Panama City Travel Blog› entry 23 of 43 › view all entries
I arrived around 4am in Panama City after the 18 hour bus journey from San Jose. The border crossing had been a bit of a nightmare, not for myself but everyone else on the bus was told they had to pay to get into the country. I think because I had a brittish passport i was alright. Some of the border crossings especially going through Central america just seemed so unstructured. Everyone being told they need to pay different amounts, some bags being checked some not. Just seemed like there was no actual system instead the people working there making it up a they went along. Anyway was arriving in Panama City I made my wait into the main part of the city to find somewhere to stay. Lucky enough I had hooked up with a swedish guy that could speak perfect spanish and some Japanese guys that could also spaek a bit to share a caba dn find some accomadation with. We drove around for ages trying desperatley to find a place. The fact that it was only 5am didnt help but also because everywhere was full. In the end we just got the cab driver to drop us off at a petrol station so we could wait for a few hours until the hostel that we wanted to go to would let us in. So we just killed some time in the petrol station then on the Internet for a while. By this time it was nearly 9 and we could go and get checked into some accomdation. We all got checked in then it was straight to the shower for me to freshen up a bit then to bed for a few hours as got so little sleep on the bus. In the afternoon myself the Swedish guy and this other guy I had met in the hostel took a walk around town and to one of the main malls not far from where the bus terminal was. Panama was a funny place, it being just so different to the rest of the Cental American coutries. The main difference which is obvious jsut driving through the town how rich the city is compared to its neighbours. Bright lights and Casinos in every direction as we drove in to the city. It resembelling more North America and a poor mans Las Vegas than its Cental Ameriacn allies. I think this probably something to do with the huge Panama Canal that the country is so famous for and the funding it gets from North America. Whatever it is this was definatley the most developed rich country I saw in Central America. IN the evening Myselfa and the 2 guys I had met went out to a couple of Casinos nearby to our hostel. I didnt gamble as was to poor but watched the Swedish guy playing a few different games. For me it was just an experience going to a Casino as I have never been to one before. We didnt stay out that late as I was tired from the lack of sleep from the night before. In the morning I caught a bus to the International Airport so I could catch the plane to Lima, Peru to meet Katrina and Henrik.
My short non stop journey of Mexico and Central America had come to an end but this opened the door to my next adventure - South America