Things I don't like on this trip, or even hate.

Trip Start Oct 06, 2004
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Panama  ,
Wednesday, December 29, 2004

I am at the Purple House hostel (in the city of David) with Ben and Steve. We have more or less just finished the seven hours hike from Guadalupe to Boquete, known as Sendero de los Quetzales (the Quetzal trail.) It's a beautiful hike through cloud forest and Volcan Baru National Park. It was enjoyable and I am very glad I did it. But when it started pissing down with rain and I got soaked while walking up the Hill of Pain, I started to think about things I don't like on this trip. Or things I even "hate." I have read through some of my own blogs, and realize that they are all practically full of positive and cheesy adjectives.

Well is it all positive? I have met some wonderful people. I have hardly been sick (just a slight cold back in Guatemala.) My stomach is better than ever (probably because of my daily intake of Doxycycline, an anti-malaria drug that also works as an antibiotic.) I haven't lost anything or got anything stolen. Knock on wood. No accidents. Touch wood again. The travel has mostly been pretty easy, with frequent bus or boat connections. The food is usually tasty and the beer cold. I spend less than my budget. My backpack is light. The sunsets are beautiful and the volcanoes usually rest below a clear sky. I am having a blast! So what are my struggles so far, if any?

- Shaving is far from fun. It's a major pain at home and even more so on the road. Especially it's no fun in cold water (it's not very often I got hot water at the places I am staying). But hey, don't complain as it's usually humid. The Andes area and it's cold showers will be much more painful. I know that from previous experiences in Peru and Bolivia. Let it grow some people say. Yeah right, I dislike having a beard, and man is a comb-over attractive! And then I'm probably to vain too....

- It's Saturday night. The nightlife is boiling, while I forgot my laundry and got no clean t-shirts or underwear.

- Locals throwing garbage everywhere.

- Slow Internet connections and frequent power outages. I know, that's being very very very spoiled.

- Taxi or bus drivers trying to rip me off. Hey, I am not stupid guys!

- Not being able to make a conversation in Spanish. I am starting to understand quite a bit of Spanish, but the problem is to speak it. I only know a few standard phrases. If I knew the local lingo, it would have made everything more interesting. It's very frustrating not being able to speak to the locals because of a language barrier.

- Having to take a 10 hour detour by bus, boat and taxi, because the 30 Km of road to the town I am trying to reach is not suitable for cars. Had I known it was 10 hours, I would have walked the 30 Km instead.

- Border queues. Need I say more!

- Spending 45 minutes looking at some parrot like creature, when all you want to see is monkeys (just kidding, see last paragraph in "Day 56" blog entry from Monteverde and Santa Elena.)

- Sloths who look like distant furballs because they are too far up in the canopy. "You lazy buggers should come down to the ground more often and try to move around a bit for us tourists!"

- Not seeing dolphins on a dolphin watching kayaking trip.

- No jaguars resting in the shade of a giant la ceiba tree when I am there. Only the recent smell of it. I guess I would have written the opposite if it was actually there at the time.

- Shopping at a local corner store, as they never ever have change. It's not just a local corner store issue, it frequently happens in most places you spend money all over Latin America.

- Mosquitos and sand flies. I "hate!"

- Not mastering the art of Salsa when a local beauty asks you to dance. I "hate!", I "hate!", I really really "hate!"

As you can see it's some really big struggles I have to live with on this trip. Lets hope it continues.
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