Why is it so hard to write the last journal entry after a vacation? Is there some fear that the trip is over when that is done? Obviously you can’t write a first entry since being back until you write the last entry of the trip so here it is, two weeks out and I’m finally writing.
We’re home! Our sketchy Central American airlines got us home; and if you would like to avoid the risk of being stranded somewhere, never fly COPA airlines. If you recall they are the same airlines that abandoned us in Guatamala, and we later learned that our flight was NOT canceled, they just decided that everyone coming from our United flight would get bumped so they could handle the overbooking. That was then. The new sexy is triple booking our seats. You would think that an airline could remember how many people fit on one of their airplanes but apparently that’s too much to ask. After I got settled in my seat someone came with an identical, printed, dated ticket as mine. When Tanya got to hers, someone was already sitting in it and someone ELSE had a ticket for it as well. Apparently this happens all the time because the locals took it in stride and somehow everything worked out.
Another fun experience to add to my list was getting selected for a random bag check in customs. They pulled all my stuff out of my bags and cut open some sealed coffee to look for drugs. All part of the experience!
Well, it´s our last night in Panama. In the last couple days we left David taking an overnight bus to Panama City which was so cold from the AC we didn´t sleep very well. We got in at 6AM and got to the car rental place.
If you like thrillers, drive in Panama City. It´s bad enough inside a Taxi, but then you only have to worry about how nutz your driver is, not the thousands of other taxi drivers around you. We weren´t renting a car to get around the City, it´s easy enough to get a taxi and only costs 2$ anywhere. We wanted to explore some of the inland areas and so we were taking a car trip.
Two nights ago we drove to Pedasi, a sleepy little town with some nice beaches and very nice people. On the way we stopped by the most over developed beach in Panama (Coronado) and it was too developed to even find access to the beach! We also stopped in some little towns with lots of history, found some pretty churches and visited a museum that was so eager to have our business that two of the staff rattled on to us in spanish for 3 hours (2.5 more than we had hoped to spend there)
After Pedasi we drove up to El Valle which was a really nice place. Like Boquete it was up in the mountains so cooler and very green with extreme hills rising vertically all around. We visited a zoo there where you can get right up close to the animals and the only thing stopping you from putting your hand in the cages was a sign “Cuidado”.
This morning we drove back to the City, and we´re going to see a folk show and have dinner soon. Tomorrow we get on a plane and with any luck we´ll be back in the USA by tomorrow night at 11:30.