A Travellerspoint blog

June 2007

Off to Malpelo

Start of the divetrip

sunny 33 °C
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On the 22nd and the 23rd, we once again hung out here in David, we got packed and sorted out the divegear. So now, its D-Day, and the diveboat operator is going to pick us up here at the hostel. Today, we are just checking in and getting briefed - tomorrow we sail out, and head for Malpelo. We should be back by the 5th of July, so look for news around that date - and lots of pictures from the trip.

Stop!!! Hammertime!

Posted by monkyhands 11:07 Archived in Panama Comments (1)

Panama er alletiders...

...was the title of a book I had as a kid.

semi-overcast 31 °C
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And so far, I think its true - Panama really is great. Its relaxed, cheap, and beautiful - so many different flowers and birds, even here in David City.

On the 17th, the day after we arrived, we decided to do nothing at all. It was really nice, as we were tired from travelling. So we hung out here in the purple palace and read books, watched TV, used the internet. Then we went to the Super 99 and bought supplies - food, drinks etc. We had a 2 dollar dinner at a chinese restaurant called Jenny (?). Decent food, real cheap. Alan ended up going out at night, to the local casino (!), and before he realised how much time had passed, it was 4.30 in the morning - Casinoes do that to you ;)

So, on the 18th Alan slept all day (no surprise there). I read another book - one crime novel a day seems to be my quota on days like this, when there is little else to do. Anyway, I enjoyed it. In the afternoon, when Alan got up, we took a taxi to Barqueta beach, because the owner of the hostel had told us there was going to be a release of baby turtles there. The place was nice, a beautiful, long, Pacific beach, with huge waves off shore, black volcanic sand, and pelicans flying over head.

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We thourougly enjoyed watching the little turtles struggle across the black sand on their way into the ocean. They are so tiny, that its hard to believe they will grow into actual turtles (and I guess most of them probably won't make it that far).

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Oh, and I managed to snag a quick photo of Alan - they are few and far between as he is always the one holding the camera, but I am trying to get some more shots of him from this trip, so here is one:

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Anyway, it was a nice day out, and at the end we caught a lift back to town on the back of a pick up truck.

On the 19th, we once again had a day of laziness, just hanging around. We went for a walk in the neighbourhood, then watched a movie and cooked some food.

On the 20th, we decided we needed to get away from the hostel, and so went to Boquete for the day. Boquete is a mountain town about and hour's busride from David (on the chicken bus, aka retired American school bus)

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The mountains around Boquete are beautiful, covered in forest and hidden half the time by mist and clouds, and the climate there is a lot cooler than in David. But still, Boquete did not quite live up to all the hype there seems to be about it in various guides to Panama. The town itself has little to offer, and is in fact quite devoid of charm. Although we did see a few of the local women in traditional dress (but we have seen that in David as well).

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We walked around the town, and had a look at the river. There are lots of beautiful gardens as well, with amazing fruits, plants and flowers.

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We had lunch in Boquete, and in the afternoon we took the bus back to David.

On the 21st we slept really late (nice). Had a late breakfast. Then we went and dropped off our laundry, and did some more food shopping. In the evening Alan cooked a lovely Thai curry. He is starting to get restless, as the Malpelo trip is getting so close - we are both really excited about it...

Posted by monkyhands 20:09 Archived in Panama Comments (2)

Costa Rica to Panama

Made it to David

rain 30 °C
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On the 14th, we go up at 5 am and boarded the bus to San Jose. We had a minor crises at the border, because we didn't realise that the Costa Rican immigration requires you to have an onward ticket out of the country, in order for you to be allowed to enter. And we didn't have one, as we have been buying tickets on a day to day basis. Luckily, there was a small agency at the border, who sold us "fake" bus tickets back to Nicaragua, and this was enough for immigration. Otherwise, we had a comfortable trip. In San Jose, we checked into Hostel Galileo, had some food and went to sleep.

