Traveling from David to the west coast of the USA is a lengthy business. Thankfully we are retired and nothing has to be done in a hurry.
The flight to the US is an all day thing. There are flights from David to Panama City, but the connections don’t work out unless we are booked on an overnight flight. Being old without the stamina of youth, I would prefer to spend the night in a bed.
So, if we are spending the night in Panama City anyway, the bus is a much less expensive way to get there. It’s a long ride though, giving me lots of time to scribble things to post on the blog 😀
The highway continues to be under construction. There are four lanes but only two are open. Occasionally there are stops to manage traffic where only one lane is open. The paving seems to be pretty much done but they are making curbs, finishing bridges, painting lane markers, etc. I thought maybe by now parts of it would be using all the lanes, but it’s a ton of work with a lot of details and takes time to complete.
I am always surprised by the kids on buses. There were quite a few on this bus and except for a three month old baby who cried for three very short periods in 7 1/2 hours, they were quiet. There are no toys, no snacks, no movies on tablets, just a parents lap. They look out the window, smile at the neighbors, and just generally chill out. Why are all of these kids so calm?
Our flight leaves at 8am so our plan is to stay at the Express Inn hostal near the airport. They have a shuttle every hour, where our favorite hotel in the city has one at only 5 and 8 am. Our friend, driver, and man useful for a multitude of things Luis Arce will meet us at the bus and take us to the hotel. It’s a $30-35 taxi ride so we may as well pay him rather than a stranger. I did this last time and it was nice to see a friendly face waiting for me.
Coming back, Joel is returning before me but it will be the same situation for both of us. We arrive in Panama City around 9:30 pm. Our favorite hotel in the city, the Costa Inn, has a shuttle service that will pick you up from the airport, saving the expensive taxi ride. They serve breakfast and if you don’t mind hanging around for a while, they have an 11am van that takes shoppers to the Albrook mall which is next to the bus terminal. The rooms cost us around $41 with taxes, a very good deal all things considered.
Yes it’s a couple long days but bring stuff to do and enjoy the ride, and it’s all good.