Panama & The Journey Home

We organised a taxi to the border and arranged for the driver to take us across and through the customs as non of us spoke very good Spanish. After a quick stop off to fill in customs papers we began out walk across the most sketchy bridge I have ever seen into Panama. The bridge used to be for trains and had sleepers that were a bit loose, with some even stapled down!

It took a few minutes and a $3 charge but we were allowed into Panama and bundled into another taxi to go to the dock to meet our ride to Bocas Del Toro.

Once we got to Bocas we got into another water taxi and headed to Aqua Lounge a hostel that came highly recommended. We managed to get the last 4 beds there, talk about good luck!

Aqua Lounge’s front, you could just jump straight into the sea!

 

I only had a couple of days in Bocas Del Toro, but I really enjoyed my time there. On my only full day we met up with a few girls we’d met in Dominical and again in Puerto Viejo and went for a beach day. We organised a boat ride there and back, was quite an adventure just getting there but it was worth it. The beach was really secluded and actually had some small surf so myself and Bruce grabbed the boards and headed out.

Dropping into a small one.

 

Trimming on a small wave.

 

Chilling on the beach (from L to R: Me, Ross, Louise, Bruce, Marina, Lisa, Harry).

For my last night in Bocas we headed out for a few drinks, and with beer at less than $1 a bottle it turned into quite a big session, with me getting into bed at around 3am after some trouble trying to get a boat to Aqua Lounge. Not too good when I was up at 9am to begin my journey back to San Jose!

The journey was a long one, fortunately I managed to catch up on some sleep so when I arrived in San Jose I was feeling pretty fresh. However I didn’t actually have a hostel booked, there were 2 Irish girls in the same predicament as me so we all jumped in a taxi to the hostel I’d previously stayed in and all managed to get a bed, result!

I killed a day by spending most of it in bed as I was feeling pretty ill, too much partying had finally started to catch me up, but was all packed and ready to head to the airport by 4am. Check in was a breeze and I managed to grab a small breakfast and board the flight with plenty of time to spare.

The transfer at Mexico was easier to make than last time as I was prepared for the forms, back swap and queue’s so again made it with plenty of time left. Even managed to grab a spot of lunch and a couple of overpriced magazines.

Coming into LAX I knew everything had to go smoothly as I only had 1hour to make the transfer. I rushed through security but seemed to get stopped at every checkpoint. When I made to the Virgin Atlantic desk to check-in I found it was already closed. I just stood there in slight shock, feeling pretty angry, I’d not arranged to be on this flight, Virgin had transferred me onto it without asking or taking into consideration my other flights.

It took awhile but after a few lengthy phonecalls I had sorted a flight for the next evening and managed to get some more accommodation for the night, back to Inglewood I went!

Feeling refreshed I made another attempt to get home, this time I arrived at the airport with a few hours to spare, I was first in the line for check-in just to make sure! The wait at the airport was a long one and I barely slept on the flight but once we touched down at Heathrow I was wide awake. I got through customs as quick as possible and made it out of the gate to be greeted by Steph and my parents, a great welcome home!

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