Saturday, January 7, 2012

Back to Panama City and then off to Costa Rica

Our stay in Panama was too short. I would have liked to go to Bocas del Toro (that's where everyone was going for New Years - everyone was planning on sleeping on the beach)...but alas, we had made plans to head to Costa Rica for another set of adventures.

The next day, we left Tony's Island but only after being woken by the loud blow of the conch and some breakfast.  The Kuna took us back to the landing where the jeeps were waiting to take us back to the City.  The road way to the boats was "new".  I use "new" lightly because  the roads were built in 2008 (I think) and they were already falling apart.  On the way back, I got a good look at part of the road way that had completely collapsed already.  Literally half of it was gone and you could see over the cliff to a fall that would certainly result in being severely maimed or death.  Our jeep ride back wasn't pleasant.  We were in a car with a bunch of Israelis that did not want us there.  In fact, the girls didn't even want to sit next to us - and she told us that, straight to our face. Yay for being friendly! So back to the City!

Food on the streets of Panama City

We made sure that our stuff was still in the hostel/hotel.  We didn't tell them that we were spending the night and we were a couple hours past the check out time.  The lady didn't seem to notice at all, so all our stuff was still safe.

We took a shower and headed to the rain forest that is located in Panama City. Our cab driver was the slowest driver in the whole wide world.  He was also running out of gas so we had to make a detour.  He then couldn't find the right turn off.  Worst cab ride but he was a nice guy and I think he felt bad so he only charged us $5USD.  We went on a short hike.  Some turtles were feeding on a carcass and we saw a small animal running (looked like a small pig).  The coolest were the lines of ants carrying huge leaves.  I took some pictures but I couldn't really capture it through a photo. It's just something you'll have to see for yourself!


View from the rain forest

After exploring for a while we had a couple hours to kill before heading to Costa Rica. We went to the mall. The mall was huge and included a grocery store.  I also saw Angry Birds - in the plush! They had a sling shot ready to take down the evil pigs (If you know me, then you know I get great enjoyment out of the game.  I don't play that often but it's still super fun! I also thoroughly enjoy using a sling shot).  The mall was like a 1990s American mall with knock off stores that were supposed to be Hollister, etc. We decided on some crepes and waffles for dinner.  It was not typical Panama food at all but it was delicious. We had to get a cab back to the hostel/hotel and then head to the airport.

Angry Birds at the Mall

Food Porn! Dulce de Leche waffle!

The cab driver kept telling us we were going to be late.  So we ran into the hotel to get our stuff and hopped back into the cab.  The cab driver said we could pay him to go faster to get to the airport (scary because he was already being reckless).  He proceeded to tail gate every single car and then started to drive on the highway shoulder. The cab driver started honking at every single car on the highway, including a cop car! He was honking at the police on the highway for about 45 seconds! It was crazy.  We were just hoping that no one would shoot us.

We were early to the airport.  We saw one of the guys from Tony's Island (he was traveling to Columbia by himself).  Turns out that we booked executive class tickets to Costa Rica, since we booked them a little late.  We got early entry into the plane and a dinner! plus a drink!  It was a surprise and crazy different from the places we had been staying!

Executive Class!

Then we were off to Costa Rica where we stayed in a lovers sweet.  Hotel Luisiana (Santa Ana, San Jose, Costa Rica) had the best bed ever and our first decent nights sleep in a couple of days! It was like a honeymoon sweet.  We also noticed that Costa Rica really likes it towel animals...and so do I!

Hello mister towel peacock!

 PS. I also try to review the places we stayed on TripAdvisor.

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