After spending five nights on a boat Sailing from Colombia to Panama, 9 of the 10 boat passengers all checked into Luna's Castle in the old town of Panama City to have a final night or two together before parting ways.
When we were first checking into the hostel I noticed that they were selling 'koozies' which was their name for a long boy/tall neck beer cooler. My arrival to Panama was instantly made. While it may seem logical for me to be excited about a beer cooler, for those of you who know me from back home this may confuse some. Prior to going to South America I had never actually had a beer before in my life. Present day however, beer and I are good friends and in such a humid place where your beer goes cool in two minuets flat the idea of a 'koozie' (and 50 cent beer during happy hour) was absolutely dreamy.
While in Panama we decided to check out the Panama Canal. This day illustrated to me why I don't travel around in big groups for long periods of time. Although we had a planned 10am departure, due
to one individual we set off closer to 11am before discussing transport arrangements (everyone wanting to catch a cab and one tight person wanting to catch the local bus) on the street for a good half an hour which finally resulted in us arriving at the Panama Canal. In itself it is an absolutely amazing engineering feat, and I was glad that I checked it out and got to see some massive cargo ships pass through - although it certainly did not require the good 3-4 hours that we spent there due to that same individual.
After a couple of days in Panama City and most of the boat crew departing in different directions I set off with Matt the Brit and Oskar the Aussie for the boat towards a hugely raved about hostel in the middle of nowhere called the Lost and Found. Although we had good intentions a booked out bus and good old wet season got in the way and we had to settle for the night in David before continuing on our journey the following morning.
The Lost and Found, a painful 20 min walk up a steep hiking trail
with my 16kg pack, was an amazing place set up high in the jungle with a resident monkey, something that resembled a Central American version of a possum and a number of humming birds. Although the dorm room was the most random setup I had seen (three double beds wide by three double beds high bunks with a three tiered high single bunk on either side that slept 24 in total) the hostel itself was spread out with different buildings for the bar, bathrooms, dorms, and kitchen area and was actually a really sweet place to hang out in.
One of the activities that you can do at the hostel is go on a treasure hunt. It was for the faint hearted it leads to about a 5 hour trek through the jungle, but at the same time it was very rewarding and had waterfalls and swimming spots along the way. It also resulted in us being able to spin the roulette wheel and we won $6 each off our bar tab for the night - which may not sound like much but in Panama is pretty much enough to get you toasted.
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