Sunday, January 20, 2013

Our trip goes wrong - why won't this driver stop?

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We leave Sona on the small mini-van.
We have our 4 bags and now seem to have more - food!

We have booked an Island holiday next at Bocca Bravo.
When we get to Santiago we have to cross a couple of streets to get another bus.
I notice this girl tending for her little sister.
Where is Mum?

As we head to the turn-off for Bocca Brava I show the assistant the note.
I ask 5 times and also show him my note written in Spanish.
I get the feeling I am getting ignored.
As the trip goes on a few hours, I know we have gone too far.
He collects the fare - $9 each - no way.
This is more than we paid to get to Sona.
I know this is not right.
Suddenly when my bladder can no longer hold on we stop.
He races off with our bags and tells us to get another bus.
Then we race after him in fear he is taking off with the bags.
My son is in a panic.
My bladder is about to burst.
Yikes - he has gone!
We head in and pay 25 cents to use a filthy bano.
I sit my son at a table and instruct him to stick his foot under the door and to talk loudly.
This feels a bit unsafe!
We sit and eat some hot fries - which were about triple what we should have paid.
I am not enjoying today.
I am dehydrated and I can't drink because the buses have no toilets for hours.
My head is aching.
I am so stressed.
I work out we have gone about 1 to 1.5 hours past our drop off road.
I refuse to pay for a bus back.  What if that doesn't stop.
Time for "Plan B".
I calm down.
We decide to head for Boquete as I have heard the mountains are pretty.
As we walk out we are struck with the change in National Dress.

We are back to local buses.

We are not happy!
We head up, and up, and up this area as we get pushed by the crowd.
It is later in the afternoon and I have no accommodation packed.
I have not researched this area yet.

As the bus heads off we pass stone churches and dry areas.

We arrive in Boquete and find out there is a huge festival on.
" Feria de Las Flores Y el Café".
The Festival of Flowers and Coffee.
We try a hostel I had been told was good.
It is booked out.
I fear they all are.
We end up at a scuzzy place called Hostal Palacios.
He tells me a pack of lies including the mattress is orthopaedic.
I nearly laugh.
This picture may look OK.
The room stops at the lamp.
The tiles are missing.
I check for bedbugs and agree to fork out $35.
Half the louvres are missing.
It is the pits.

But it does have a Central America feel.
I see my son behind this planter made from a tyre.
He is about to cry!

We head out - more on this place later - do not stay here unless you are desperate.
The only good thing is it is central.
And there is good reason it is vacant!
But it seems a pretty town - if you are here - do visit.

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