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Published: February 4th 2008
So Erin made me a packed lunch and dropped me off at terminal 4 and we hugged and said our goodbyes and i went into the terminal.
In the car i had started to get an icky stomach and i still have it now, so it was not comfortable having to wait an hour in line waiting to check in, it was a tuesday night and you wouldnt imagine it would be busy and it was not busy, its just American airlines happy staff were limited and not the most helpful and they gradually took there time to work through everyone, eventually i got through and the whole european liquids thing is not a thing in the states, i got through security and then needed to dash to the toliet because of my dodgey stomach, i had time to kill before the flight and so i got my miles had to my BA airmiles card, i forgot to do it on my flight to new york and so im not sure if i can add them later?
I also tried to get some of my flight dates changed and the really helpful American Airlines woman said i would have
to call the American Airlines head office, its like to i look in a postion to do that right now and she did not give me the number either......lol.
I got on the flight and it was a small plane and i was jammed into the window between a snoring chinese couple so i think i may have got the odd hour of sleep on the flight, i had a mushroom pizza on the flight and saved my snacks from Erin and from the flight as i thought i may need them later. Just over 5 hours later and i was in Costa Rica on the 30th Jan and San Jose airport to be precise. I got a bus to San Jose town and it stopped everywhere....lol, but it cost just under a dollar.
When i got to San Jose town it was not easy to work out were i was and i was tired and so stupid me i did not get out my lonely planet guide, i asked a policeman for directions to the tica bus-international bus station and i followed his directions and was lost and i did not want to be too far out
of town and maybe be robbed and so i hailed a taxi, this was a wrong move as he did a lap round the block which i noticed he did not need to do and i ended up at the panama expresso office as the tica bus was full, the taxi cost me 3100 costa rican selones and thats about 7-8 dollars uch an expenisve lesson, the best part comes as he pulls my luggage out of the boot and sticks it on the kerb for me, i paid and then realised my regatta jacket had come off in the boot, but too late he was gone, it is not all bad as i do have other jackets. I went and bought my ticket one way to Pannam city as i think i may go back a different route on the way back.
I then realised that my host Ken in Panama city his details were on a bit of paper in my jacket, so its like hells bells, anyway the ticket to Panama was 1400 selones which is about 30 dollars i think?, so the guy in the Panama expresso office was nice and so i asked if
i could use his internet and explained my issue and he let use the internet and i logged on to couchsurfing and got the details i needed and i then had to wait from 9am till 12noon for the bus.
The bus takes 15 hours.....ouch what i do for traveling is crazy, i got on the bus and tried to sleep but the bus had constant movies on people speaking so not really much sleep on the bus, we passed through some nice countryside and at about 4.30pm we stopped at roadside cafe and i had rice and some funky looking salad and this potato and vegetable dish and a bottle of cola, i used the toliet there as my stomach was still off colour and have you ever tried doing a number two in a coach toliet its difficult.
Eventually around 9pm we stopped and we had to get passports stamped out of costa rica and then a walk to panama border control to get a stamp there, while at border control i spoke to a few of the passengers who could speak english and one guy raymond is from venzuela and he is working in panama
until chavez leaves venzulea, hugo chavez is the loco president there. When i was at the panama border stamping area i only had a single bus ticket and so i had to show my flight ticket to Mexico to show onward travel, he was not happy with this and grunted and evntually stamped my passport and gave me my ticket back. I arrived at Panama city at 3.40 am on the 31st Jan very tired and unsure of were i was in the city and how to get to Ken´s apartment, in the end i went to were all the chicken buses go from (chicken bus is a name for the brightly coloured ex USA school buses used in central america) and i basically kept showing the address to drivers and eventually i got a driver who could take me. i rode on it for a while and the door stays on and most stops are rolling stops, people jump on and off, he eventually told me where to go off and pointed down the street i had to go, I went to pay and he waved me off which was nice and handy as i only had a 100
dollar note or costa rican selones, i walked down the street for a while and could see no road signs which was handy and i was very tired and weighed down by my rucksack etc. I spotted a shell garage and said habol inglees and managed to find a guy who spoke a little english and he called ken on his mobile and a little while later after chatting to the shell guy, ken turned up and it was like ohh thank goodness and ken got me back to his place and we talked and he showed me round his apartment and took me for breakfast and then he let me use his laptop and gave me some change for the bus until i can get my 100 dollar bill changed, i took some photos from his apartment and then i tried to sleep for a while and then some other couchsurfers have arrived.
Ken went to work and they went out to grab something to eat and i said i would stay here as i wanted to update my blog, i have keys and so i will wait for them to come back and then i will
try and get to the Panama canal and tomorrow is carinval and saturday i will start my journey back to costa rica.
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