stay tuned.

Warren

No Square Corners

Just what would a yurt look like on the inside? Let me give you a pictorial tour of my previous home (little text).

A Very Good Bed
A Funky 3-compartment Sink

Is this a candidate for House Beautiful? Far from it. Still, a unique adventure.

The Semblance of a Kitchen
An Old Refrigerator and Space Heater
Wardrobe
Control Central

The bed is the best object in the yurt – actually a very good bed. The sink is impractical and takes up too much room. The kitchen includes a single burner plate, a toaster oven (a good one), a rice cooker, a coffee pot, and a griddle. I make these work for me. The old refrigerator needs to be defrosted every week or two. The wardrobe is functional. Control Central at 3-feet square for working and eating is totally impractical.

The walls are heavy canvas which undulate with the wind. They are covered inside with crisscross slats. There are two large, screened windows on the side, which each have an external heavy plastic shield that can be rolled up in hot weather. There is a large round daylight “window” typical of yurts. You can see a bit of this in last week’s blog.

Altogether, living in a yurt is certainly a new experience to add to my life’s experiences. I’ll look back on this someday and marvel that I lived here.

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Villa Gauguin

I am now ensconced in Boquete, Panamá. After six days in a hotel, I found housing! The amazing story is that I am now living in a yurt way up a mountain side among the coffee plantations. How cool is that? Actually, it is cool in the nights and mornings, but a good comforter solves that problem. I’m at 5260’ foot elevation, about like Denver. The yurt is beautiful, with a separate building for bathroom facilities.

My Yurt

The owner is “everything Gauguin;” Gauguin’s reproduction paintings are everywhere on the grounds, in addition to Gauguin murals on buildings. Five years ago, this was a flat piece of land sloping down to the road. Now it is sculpted land with a home, apartment, cabins, and yurts. It began life as an Airbnb, went to long-term rentals, and now it’s back to short-term rentals.

My Bath House

My first day, I woke up to fog on the mountain tops –  a usual occurrence at least this time of the year. As it lifted, I saw that I had a very long-distance view. I’m told that on a clear day I should be able to see the Pacific Ocean and islands beyond. That would be nice.

A little closer in, I had my first visitor – a baby lizard. He came up on my front deck looking for food scraps. Two days later, not finding any, he left and hasn’t returned. Replacing him has been a small sparrow. This bird will come into the yurt and peck around on the floor for something to eat. I thought this was cute and didn’t discourage him. Eventually, he even brought his pregnant spouse. I have had to discourage these visits, though, as they always leave droppings on my floor. So much for having pets.

Villa Gauguin

Up above my front deck, I found that I had growing three bunches of bananas. Perhaps when these are ripe, I’ll have some breakfast already available. There are all kinds of fruit trees on the property. I tried the guava but couldn’t hack all the seeds, so gave up on those. There is a fruit that tastes like a mild orange; it must be a cross with something else. We also have some vegetables and many herbs growing on the grounds. There are some raised beds waiting to be planted.

My Bananas

Boquete is a town of about 25,000, 5,000 of whom are expats  Most of the expats here are Americans or Canadians, with many other countries represented in smaller numbers. The town is nestled in a valley (probably a dormant volcano) and extends up the mountainsides. Boquete means a pass in the mountains. It was used by miners traveling through to the California Gold fields in the 1860s. There are many YouTube videos of Boquete if you’d like to see more.

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