Which drama to write about first
Trip Start Feb 05, 2009
15Trip End Mar 06, 2009
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Where I stayed
The last 48 hours can certainly be called an adventure.The trip from Panama City to Boquete went fairly well. Thanks, Sarah, for your Survival Guide. It helped. The best thing I did was get up at 6:00, have breakfast at the hotel, and then got to the Gran Terminal de Transportes by 8:00 a.m. The cab from the hotel was really sketchy--cracked windshield, ripped upholstery, but hey, he only charged me 3 bucks. I think this was not one of the taxis de touristas because I was expecting to pay 6. I got on the 8:00 bus to David. I forgot about having to have the coin to go through the turnstyle to get on the bus. Now, why on earth do they charge you 5 cents to get out of the terminal to get on the bus once you ve paid 12.60 for the ticket.....
Sarah, your taking the overnight bus was a good idea because the curtains were closed much of the time to see the movies. I sat beside a 29 year old Panamanian man who kept laughing at the Eddie Murphy movie and commenting to me in some version of Spanish, but I never understood a word. It was cool to see Spiderwick in Spanish. Across the aisle was a Panamanian mother nursing a 9 month old baby and her 3 year old. I held the baby for her a few times to give her a rest.. The trip was a lot longer than I expected. We got to David about 3:15. David is more of a modern suburbia type city. I thought it was interesting that the Dodge Chrysler Jeep dealership was out of business, but the Toyota beside it looked very sucessful. I made the transfer to the local bus to Boquete fairly easy, just wandering around the station until I found the Boquete sign and the man yelled "Boquete" to me. The door of the bus stayed open the whole trip to Boquete with a 10 year old boy standing beside the driverĘ. No safety concerns here.
On the way to Boquete, I was surprised by all the really nice houses outside of town, whole subdivisions, Americans I think. Well, I got off the bus in Boquete after seeing what I thought was a favorable sign--a FULL rainbow. I don t think I have ever seen one. Almost forgot my suitcase because I was the only one who had one that he had put underneath. Thank God it was raining because I thought I needed my raincoat, which of course was in the suitcase. Fortunately, I remembered before he drove away. I rambled around town looking for someplace that looked familiar, went the wrong way, of course, but finally found Hostal Boquete, only to learn there was no power, phone service, or internet. Evidently, there was a hurricane that hit Bocas del Toro, and Boquete was getting the remnants of it. I had read that Panama didn t get hurricanes. And I thought I was coming to Panama in the dry season.
I spent the frist night in the gringo bar Amigos with expats who didn t have power in their houses. Pamela lives high up, where she said the winds had reached 90 miles per hour. It was warm and cozy with only candlelight in the bar, but, hey, they were cooking . They had propane. Wine was only 2 bucks a glass. We were having a hurricane party.
When I left I stopped by the grocery store, bought candles, but then they had no matches, so I stumbled back to the hostal and felt my way to bed. That night brought no sleep, however, because right outside my window was the RAGING Caldera River and metal awnings that keep banging. I was paying extra for that river room.Yesterday, I learned that just on Wednesday before I came, the guests at the Hostale Boquete had to be evacuated because of the fear of the river flooding. The power finally came back on at 4:00 am, 5 poles had been ripped by the wind... A sense of normalcy is slowing returning here, but it s still raining. More drama to follow...