Airport. At least! One of my few check-ins without being late and running around like crazy . The steward on the plane allows himself to slip of the tongue “The toilets in the front part are withheld for the Business Class and Premium Economy”. Poor guys, this is gonna be a loooong flight . We fly across the English Channel and Tahiti. We fly over Panama and do a loop shot for landing at Panama City. You can see the jungle in the south – here, it isn’t possible to go from Panama to Colombia by car. For taking photos you should sit on the right side of the plane.
Panama City –
Airport. We get our luggage quite fast and get into a taxi right at the entrance (Taxis have here no taximeter. Best thing is to ask another person about the approximate price before you get into a taxi). In our case, there is a large sign with all the prices next to the taxi stand. 35 PAB (35.00 USD) for the bus terminal and airport Albook. On the way there you can see many traffic jams in the opposite lane. It seems leaving Panama City in the evening is more difficult than entering. Moreover, it is the weekend. The old US school buses we see on the road fascinate me alot. They got rebuilt into “Chickenbuses”. No one is like the other. All airbrushed, modified, covered with tons of LEDs – you simply cannot overlook them. On our way we pass through several toll booths – payment is done here apparently automatically by some signaling device on the car ( ? ). As we arrive at the bus terminal, things get a little more complicated – well, it looks as if a bus ticket (check card size) for normal bus rides is needed to get through the barrier to the buses. The ticket for the colectivo to Valle de Anton is extra. Unfortunately, we notice that way too late and the queue for the normal tickes is quite long (bus departure for El Valle in 2 min) A very helpful gentleman realizes this and uses his own card to let us through the barrier (and totally denies our offered money – that’s just the Latin American hospitality! ). Our ride is about 3h. It gets dark quite quickly and the driver rides the winding route quite rapidly. The card inspector opens during the drive the hinged door and a pleasant warm wind starts blowing through the bus.
El Valle de Anton –
About 22:00 we reach El Valle and check into our hostel named “Windmill”. The room is quite large and furnished with lots of attention to detail. Robert, the owner, is extremely friendly and a very relaxed person. After taking a shower we go to bed.