Saturday, January 26, 2013

A long day - Cerro Punta to Isla Bastimento via Bocas del Toro, Panama

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I have not been feeling well with a cold, so the day starts slowly.
We are meant to head off about 7 am, but it is after 9 by the time we farewell Cerro Punta 
and head down the hills to David.
The sky is grey and spots of rain splash on the windscreen.
It is a good day to be on a the inside of a vehicle - 
heading to the Caribbean Islands.
We farewell the volcano in the distance.

At David it is out of control.
We queue with our bags for over two hours.
About one in 20 people are tourists.
So I ask a couple from USA if I am waiting for the right bus.
I get "we hope so" as an answer.
Yikes - I consult my map and it seems to be the right place we are heading to.
there are two towns we can choose to dispatch at.
I select the one closest to the islands for a shorter water taxi ride.
I hope this is right.
I am traveling blind, with no information.

We ask to sit at the front of the min-van as my son gets travel sick.
The hills are so windy, it was nice to be at the front.

The hills were indeed so windy.
But it was so lovely to have a great seat - and a window we could open.
I find I get so dehydrated with the lack of toilets.

The houses get quite poor.

 This family have been on the bus with us.
The girl has some sort of live bird in a plastic bag.
She has queued the 2 hours with us.
This poor bird has had no food or water and my son is quite upset.

We finally get 1 stop in 5 hours.
Then we get to Almirante and have to catch a taxi to the water taxi.
A German traveller helps us work out where to go.
It is getting late - 5pm.

As we get into the water taxi, there behind us is the USA couple that helped us.
they were on the bus before us and actually arrived after us so we find out.

My son thinks hitting the water is fabulous.
He enjoys as the water taxi hits the water like cement.
It makes me feel revolting.
The worse I feel, the more he laughs.

The sun sets as we head toad Bocas del Toro.
I have no accommodation booked and I am stressed.

Bocas del Toro has developed so quickly.
It is not the quaint town I pictured it to be.
We wander the streets for 2 hours with all our bags trying to find a hostel.
The taxis refuse to stop for us.
I do NOT like this town.

Fortunately, I suddenly remember that a guy we had met in Cerro Punta.
He had written the name of a German Guesthouse on a close by island.
So we head back to the wharf for another water taxi.
My son has had enough.
Just get me something to eat!

We arrive at Guesthouse Tio Tom.
They say they are full.
Then they change and decide we can have the Kindergarten room with a bathroom.
$21 - a bargain - yes please.
I could have hugged them!
It was a nice clean room over the water - literally.

We head down along the water and find a nice guesthouse that makes food.
As we sit over the water, we are thankful that everything has turned out just fine.
We are on a Caribbean Island - yeah!

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