15.01.2013 - 18.01.2013
It is true, we spent only 3 nights in Costa Rica. We could not bear anymore time amongst republican gringos, and certainly did not want to give them anymore money. And there were a lot of them, demanding a LOT of money. We went to a bar that displayed photos of Reagan (seriously, in Costa Rica?!), Bush 1 & 2, McCain and Palin . . . frightening.
The pseudo-hippie backpackers are only slightly less obnoxious. Sadly, parts of Costa Rica have become spring break fodder, and a place for disgruntled republicans to come and bitch about Obama ("dictator," I believe is their name for him) and demand all their comforts of home. Didn't Rush threaten to move to Costa Rica?
The Ticos are nice, extremely hard-working folks who are very patient with the gringos who don't bother to learn a lick of Spanish. I can only imagine how they laugh and roll their eyes as the gringos stumble off in their orthopedic shoes and safari hats.
We know our experience is not representative of all of Costa Rica, and look forward to hitting other parts of this beautiful country on our return trip. We will stick to campgrounds, where the cranky folks would never go!
So we hightailed it to Panama. The border crossing was actually smooth, but time-consuming. This is the one crossing where all the preparation for the pups' requirements paid off.
First, we need to give a shout-out to experienced overlanders, Life Remotely, who have compiled specific directions for every Central American border crossing. Their website, liferemotely.com is extraordinarily helpful and required reading for anyone driving through Mexico, Central America, and South America. ¡Gracias, amigos!
Next, we must give a shout-out to our veterinarian, Lyn Bedsaul at All Pets Asheville. Thanks to her thorough documentation of Sunny and Cricket's health histories, vaccinations, etc, the Panamanian vet had everything he needed to give us official permits for the pups. ¡Gracias, amiga!
We rolled into Boquete, Panama in the midst of their largest festival of the year: Feria de las Flores y del Café. Boquete is a beautiful mountain town in the shadow of Volcán Barú, the highest point in Panama at 11,000 feet. Everything grows well here: vegetables, flowers, trees, and most importantly, cacao and coffee. We have spent quite a lot of time here in that past, and have great friends who we look forward to seeing every time we return.
Since there is a ginormous festival going on, finding places to stay has been tricky, but we have managed to land on our feet. We will be here a few more days and then head towards Panama City to meet friends from Iowa. We have also made arrangements to have the vehicle shipped and ourselves flown to Cartagena, Colombia February 6.