A Travellerspoint blog

Panama

Panama City

Leaving Central America

semi-overcast 30 °C
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July 6th 2007
Checked out and caught a bus to Panama City. All well, we arrived around 5 pm and found that most of the hotels were full - probably because it’s Friday. We checked into an overprized Hotel Montreal, had dinner and checked our emails.

July 7th 2007

Moved out of Hotel Montreal and into Hotel California, which is much better value. We went around Panama City looking for a new charger for the camera batteries, as the other one was broken on the boat. Did some general shopping and just relaxed.

July 8th 2007

Once again hanging out and relaxing in Panama City. We went to see the canal - not that interesting to my thinking, but I guess it's a must see here. It was not very photogenic or pretty though. We noticed there are lots of Maersk containers, and there was even a model of a Maersk ship in the canal museum.

July 9th 2007

Bored with Panama City now, just hanging around waiting for our flight out of here. We are really looking forward to starting the South American leg of our journey - it's going to be completely different I think.

Posted by monkyhands 11:39 Archived in Panama Comments (1)

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)

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