Sunday, November 17, 2013

Into Panama, Bocas del Torro and Boquete (09.11.13 - 14.11.13)

From Puerto Viejo we took a bus down to the border crossing into Panama. Six years ago there was only the old railroad bridge which pedestrians had to share with trucks and cars. Now there is another bridge for vehicles and they even fixed the huge gaping hole in the railing where a truck/car must have plunged into the river.
After proving we would leave the country again by showing them an email (which could have come from anybody ;)) we got our passports stamped. Having some time and Tico Colones left we visited the Duty Free store! ^^ How can a 1l bottle of J├Ągermeister only cost 13$ in the middle of nowhere in central america?! We bought some rum (7 year old Centenario), red whine (from Chile) and as many beers we could get for our Colones. Sadly the only cold beer was some shit american brand, why?
After a shuttle and fast boat ride we arrived in Bocas del Torro. There has been quite some change since I got my PADI Open Water certification here six years ago. The many chinese run super markets (I counted 7 in the main street o_O) for example or the multi storey hotels and apartments for example.
As it has been a while since we've been diving we booked a two-tank-dive ^^ which took us out to The Caves. It had some nice rock formation but not much aquatic life besides the millions of fireworms. Also the visibility was quite poor due to the heavy rains in the night before. But the second dive was even worse! Our inexperienced divemaster swam away from us multiple times, getting lost and we had to surface to find her again... She swam over flounders (which she has never seen before she told us later o_O), scorpion fish, baby lion fish (sadly no spear at hand), nudibranches, cleaner shrimps and lobsters. Not everyone gets the good education of Underwater Vision it seems ;)
The next two days was more or less all rain so the trip to the beach never happend and we left. A boat and taxi ride later we found us perched into a local bus and shouted at by a the co-driver. Him being cross-eyed didn't help and none of the passenger knew who he was talking/shouting to. During the almost five hours we wished we would have taken the direct-tourist-shuttle for twice the price... In David we changed into a proper Chicken Bus™which was first class in comparison. Our accommodation in Boquete turned out to have a hot jacuzzi! This was quite welcomed as the temperature was in the sweater-at-night region. The exertions of the previous day took its toll and we more or less slept away the whole day. Again the rainy weather discouraged to do any tours and the steep prices didn't help either. So we relaxed and I did some research on what to do once we get home - I have some ideas ;)

Minion on the old railway bridge