Bus Stations, Busses and Borders

Panama City Travel Blog

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Awful picture of the Panama Canal from the Puente de las Americas.
Hello all,
Well yesterday was pretty uneventful.  I was awakened by a pounding tropical rain shower, and then got moving from the hostel about 15 minutes early towards Panama City.  The traffic was light and I got to the domestic Albrook Airport to drop of the rental car with plenty of time to spare.  I took a $2 taxi from there to the bus terminal, and checked in for the bus 45 minutes early.

I hit the food court for breakfast and went to Pio-Pio, the omnipresent Panamanian chicken joint.  I got a combo #1, which was typical fast food breakfast except for the yummy sausage link included.  I have a similar sausage with every meal in Panama, and when I asked they said it was a pork chorizo.  But, they were not spicy at all, and every place cooked them with large slices in them so as to drain out all the fatty stuff.  Delicious stuff.  I hope the rest of Central America has something similar.

The bus ride was fine, but very long.  It was almost 16 hours from Panama City to San Jose.  We stopped five times for food, check points, and the border.  My luggage got sniffed by four different dogs at four different searches, but other then that there was no excitement.

The bus pulled into the TicaBus station in San Jose at about 3am after the change to Mountain time.  I collected my luggage, found an outlet to recharge the iPod, hung around for two-and-a-half hours.  After it was sufficiently light out to avoid the likelihood of a possible mugging, I got some directions to the bus stop and headed out.  I give up and paid a taxi driver $2 to take me about a half a mile to the station.  I had missed the express bus to La Fortuna by 5 minutes, but the local bus left 10 minutes later for about $3.50.

The bus was very cramped and crowded, and my bag would not fit up on the rack.  So my bag and I had to share two seats with a local.  Ouch, my knees.  Thankfully the weather was beautiful, and the windows opened up for a perfect breeze.

I arrived in La Fortuna at about 10:45am, and after getting a few hotel recommendations I checked into the Hotel San Bosco two blocks off of the main square.  I caved for A/C and in-house Wi-Fi to treat myself for sleeping on a bus last night.

I have a tour booked for the local hot springs, and some after dark volcano viewing at 3:25pm.  That should leave me just enough time for a quick exploration of the town beforehand.

I will update later Saturday with pics!

Later, Phil
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Awful picture of the Panama Canal …
Awful picture of the Panama Canal…
Panama City
photo by: Biedjee