Trip Start May 01, 2010
90Trip End Apr 30, 2011
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We crossed the Costa Rica/Panama border a couple of days ago. We took the bus from San Vito to the border town, Rio Sereno. We couldn't find the border crossing so walked with all our stuff down the main street. We noticed that many of the local indigenous population were dressed in traditional clothing that we hadn't seen previously in Costa Rica. Then we spotted a branch of the National Bank of Panama and realised we had crossed the border accidentally! We walked back up the hill to where we had got off the bus and then noticed a couple of official looking buildings which were the emigration and immigration points. According to our guidebook, crossing the border here can be a bureaucratic nightmare and take ages
Having crossed the border properly this time, we walked down the street again to the bus terminal and waited for the bus for David.The buses in Costa Rica were large, coach-sized buses but in Panama they are more like large mini-vans called Coasters. For the first half hour of the journey the driver drove at an agonisingly slow 20mph, leaving us very confused as to why this might be. Then suddenly and for little reason he sped up and the remainder of the journey was spent hurtling round bends at high speed! Got chatting to a friendly man on the bus who was a teacher. Unfortunately the combination of my poor Spanish and the fact that I can currently only hear out of one ear due to an ear infection meant we couldn't get past the basics! Very frustrating!
After about 90 minutes, we reached David, the third largest city in Panama. After the unfortunate stolen bag incident, we had had decided to lux it up a little and so booked into the Gran Hotel Nacional, complete with swimming pool, for 2 nights. In David we managed to replace some of the most important stolen items which made us feel better.
We left David this morning
We have just settled into our homely room at Los Quetzales Ecolodge where there are birds everywhere, including lots of hummingbirds, and are about to go and visit Finca Dracula, an orchid farm down the road.
We have just returned from Finca Dracula which was a wonderful place, set amongst lush water gardens. The owner has lived here for 30 years and has amassed a world-class collection of over 1200 species of orchid from Central and South America.