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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Stranger kindness & all day on buses back to Panama city

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Today we are up early with a farewell to our new friends at Boca Brava.
It has been the most restful week on the island.

We have a bit of a late start.
My seven year old wants to watch a movie on the computer.
He has no interest in packing up.
I ask him to write a page of his journal instead.

We finally hit the road.
Well hit the water taxi.

Once we get to Boca Chica we walk up the hill and wait for the mini van.
We wait and wait.
My son enjoys a bit of time on the playground - until girls come.
Finally we get a mini van.
It is the slowest ride ever.
It goes around the block - but it stops for locals to run into houses.
For people who haven't even left houses.
To take a paint order from a local and to stop and have chats along the way.
The driver is on no rush.
The mini van is full of giggling girls.

Just as we take off we see an express bus pop out of nowhere and whizz by.
It is now 10.30 am and I am super frustrated.

We wind along the road and it doesn't stop where the last mini van did on the way in.
I stress out as it passes the poor local houses.

It gets us to the main road.
We are supposed to try to stop the big buses that come by hourly.
Darn - as we unload our bags it whizzes by.
I HAVE to go to the bathroom.
I head over and it is just revolting.
Oh well - one to add to my Toilet Blog I have!

Then along comes an Italian passenger.
His driver Lauren is from Canada.
They have a chat and the Italian gives up his seat in the car.
They chat and decide to take us 1 hour back to David.
There we are guaranteed a seat on the big coach.

We get into David by 11.30 and buy a ticket for the 12 noon bus.
We ask for one at the front so my son won't get sick.

I stock up on food for the trip.
This guy is peeling oranges - he sells them for $1 a bag.
I stock up on a tub of strawberries and coconut ice.

The trip ends up taking nearly 8 hours.
We arrive at Panama City.
A lady is offering hotel rooms at a budget price.
3 other coach travellers take her up on the offer so I decide it is safe.
We end up having a lovely dinner in the restaurant with a fellow traveller.
And we make a new friend.
We head to our room.
The headboard is floor tiles.
So are the side tables.
But my son is happy as it has USA TV channels in ENGLISH!

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