Tag Archive | UK

Panama – The Best Place to Live for Retirees and Outdoor Enthusiasts

images (12)The scenic getaways, tropical rainforest, famous canal, and inexpensive lifestyle make Panama an attraction to the world. This country is in fact second home to many retirees, outdoor enthusiasts and people who simply want to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle inexpensively. Panama has become the best place to live in for more than 1,000 American expats. These people have discovered that the country is full of amazing surprises where one can truly enjoy retirement and the best things in life.

What makes Panama so special? For one, Panama City is home to the country’s famous Panama Canal. This historic landmark is greatly responsible for the country’s booming economy. Even if the country is considered as third world, one can find beautiful skyscrapers and modern conveniences in its capital city. The country has advanced medical capabilities that are comparable to that in the United States and Canada.

Many Americans go to Panama for medical treatment and procedures. A doctor visit to a well experienced specialist can only cost $10 as opposed to spending more for doctor consultation in the US. I’ve been living in Panama for almost a year and have discovered that health insurance can be acquired for as low as $60 per month. Prescription medication also costs less in this country so medical expenses are substantially reduced.

People who love the outdoors will be definitely in for a treat as the weather is generally sunny all year-round. There’s a dormant volcano to climb, waterfalls to see and a rainforest to explore. You can also get a nice tan at the beach and eat the juiciest fruits while relaxing. White water rafting, zip lining, hiking, and many more outdoor activities for the young and old can be experienced in Panama.

Most importantly, the costs of living in Panama are very inexpensive. A couple can have lunch for only $8, drinks included. A retiree can be able to stretch his retirement funds as food, clothing and many other needs for daily living cost less than what one has to spend in the US, Canada or the UK.

While visiting Panama, you’ll meet a lot of American expats who are permanently residing in the country. Most of these Americans are living in Boquete, which is a small mountain town that’s known for its fine tasting coffee and spring-like weather. Apart from the country’s scenic attractions, it would be nice to take a look at expat homes and visit the American community in some areas of the country. These people always have wonderful and truly inspiring stories to share.

While the best place to live in is highly subjective, Panama has become a retirement haven for people who used to live in America and Europe. These people now call home a country that has the best of both the old and the new. Modern amenities and conveniences abound while the country retains its historic identity and unique culture. The country continues to develop favorably, while showing off to the world its real beauty.

 

Top 5 UK Coastal Walks

download (45)1. Looe to Polperro, Cornwall

The 5.5-mile stretch of coast path between Looe and Polperro is one of Cornwall’s best-loved. Starting at the western end of Looe’s seafront, the route takes in Portnadler Bay’s National Trust-protected beach, the dramatic headland before Talland Bay and the picture-postcard views of Polperro.Polperro’s narrow, winding streets are home to an excellent choice of welcoming pubs – so you’re bound to find somewhere to rest your legs following the walk, which can be completed briskly in a couple of hours or enjoyed more leisurely over half a day. If the weather’s good, many ramblers choose to walk back the way they came to make the most of the excellent views. If not, there are regular bus services from Polperro back to Looe.

2. Stackpole Head, Pembrokeshire

Arguably the most stunning stretch of Pembroke’s coastline – which makes up the UK’s only coastal national park – Stackpole Head is best explored from Stackpole Quay, an old limestone harbour, where a six-mile circular route will take you past Barafundle Bay, one of Wales’s prettiest beaches. Once you’ve dragged yourself away from Barafundle’s sandy splendour, it’s time to take in Stackpole Head’s imposing limestone cliffs, which have been gradually eroded by the occasionally-rough waves of the Atlantic. Contrasting with the cliffs’ rugged beauty are Bosherton Lakes, the beautifully-serene backdrop to Stackpole Court. Since their creation two centuries ago, they’ve grown into a habit for otters, dragonflies and waterbirds. While you’re on the lookout for wildlife, don’t forget to stand back and admire the beautiful reflections, particularly at this time of the year with the colourful autumn leaves.

