June 15th Panama

by - June 17, 2018

Today is the dreaded travel day.  We woke up at 4 and packed everything up.  We are a bit sad to leave our little home.  We took the 6 AM water taxi to Golfito.  

The same dog that has been following us around town all week came to the pier to say goodbye to us.  I named him Deez.

 It took about 45 minutes.  Once there, we kept asking locals where the bus stop is to get to Paso Canoas.  After much confusion and some annoyance with the taxi drivers we ended up back where we started.  We had some coffee and waited for 30 minutes for the next bus.  The ride from Golfito to Paso Canoas took about an hour.  Paso Canoas is the main border crossing between Costa Rica and Panama.  We read so many horror stories about what a cluster it can be that we did our research.  We found the first building where we paid the $8/person exit tax to Costa Rica.  Then we went to the Costa Rica immigration  and got our passports stamped and showed them our receipts for the exit tax.  Then we had to find the Panama immigration building.  They took our photo, got our fingerprints, and stamped our passports.  No issue whatsoever.  They didn't even ask for our proof of exit or proof of having $500.  We easily found the bus to David and were happy to be in air conditioning.  We were stopped once and everyone had to show their ID.  Unlike Costa Rica, Panama does have a military.  This was another hour bus ride.  Bart canceled our one way flight to the US.  Then we switched buses in David and headed to Boquete.  This was more like a coach bus, but was decorated as if it was from India.  The bus driver forgot to stop at our bus stop so we had a short walk to our hostel.  We arrived at La Jungla Experience around 2 PM.  After a short tour of the grounds we decided to go into town for dinner.  We went to Boquete Brewing Company for a couple beers.  It has been so long since we had something besides the local lager.  We enjoyed a couple IPAs, a witbier, and a sour.  It felt like we were in the US for once.

 Since it didn't look like the rain was going to pass we headed to Mike's International Grill for dinner.  We both ordered blood Mary's and burgers.  

As we sat there we realized the place was filled with white expats.  We quickly remembered reading that AARP had named Boquete top ten places to retire.  
That explains all the American restaurants in town.  We thoroughly enjoyed our meal.  It was also weird to see Green Bay Packer decorations on the wall.  All so nostalgic.

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