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Each journey begins with a single step... Two kiwis escaping from the island to explore strange new worlds and boldly go where thousands have gone before... . .

Bocas del Toro, Panama

PANAMA | Wednesday, 22 April 2009 | Views [1076]

We left San Jose on the 9am bus to Changuinola, Panama. We traveled up into the cloud forest, where it was lush, green and wet, then down towards the border at Sixaola. About an hour before the border, a horrible bang followed by clunking sounds emanated from the rear of the bus. The driver stopped the bus, the left rear brake drum had split because one of the pins holding the brake caliper had sheared off. The bus crew removed the drum and refitted the wheels, we were off again in about an hour. It was a pretty uneventful border crossing, other than the woman at the Panama customs writing AUS in the space for country of origin on our tourist cards. Once over the border, a couple of soldiers boarded the bus and inspected some of the passengers papers. One girl (Costa Rican?) was escorted off the bus and her baggage removed, and we were on our way to Changuinola. We caught a mini bus to Almirante, and then a water taxi to Isla Colon.

It was raining when we arrived on the island, and by the time we had found a hostel we were pretty wet. The hostel, Dona Ito, was built out over the water and we managed to get a dorm room to ourselves for $US7 each. The town wasn't overly interesting, but we found a lecture on sloths being given by a young reseach scientist from the Max Planck Institute. We really enjoyed the lecture, he had gone an captured a three toed sloth earlier so we could see one close up, gave an interesting talk and was good to talk to.

The rain looked like it wasn't going anywhere, and tho we did get to see an impressive lightening show over the water, we decided against going to the smaller island of Bastimentos and to head back to the mainland again.


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