Its late at night. Sitting in the “lobby” of hospedaje casco viejo,
using the wi fi on dads old phone (thanks dad!) The trip started
extremely on the right foot, our train from Antwerp was delayed over 2
hours. While we were getting super anxious on the train, Pauli was
giving us real time updates from schiphol (we had a date there so she
could pick up our winter coats, gloves, etc, she is so amazingly
sweet). At some point she calls and says “ok, it says gate is now
closing”. We were still 1.5 hours away. The plain was leaving without
us. “best chance now”, she said, “is to wish for snow, so the whole
airport will be shut down.” and then, the most marvelous thing, it
started snowing. Planes were delayed, traffic was minimized. We got in
time (well, relatively) for our plane. Then we waited 3 more hours in
the plain, but by then we decided we were not allowed to complain.. We
landed in panama city in a 5+ hours delay, after 22:00. We were last
to go off the plane, last in line for passport control, last in line
for our luggage. Wait. Luggage? What luggage? After a summit meeting
with the panamanian (panimaniacs?) KLM representatives, we were
informed our luggage is destined to arrive 4/2, one day later. So in
the meantime, no toothbrushes, no chargers, no sandals/flip flops, and
no change of clothes – the warmest one we have. Mind you, it was 26
degrees when we landed late at night. At least for every day the
luggage is late we get 40$ reimbursement for necessities. By the time
we get out of the terminal its almost midnight. There is supposed to
be a white bus in front of the terminal, going around hotels charging
10$ a person. Did u notice the word supposed? Im sure u did. There is
however a bus by KLM for those from our flight that missed their
connections. It goes to town somewhere. Can we hitch a ride? Yeah, why
not. From there a taxi to our hostel is 4$. Cool. Ok, its already
almost 1 oclock at night when we get to our pre booked hostel, only to
find out that we were too late so they gave our room away and they are
now fully booked for the night.
Cindy starts banging her head against poor random objects while ohad
is trying his very best to maintain a calm facade in a last effort not
to kill anyone. Another 45 minutes go by in which the spanish (and
only spanish) speaking lady calls about 25 hostels in the area, which
are all fully booked. A few calls to the airport and to KLM yield
similar results = nada. Finally we go over our list of hostels from
our guide, calling one by one, eventually finding a room. AC and
private toilets, ooh the luxury!
So, today we took it really really easy, recovering, did very little
other than switching hostels back to our originally booked one (god
knows why, the ac, private toilets and especially mosquito nets were
sooo worth the 5 extra $) and buying some clothes, toothbrushes and
flip flops courtesy of KLM :). Of course, 4/2 came and went and our
backpack is still roaming the world, but we are now already in chill
out mode, so nothing really bothers us anymore.
Tomorrow, if we get the power for it, is probably panama canal and the old city.
Youd better appreciate this post, it was written on a friggin phone!
Talk soon. Big hug from lobby ohad and sleeping cindy.
Here’s a link to one of our first Panamanian pics.
*** 1 day later updates: ***
1. Got luggage at 17:30 today. Piece of cake.
2. Leaving tomorrow for the Canama Panal, and hopefully out of PC to somewhere more west (El Valle?).
3. Smart me, Cindy points out that this computer I´m now using was right next to me all through the torment of writing last night´s mail on my phone. Thanks Cindy.
Oh man we are so clean today.
After a good night’s sleep at The Welcome Swallow we headed for Raetea Forest. Here was supposed to be a free DOC campsite and it was right on our way. We passed Doubtless Bay on the north side of the island, following the Twin Coast Discovery Highway. It was a VERY beautiful drive.
It’s another drive-and-gasp-at-the-beautiful-landscape day.. Wow, this is such a gorgeous country, it’s hard to believe the views are real sometimes. It seems like one gigantic land of Hobbits. You can actually imagine them living here.