Saturday, October 09, 2004

Week 15 - San Jose, Costa Rica to Boquete, Panama

October 2 - 8, 2004


Got up many times throughout the night between 3am and 7am with hopes of seeing the red lava... our last chance. Yet, no luck. Too cloudy. Oh well - we still got to see our friends and I still get to see my brother.

We left by bus to San Jose, via San Ramon. Very, very, very pretty drive - so green, tropical, mountainous, curvy roads, and many many rivers. Gorgeous!! Arrived to the airport and spent the afternoon with my brother Kyle. So awesome to see him!!!

We did nothing but socialize for the limited time he was in San Jose. So worth it. Kiko and I then hopped a bus to downtown and stayed in a hotel across from the Mercado Central (Central Market).

Sunday to Monday - CAHUITA, COSTA RICA

We were going to leave Costa Rica for Panama by the southern most border next to the Pacific. But, for some reason, we changed our minds and went for the northern most border on the Atlantic's Caribbean Sea. So, Sunday morning we got up and took buses to Cahuita via Puerto Limon. Cahuita is a very small quiet Caribbean town. Our travel pace has been so fast lately that we decided we needed to spend two nights to recover before going on to Panama.

Found a nice little place to stay, next to the ocean - owned and run by a local school teacher. The town is at the entrance to the Parque Nacional Cahuita (Cahuita National Park). Click here, and here, for two more sites on the park. No development on the beaches and shores - you can walk for miles. Very relaxing and beautiful - however, not too thrilled about the heat and higher costs of this particular area.

Took a walk through the national park - amazing! The trail was right along the ocean.

Even got to see monkeys! The same monkeys that we could hear in Guatemala but could not see through the trees. I love monkeys!

Tuesday to Friday - BOQUETE, PANAMA

Since it is my birthday today, as a present to me, I decided to go to a place less hot and humid... highlands. So, four buses and eight hours took us to Boquete, Panama. Much cooler!! The border crossing went very well... coolest one yet. We had to walk from Costa Rica into Panama on an old railway bridge over the Sixaola River that is currently only used for people or cars, not trains. The tracks are still there though.

And the drive was very green and pretty.

Found a hotel, went out to dinner, and had our 2B celebration beers (border and birthday). Besides trying the two of the local Panamanian beers, we found Kiko's favorite - tallboys of Old Milwaukee in the grocery store... Kiko's day was made.

Met a german couple in Boquete. They are on a three year adventure around the world in their 4x4 van. Pretty cool! He is a freelance journalist. We both had the same mission in common... how to get to South America (the Pan-American Highway ends at the Darien Gap). And so, the four of us went to an internet cafe to share notes, research, and find a way. No luck so far for any of us. But we shall keep trying. I think that the German couple has a much tougher mission - they have to get themselves AND their van to south. They are looking into shipping it and then flying themselves since the boats will not allow them to travel with the van.

The couple started planning their trip in 1998 and left Germany just over a year ago. Click here for a site from their trip... it is in German, but you can enjoy the photos.

While in Boquete, Kiko and I have been enjoying not only the weather, but also, the scenery of volcanoes, coffee fincas (farms), and cloud forests. Taking walks around here has been fantastic!

We shall be leaving in the next few days to Panama City - got to find a way... to South America... and that is the best place to find answers. Plus, then we get to see the Panama Canal.

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