Crossing into Panama

I skipped Puerto Viejo on Saturday, put my clock an hour forward for Panama, got on the bus to Bocas del Toro and stayed on it well past the island, across the mountains and to the Pacific side. It had rained so much in Viejo that I decided to give Bocas a miss, seeing as it was so close and likely to be raining there to. And what a good call that was…..Bocas is on the front page of the papers today as its totally flooded after the worst rains in a long time! Viejo was cool enough, but only one and a half days of sun in my four days there just wasn`t enough to convince me to persevere! Still, with the rain came the very cool sight of thousands of land crabs fleeing their deluged hiding places. They can be as big as a foot across, but run for dear life if you try to pick one up! The food was good in Viejo too, with a lot of Creole cuisine to sample.

But thats all history, I crossed into Panama over one of the most bizarre borders I have seen. You get stamped out of Costa Rica then cross this huge long rickety rail bridge on foot, dodging the train and trying not to look down into a very wide and very fast flowing river. Am now in Boquete where I have been for a couple of days now, which is a little town up in the mountains famous for its flowering gardens, hiking trails and coffee. I shall shortly be off to hike the Sendero Los Quetzales trail which is supposedly the best trail in Central America. We shall see. Tomorrow I am off for Panama City, which is as far as I will go before heading back towards Costa Rica.

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