Buses, Boats and Bottoms

March 12, 2013 - Bocas del Toro, Panama

Lots of bussing about. We had a massive overnight journey from Costa Rica to Panama City. The scenery was fantastic. We left at 12 midday and arrived at 4 a.m. next mornking That was okay. But we had to wait 2 hours until it was light so tht we could travel safely into the old town. The bit we had intended to stay in had all changed. Anyone who is considering travelling please, please, please, make sure your guide book is up to date. Don't buy one that is 4 years old. Vince is still defending this book which, peresonally, i would have set fire to quite a long time ago. Having realised that we were in a area (the old town) which was either being modernised and updated into somewhere too expensive or offered affordable accommodation which was too scary to even contemplate (heoin, crack or prostitution, anyone?), we walked to the main city. A long way with luggage. I get cross when I don't get enough water to drink or toilets to wee in. Yes, dear reader, I lost it. Hissy Fit City. 4 hours later we did find somewhere to stay. We think it might have been a knocking shop. However, we are still talking to each other. Finding out about how to get to vsarious places in Panama City is really, really difficult. It took us most of the day to get to the Panama Canal, where Vince watched the boats coming in and watched the boats going out again. My favourite bit was the 10 minute film they showed in the auditorium. You watched it with 3-D glasses. I've never used those before. Fantastic. I saw the film twice. Typical of me to come all the way to the Panama Canal and decide the best bit was something I could do at Peterborough Showcase! Panama City is quite amazing though. There are tower blocks of more than 40 floors. And we had a very amusing time trying to describe what we wanted from the food on offer in one cafe. Very few Panamanians speak English. We pointed at various dishes and the chef made the corresponding animal noise. I didn't know they used the word "oink" in Spanish! His chicken impression was particularly good.

We took another overnight bus - 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. to get to Almirante, which is still in Panama but fairly near the Costa Rican border. I didn't mind the actual journey but got precious little sleep as I was too worried about the approaching boat trip. The sea was pretty calm and our boat was a fast water taxi. But I still hated the whole 30 mins I was onboard. I don't mind rivers and canals but I am scared of waves. And now I am worred about the return trip to the mainland. I feel some pre-boat rum coming on. Fortunately for me, you can get cans of rum and coke for a dollar here. That should settle my nerves a bit. And probably make me throw up too! Embarrassing ...

Vince now has tummyh troubles. His turn. I am more or less okay so it is interesting to have the roles reversed.

We are currently at Bocas del Turo on the island of Colon. There is a Caribbean vibe here. And it is hot. But cloudy. And we have yet to discover a beach. I know it is currently freezing in England. We will be back in 6 weeks. And I wouldn't swap. Unless it is for the 30 minute boat trip back to Almirante.

1 Comment

Sarah and Michael:
March 17, 2013
Long bus journeys at night and boat trips - hat off to yer gal! I would be very ill... so happy to say its not me! I'm sure you didn't miss the pun of Colon island and Vince's troubles....I'm happy to point out the obvious :) Looking forward to meeting up when you get back. Keep travelling safely xx
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