On the 15th, we took a well deserved day off travelling, and walked around San Jose. We went out to the Multiplaza mall and bought a cover for our new laptop, as well as a headset so we can call home on Skype. Then we strolled around in central San Jose, and just chilled out. We decided to go straight to Panama the next day, and thereby get some time to explore one place. We only have about a week, and if we split it up in two or three countries, we will hardly have time for anything at all - this way, we get a week in David, and will have time to do some daytrips from there etc. From what we have seen of Nicaragua and Costa Rica, they are beautiful countries, but for us it makes more sense to just get to Panama.

So, on the 16th, we went to the busstation in the morning, and caught a direct bus to David, with a company called Tracopa. The bustrip took almost 10 hours, but went smoothly enough. No problems at the border this time. Upon arrival we checked into the Purple House Hostel here in David, and are ready to explore the surrounding area over the next week.

Posted by monkyhands 20:52 Archived in Panama Comments (0)

Honduras to Costa Rica

Skip, hop, jump

overcast 31 °C
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On tuesday the 12th, we took a ferry from Roatan to La Ceiba as planned, and arrived in La Ceiba at about 8.30. Then we made our way to the Hedman-Alan busstation, and took a 10 am bus to Tegucigalpa. The bus ended up taking 8 hours, and so we arrived around 6 pm. We checked into a hotel, had some food and went to sleep.

Wednesday the 13th (today) we then went out to the busstation of a company called Tica Bus, and took their 9 am bus to Managua, the capital of Nicaragua. Bus took 8 hours, and we were here by five. ,We checked into the hotel in the Tica Bus station, and had some food. (We are now using the wireless internet there). Orginally, we were gonna spend a few days here, but from what we've seen its not exactly nice here, and since we are on the go, we might as well keep moving. So, we booked a ticket for the 6 am bus tomorrow to San Jose, Costa Rica. Should take nine hours, so by tomorrow night, if all goes well, we will be in Costa Rica.

The Tica Busses are quite cheap, and fairly comfortable, so its not so bad, although obviously it does get tedious to travel on busses for that long. On the plus side, you get to see a lot of things. In the last two days, I've seen through the bus window: people doing laundry in a river, fields of Aloe Vera cacti, a cart pulled by oxen, couple of crack heads sleeping in the gutter, rows of paintings for sale on the sidewalk, a pickup truck loaded with pigs, a karate do, horse ranches with green pastures and white fences, forest covered mountains enveloped in mist, an all night barber shop, a cowboy on his horse, men smoking cigarettes on the street, and overturned container lorry with the container hanging precariously over a steep cliff, elections posters painted on rocks and cliffs, numerous shoeshine boys, hairless dogs, pregnant animals of various kinds (dogs, cats, horses, pigs, cows etc), a lake surrounded by volcanoes, hills coveres in pine forest that almost looked like Sweden (almost, but not quite), the headquarters of British-American Tobacco company, and lots of other things.

More from Costa Rica soon!

Posted by monkyhands 20:03 Archived in Nicaragua Comments (0)

Leaving Roatan

Bye bye beaches

sunny 35 °C
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Tomorrow we will try to leave Roatan, by catching the morning ferry to La Ceiba, and then a bus onwards to Tegucigalpa, the capital of Honduras. We've been here long enough now, and its time to get going if we are to make it to David in Panama by the 24th of June, for the Liveaboard, without stress. A little bit nostalgic, as this will probably be the last beachtime we will see in a while - when we hit South America it will still be winter/early spring there, and not very warm. But the heat here makes us look forward to that, actually, so it should be OK. Right now, our focus is on the liveaboard in Malpelo, which should be amazing, but I am sure we can have a nice few days in Nicaragua or Costa Rica on the way there. ;)

Also, leaving here will give us a bit of a break from partying and drinking - not that it hasn't been fun, but it's nice to see some more stuff, and travel is not all partying, hey :)

More news from the road soon - hopefully we can find places to use wireless internet with our new laptop, otherwise it'll be internet cafe's again.

Posted by monkyhands 14:59 Archived in Honduras Comments (2)

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