Mountains and Coffee

Trip Start Jul 31, 2005
Trip End Sep 05, 2007

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Flag of Panama  ,
Tuesday, July 10, 2007

We finally left Bocas Del Toro by an early morning boat with lots of locals who were on their way from Isla Bastimentos to Isla Colon to work. Upon arrival in Isla Colon we found that we had missed the boat to the mainland by 10 minutes and so had to wait almost an hour for the next one. The boat ride was uneventful with the exception of the kitten on the ladies lap next to me, he was soooooooo cute and I thought that he was going to jump overboard a few times! You will be pleased to know that he survived!

In Almirante we found the bus stop by the way of a taxi - the bus stop was quite literally the corner of a street - nothing to mark it as a bus stop of course! The man said the bus to David (pronounced like the Welsh pronounce it) would be along in 10 minutes, 10 minutes later along came the bus.

The journey across the mountains was beautiful, there was cloud and mist, rain and sunshine, the mountains were a mass of green and the closer we got to the top of the range the cooler it became. 4 Hours later we arrived in David and were dropped on a street, we had at that stage no idea that the bus station was behind a row of shops at our feet! So a guy helped us to find the bus station - In Panama they cannot just answer a question, they take you there and then expect payement! Similar to other places around the world! So to get to our bus cost us a dollar - the same as our bus journey cost an hour into the mountains!
We arrived in Boquete around three and it had just started raining, we walked into a hostel off of the main plaza which was way too expensive for our measley budget. Dodging the puddles to get back under some shelter we were accosted by the very lively Pancho! he turned out to be the owner of a hostel on the otherside of the square, the room he showed us was ok, it was his hilarious personality (and we mean that in the nicest possible way) that made us check in. He was so helpful and made us a map with a list of all of Boquete´s highlights on it - in highlighter.

It was almost 4pm by this stage, so to make the most of the light we set out of town into the surrounding mountains on a five kilometre round trip hike (Matt said it felt more like ten!). First stop was Cafe Ruiz for some of Panama´s amazing coffee, then we moved onto the stunning gardens called Mi Jardin tu Jardin - which means my garden, your garden. These gardens were so colourful, we walked around for sometime, up a tower to see the gardens in all of their glory backed by the surrounding mist covered mountains.

After the gardens we walked along narrow country lanes, which at some stages went uphill! Soon enough we started coming downhill, passing friendly locals, numerous coffee plantations, fruit trees and open spaces. It was dusk and we were not as far along as we had hoped, we crossed river after river and soon enough we walked into Boquete just as darkness had fallen.

Exhausted we visited the big supermarket in the square and bought some soft drinks before heading back to our room and refreshing. Later that evening we went to a local cafteteria style place for dinner, we both had rice and beef stewed with veggies - it was so cheap only $2 each for a massive plate - Matt decided that as it was cheap and yummy he would have another dish! Full up we fell asleep and slept well, with the exception of being woken by buzzing mozzies at 3am.

Tommorow is the last trip in Central America - Panama City beckons.


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