Good Friday was spent in Panama City.
I had just about as much luck finding somewhere to eat as I did in Ushuaia at Christmas. You may remember I ended up with a cold Irish Srtew for my Christmas Lunch
I had received and email from the Canadian Ladies, Charlene and Jan telling me they are in Panama City (I met them in Arica and again in Ariquiba)
We met for dinner that evening. Doerty the young German girl came with us.
Well…everywhere was closed for Good Friday. It looked like a choice between “Dunkin Donuts” or “McDonalds”…Luckily (actually not really “luckily” )…. we found a dump that was open. Bright florescent lights in a grubby barn of a place.(got the picture?)
To make matters worse they don’t serve drink on Good Friday. So, we had a totally forgettable dinner with Orange Juice! Still , we had a good chat and it was great to catch up. I hope Merry and I can visit them in Canada one day.
The next day I headed North.
Nothing dries here!
I had done my washing in Panama City to get rid of the salt from the boat. After two days on the line it was still soaking so I strapped it all on the bike….. socks, knickers, shirts, jeans…. I must have looked like the “Beverly Hillbillies” (sorry, I’m showing my age)
It was a sunny day and by by the time I was three Kms from las Lajas (my destination, about 350 kms North of Panama City) everything was beautifully dry….. then heavens opened and everything got soaked again! ….UGH!
I had decided I would treat myself to a nice Hotel. I felt I needed some comforts….after the boat, Archie and Hostels etc…. so I had booked this place in the internet
The Hotel was really an up-market B & B and was very nice. it is run by Germans.
it was so nice to have a big room with all the trappings….all for $50.00!
Easter Sunday didn’t bring me any eggs!… Very sad! …So, Off I went again. The nice Germans had dried my clothes in their drier and it was a sunny day.
Police are everywhere in Panama and they park their cars by the roadside and use radar guns every few kilometers.
I was stopped (I couldn’t just ignore him this time, as he stood in the road!)
Apparently I had gone through a school zone at 90K (mind you it was Easter Sunday and there was no-one at school!…..He demanded $75.00
I stood my ground and looked sad ! He reduced it to $50. I gestured that was way too much.
Eventually I thought I would have to pay something so I offered him $5.00…… Amazingly he said OK and quickly pocketed the $5.00. He then shook my hands in that Spanish way that shows we are friends for life….and off I went! …
…..I must admit I’m rather proud of this!
Next I had to negotiate the Costa Rica/Panama Border. I HATE border crossings with a passion. It took three hours this time. There was ONE window servicing about 150 frustrated tourists!
Anyway…eventually I was off again but now the weather had changed.
It rained CATS and Dogs…VERY LARGE CATS AND DOGS! It simply didn’t stop…I thought tropical rains didn’t last long? Well they do in Costa Rica!
I got drenched. My boots were full of water and the rain had completely bypassed my so called wet weather gear!
I reached a place called San Isidro (about 150 Kms from San Jose) and found a Hotel and crashed for the night. Not one of my best days!
Easter Monday and I’m off again. I was pleased to wake up and see blue sky!
It was a lovely drive to La Fortuna where I stayed in a lovely Motel with cabins that have the most wonderful view of a huge Volcano called ARENAL. The countryside is very hilly and pretty. It is also high! The road to San Jose climbs to 3500 metres.
I’m also pleased to say all my clothes are dry again…at least for now!