About a Year Ago…

One year ago on April 16th, Daniel, Natasha and I said goodbye to Boquete, Panama. You might have thought you’ve seen all the pictures from our Panamanian adventure, but no!

I thought I’d share pictures of our last week in Panama, before returning to the States. Are you confused yet as to what time I’m referring?! :) This would be…April 16-26, 2012. As in, after we left Boquete but before we flew home. See, we took a bit of a sightseeing vacation before actually returning to the States so we could see more of Panama.

To get an idea of where we were and where we were headed on our little excursion, see this map.  A is Boquete, and B is Bocas del Toro. 

So here we go. Never before seen pictures of our last week in Panama, day one! (April 16, 2012)

The last morning in our house on Volcancito Road:

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All our bags, waiting for Daniel to lock the gate for the last time.

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We walked quickly to the bottom of the hill, to catch the bus to David. About halfway down, a kind couple stopped and offered us a ride. Turns out that the fella knew of the exact county I grew up in back in the States! As an added bonus, he knew a dairy farmer from there. (I grew up milking cows…)

We caught the bus just in time and headed to catch a smaller bus at the main bus station in David. After our potty break, (where you pay a quarter to get a wad of toilet paper from the restroom attendant) we actually saw a couple from the church in Boquete on the sidewalk. That was a pleasant surprise! We exchanged goodbyes and “God bless yous” and waited for our bus. I wish I would have gotten a picture of the Indian family sitting on the cement waiting for a bus with not only all their belongings, but a propane tank AND a full size mattress. You see all sorts of people at bus stations…

As a little reminder, we were accustomed to being about 3500 ft. up in the mountains, with cool 70 degree weather and no humidity. But just an hour down the mountain, the temperature and humidity rose. David is much hotter and sweat appeared out of nowhere on our foreheads!

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So we began the ~6 hour ride up to Almirante (where you can catch a boat to Bocas Town). For having to say goodbye to Boquete, I was in a rather good mood. It felt terribly exciting to be going to the Caribbean and it was fun to be seeing more of Panama.

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For some reason we never referred to the buses as “chicken buses”. I guess that is what folks call them in other Central American countries, basically because you can see just about anything brought on, including chickens. We didn’t actually SEE the chickens in this box, but it was fun to hear them peeping. Natasha thought that was kind of fun.

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As we approached the coast, houses started to look much more Caribbean.

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Changing from bus to taxi to water taxi is kind of stressful. Especially when you look like a tourist, don’t speak much Spanish and have a ton of bags with you. After arriving at Alminrate, we took a quick taxi ride to the waterfront and got a water taxi to take us to Bocas Town.

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Imagine the water taxi “station” looking something like this and when you arrive, “helpful” guys looking for tips descend upon you like vultures. “Taxi? Motel? You need help with your bags? I call taxi! We have one waiting! Here, here, here! I get it for you. No problem!” It’s hard to say no, because you don’t want to have to tip them, but when they really are legitimate, it’s hard to know which ones are!

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Chiquita Bananas!

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Turns out the reservations didn’t work out for our original hostel, but with the help of a slightly over-helpful local, he arranged for us to stay in another hostel down the street. For our supper, we went downtown and bought a pineapple. The town made me think of New Orleans, even though I’ve never been there. Very fishy and Caribbean!

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More to come, so stay tuned

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