The Journey Begins

Thanks for joining me!

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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Costa Rica Day 1- Frontera Paso Canoas Border Crossing Panama

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It was ridiculously hot on my top bunk. The clothes washing area was in the next room over and the heat from the dryers made our room an oven. This, combined with the fact that I had zero head room, made for an awful night’s sleep. I woke up both nights because I was so hot, only to sit up to slam my head on the ceiling.

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The second night, my head was right underneath that blue box, so when I barely stirred in my sleep I nailed my head on the corner of the strategically placed blue box. Bleeding. Miserable way to wake up.

When my brother woke me up the next morning at 8:30am I wasn’t thrilled. He suggested we leave and head over to the Osa Peninsula in the south west tip of Costa Rica.

I was having a great time in Bocas del Toro and we had just gotten there, so although Corcado National Park sounded amazing, I didn’t think it was realistic to try to go here when we had to be at the airport on the 24th. My brother insisted, so we packed up and left for a long day of traveling.

We backtracked from here, catching the boat from Bocas back to Admirante
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From Admirante we caught the shuttle back to Boquette. From Boquette, we caught  bus back to David. From David, we caught a bus to the border which is Paso Canoas, but we found out it is referred to as Frontera Paso Canoas.

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From David to Frontera Canoas wasn’t a bad ride, only about an hour and a half. The border was the last stop where the driver told us to get out and walk across. Our plan was to try to make it to Golfito which was the hub to take the ferry over to the Osa Peninsula and spend the night there.

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We were a little cautious as border crossing are generally a bit sketchy areas and we weren’t exactly what we were supposed to do to cross.

First we went in the customs line to exit Panama.

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This process was a little slow so we waited in line for about a half an hour.

After this was weird- we realized there was no one stopping us from just continuing on, not even stopping to exit Panama let alone entering Costa Rica. We were crossing the border when I said to my brother we must need to enter Costa Rica somewhere, otherwise I am sure we would have trouble at customs in the airport.

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Essentially it was just a big open road with restaurants, hotels, etc in what appeared to be a no-mans land. We asked around and a couple minutes up in this area we saw the customs for Costa Rica.
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There was no line at this little building. Did people forget to stop here to get their visas?

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The customs guy just asked us what our profession was, how long we were staying, and had us fill out a customs form. I was told you needed proof that you were exiting the country or would get a $100 fine so we were prepared for this but never asked.

The bus station was also located in this no-man’s land between the exit to Panama and the entry to Costa Rica but it was closed.
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We went next door to a restaurant and talked to a taxi driver. We were told it would be 40 dollars to go to Golfito. There was a hotel in the same place which was $50 for a room and we would be able to catch the bus the next morning for much cheaper, so we took this option. It had been a long day and the hotel seemed legit. We were happy to have a nice air conditioned private room for a change.

Panama Day 16- Bluff, Paki, & Chikita Beach, Aqua Lounge Bar

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We tried to sleep in but our sleep schedule was all messed up from our hike in Boquette and staying up late the night before.

My brother woke me up around 10am to catch what we thought was a tour that would take us to 3 different beaches on 3 different islands. We rushed to get ready and caught the bus.

Not long into the tour did we realize we were not leaving the island but this was going to be a bus tour to 3 beaches on the island we were already on. This was also a booze-bus that would soon get very messy.

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First we went to Bluff’s Beach which was about a 45 minute trek. Others were smart and came prepared with beer.

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It was a beautiful beach with big surf.
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At each bar we were given a free shot.

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They had a little competition on who could build the best sand castle.

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We lost.
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Afterwards we hung out on the beach.
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Back on the bus, we headed over to Paki Point. This was my favorite beach.
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There were relining bed-chairs and bean bag chairs at the bar.
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This bar was was within bike riding distance, and we saw a couple people we had met at a bar the night before here at Paki Point. I wish we had ridden bikes, but I didn’t know we would be staying on the same island.. Can’t ride a bike across water!

We stayed her a couple hours then moved on to Chikita Beach. This was a pretty local beach, where were were served our included lunch.
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After this, we were all pretty tired and at 5pm they brought us back to our hostel.
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It was over all pretty fun but I just wasn’t feeling it most of the day since we were exhausted from the night before. We went back to the hostel and napped. We had to head out again that night since it was a big night at the Aqua Bar which we didn’t want to miss. This was a bar we were told had swings into the water and was only happening on Wednesday and Saturday nights.

To get there, we had to head to Isla Carenero which was just a 5 minute ($1) water taxi across from Bocas.

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This was the coolest bar I have been to. We were there fairly early (around 10:30pm) so it wasn’t too crowded yet.
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There were little lagoons with boardwalks around them. There was great music and a great sound system. You could see the main island from the deck.
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We saw the swings, and were one of the first ones to go on them.
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As the night came on, it became obvious why we don’t have these in the states. Drunk people and bar swings do not mix. We watched one kid fly off the swing backwards and fall on the deck. Also, there were no lines marked on the deck or anything like that so when the bar got crowded people would swing back on the swings and hit the people behind them. Let alone people swimming in the water below while people were jumping off. But it was a ton of fun- we went on them all night.. you could swing high enough so that you could dive in after you peaked.

There was also a trampoline there- closed off with boards over it.. I am guessing for obvious reasons.

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We headed back around 2 or 3 am. The ferry stopped in the middle of the water since I guess someone hadn’t paid their fare so we were all held hostage.

Panama day 15- Boquette Hot Springs

We were told one of the best tours the hostel Mamallena had was a hot springs tour.

The cost was $25 per person. We got in a shuttle that brought us first to a popular local spot for swimming.

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It was a long gorge with deep clean water. Really nice.

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After a couple hours, we headed out to the hot springs.
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These were amazing. We had to walk about 15 minutes down a  path
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The hot springs were actually on a farm’s property. The tour operator paid $2 on each of our behalves. They guy on the farm had a pet monkey.
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There were three hot springs at the farm.. two were within the farm itself.. and one was right in the river. I don’t think anyone bothered going to the ones in the farm since the river hot spring was nice as you could switch between them.
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We brought some wine here, it was incredibly relaxing. Time seemed to stop.
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After a few hours here, the guide told us it was time to leave before it got dark 😦 We all reluctantly walked back.

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