62-63: 15 hour journeys and demonstrations (AGH)

Trip Start Jan 10, 2013
Trip End Jun 06, 2013

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Flag of Panama  , Bocas del Toro,
Sunday, April 7, 2013

Day 62

So the bloody Germans became even more annoying this morning because there alarm went off even earlier than I had to get up (already very early) and literally left it going for about 5 minutes waking up everyone in the dorm. Then they eventually put it on snooze, then it went off again, snooze, on again. This went on for about twenty minutes. Either get up, change your alarm time or don't set it so early and let it go off a hundred times at 6am when everyone is sleeping. Arseholes. They eventually got up after me and then proceeded to talk very loudly again with the lights on. Seriously what's wrong with these people!

Shortly after I was off on my mammoth journey back to Playa Coco. I've worked out this is going to be my route; boat, minibus, minibus, bus, bus and the probably a taxi to actually get back as I really don't think I'll make the bus back to Coco's and I'll have to get one to Liberia. Eeh. It all rides on whether I get my bus in Puerto Viejo. If not it'll be Liberia. Pretty much the only thing I'm excited about today is getting home and finally watching Spartacus. Gonna be a while till that though...

However in an extreme unusual streak of luck, I managed to get on a bus to San Jose at the Panama border and it was only $4 more than my bus in Puerto Viejo, sweet. I was also lucky because I actually only had $15 on me, I hadn't really considered the fact that I would need money on this trip. Clever. I was still worried I wasn't going to make it though but we arrived nearly an hour before my bus left. I decided to get a taxi anyway because the tickets always sell out but the taxi drivers tried to completely rip me off. I knew it was like a one minute drive and they were trying to charge me $6, uh fuck off. I eventually got one who wasn't trying to be a complete money grabbing ahole and got to the next bus station and they had tickets left, yes! Happily I had a window seat without even having to steal one this time, score. However when I got on the bus some woman was sitting in my seat. I was like, uh no. And made her move. She was pretty annoyed but after already having been travelling for 8 hours and I want my god damn window seat.

The whole journey so far hadn't seemed too long and I had managed to sleep for a large part of it. After the second leg of the journey though after our rest stop it seemed to go on FOREVER!! I think it took the long way because it was the last bus as it went through Sardinale, the town near Coco's. It honestly went on and on. Finally we arrived in Playa Coco and for once I couldn't find a taxi. Typical. I then realised I didn't have enough money for one so I had to steal 200 colones out of Taylor's small change box! But finally after 15 hours, I was home! Unfortunately I got back and there was a beer bottle on my bed and my bed had clearly been used and had what looked like dog hair on itI didn't mind but I didn't really want to change my bed after a 15 hour journey. Apparently Taylor had her computer broken as well and someone had been watching porn on it, Esteban said that a man had come to fix the air con but that was it. So wasn't the best welcome back haha. I got my reward though after I snuggled into my now clean bed and watched Spartacus. Finally.

Day 63

Today I'm helping out with the instructor course that's going on at the moment. When I arrived to work I thought I was just going to be doing the logistics of their pool session I.e. getting all the tanks together and so on but no, no, I quickly discovered I would actually be demonstrating all of the skills today as well. Aaaahhhhhhhhhhh. At least 6 of these skills I have never done before as I apparently missed a large amount of them in my open water. Demonstrating skills I've never even seen before, yay. To be honest I was more worried about having to do all of my hated masks skills in front of 11 people. Not only do I hate doing them anyway but now I have the added pressure of doing it in front of everyone. Aaaaahhhhhhh again.

Well this was my chief concern before I actually got to the swimming pool and we did our briefing. I then realised I had a lot more to worry about because I hadn't really thought about the fact that I actually had to do these skills to a demonstration standard, there were also a lot of signals to remember and apart from the skills I hadn't actually done before a lot of the skills were things I hadn't done since last year, in my open water. After the briefing I think I actually wanted to cry, I suddenly understood what it was like to be a stressed diver. I was also tempted to just go drown myself in the pool just to escape doing it!

We started with demonstrating an equipment set up, which was fine and then we got into the pool. We had to do a deep water entrance and for the first time in my life I forgot to inflate my BCD, pretty much the most rudimentary and important thing to do before you get into the water! I think I was just so stressed out that I forgot but either way I was laughing my head off at my stupidity once I surfaced. Well I did say I wanted to drown myself in the pool, I had got off to a good start.

Most of the skills were ok, I didn't think I did horribly but I didn't think I did amazingly either. Luckily in regards to the skills I'd never done before I got to see the rest of the group demonstrate them before it got round to me so that was very helpful! My mask skills were actually ok too, I wasn't expecting to get good scores in them but for me it was more important that I felt comfortable with my mask off then getting a perfect score. And I did feel a lot better without one, woop! Progress. However my coordination has definitely not got any better as during my underwater swim without a mask on I managed to swim into a wall and also nearly into Laura on the way back. Smooth.

After all of this we did some surface skills for the PADI skin diver course and then we were finally done. During this I managed to swallow a large amount of water and the pool was disgusting, I'm definitely going to get typhoid or some other water related illness. Mmm. So after 5 hours in the pool we were finished, I was knackered and Jade and I both felt ill, probably from the disgusting water mixed with a lot of sun. I also ran into Sylvie randomly at the hotel the pool was at. We were in Phi Phi together last year which was even weirder as me, Hannah and Kelly had just been talking about it that day. Small world! After we got back to rich coast we washed all of the gear and I did some emails for the surf package thing we're doing for the shop. Finally my new fins had arrived too so after waiting for 9-10 weeks I can actually use them now!

I hadn't done as bad as I thought in my skill demonstrations and actually got 87/120 whereas the IDC people I was with got like 94. So I did much better than I thought I would have! Woop!
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