3. Craster to Dunstanburgh, Northumberland

From Craster – a fishing village famed for its kippers and salmon, which are traditionally prepared using oak smoking – it’s a gorgeous one-and-a-half mile walk north to the magnificent ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle. Most people embark on a six-mile circular walk back to Craster, which showcases the best of the Northumberland coast – expect dramatic sea cliffs, heather-covered slopes and a dramatic rocky shoreline. Dunstanburgh is one of northern England’s most iconic castles – managed by English Heritage, it dates back to the 13th century when it was one of the area’s most prominent fortifications. Its ruins – which were painted by Turner – are at their most spectacular in the early morning or evening light. The route to the castle from Craster is generally flat, so it’s perfect for families – and offers a great introduction to the North Sea coast.

4. Bryher, Isles of Scilly

Despite being the smallest of Scilly’s inhabited islands at just half a mile long and one mile wide, Bryher’s landscape is wildly contrasting and wonderfully varied. After landing by boat at the quay or the Anneka Rice-constructed bar on the eastern side of the island, visitors should head south towards the clear, turquoise waters of Green Bay. If you can drag yourself away from the sheltered beach and the views of neighbouring Tresco using your Scilly map, continue around the bottom of Samson Hill towards Rushy Bay. Once you’ve walked around Bryher’s southern tip, it’s time to explore its rugged western coast. Feeling the full effects of the Atlantic, it’s a world away from the eastern coast – and nowhere is this more evident than the aptly-named Hell Bay, which experiences spectacular storms during the winter. On arrival at Shipman Head Down, Bryher’s northernmost point, it’s time to head south along the island’s north-east coast. If you have time, climb Watch Hill – Scilly’s highest point – and enjoy the panoramic views across to the other islands and, on a clear day, Land’s End.

5. Gullane Bay to North Berwick, East Lothian

This gently-undulating six-mile stretch of East Lothian Coastal Path may be famous for its golf courses, but its many sandy beaches, low-rising cliffs and picturesque woodland arguably have more appeal. Starting at Gullane Bay, walkers will cross grassy heathland interspersed by rocky outcrops and sheltered coves, while a splattering of offshore islands adds to the already-impressive views across the Firth of Forth.The abundant birdlife is central to the East Lothian Coastal Path’s appeal, and on the approach to Bass Rock – an island 1.2 miles offshore – one of the UK’s largest colonies of gannets comes into view.While away an hour or two in North Berwick, a fashionable 19th century holiday resort, before catching the bus back to Gullane.

Best Animal Experiences in the UK

download (40)Tea with Tigers

Remember the Tiger Who Came to Tea? He ate all the food in Sophie’s house, drank all the water in the taps and then left never to be seen again. Now the tigers are inviting you to join them for tea, and the good news is that there’s plenty of food to go around. At Paradise Wildlife Park in Broxbourne, visitors can take afternoon tea in the Treetops CafĂ© after enjoying a special guided tour with a member of the park’s Cat Team. The team will provide interesting information on tigers (like did you know that their skin is striped as well as their fur?), and they’ll also answer any tiger questions that you might have. Afterwards you can walk across the Big Cat Walk to get some close-up souvenir snaps of these majestic cats before exploring the rest of the park.

Walk with Wolves

If you’ve ever wanted to meet a wolf close up this is your chance. On the outskirts of Reading, volunteers at the UK Wolf Conservation Trust head into the surrounding countryside with two fully grown wolves on metal leashes in front of them. The Trust owns the surrounding countryside – it has to take precautions to make sure that the wolves don’t encounter any dogs. Larger canines often like to play-fight, a fight that could potentially be fatal to them when faced with a tooth-baring wolf. While on the walk, there are plenty of photo opportunities and visitors may even get the opportunity to stroke the wolves, not as you would a dog. Wolves must be stroked on the underside of their stomach so that you’re submitting to them.

Meet the Meerkats

Not everyone likes their wild animals, well, wild. If you’re interested in meeting some of Africa’s cutest critters, there are several experiences that allow you to get up close and personal to meerkats whether it’s in Hertfordshire, Chester or Preston. Although the experiences differ from location to location, most experiences will have you chatting to members of the meerkat team and preparing the meerkats’ lunch for them. When you walk into their pen sprinkling food, you’ll see the naturally inquisitive meerkats are more than happy to pop up and say hello. After you’ve met the meerkats, you can take a stroll around the rest of the safari park, and meet the rest of the animals.

Whatever type of animal you like, you’re bound to find an animal experience that suits your needs. So before you start planning exotic trips to experience your favourite animal first hand, why not look at the experiences available closer to home?