We organised a shuttle to take us from Puerto Viejo to Bocas del Toro in Panama. The border crossing on the Carribean coast between the two countries is infamous for its rotting wooden bridge sitting high above the river that you must walk across. Its a little less daunting these days however now that there is a much sturdier steel and concrete construction for the trucks to use beside it. Still, we had to watch where we were stepping, lest we plunge through for an unplanned swim.
We had expected to have to pay $3, or maybe $6, USD to enter Costa Rica, but when we went through we werent asked for anything - yay! We had noticed a sign saying that officials at this border do not collect currency but it was in really bad spanglish so we figured maybe that was it, but one of the girls in the group told me later she had had to pay. Oh well, luck was on our side for a change!
After our driver practiced his rally skills between the border and Almirante we hopped onto a local speed boat to head out to the Island archipelago of Bocas del Toro.
Pukalani has a beautiful set up with rooms all looking out to the ocean and overlooking the pool for geusts to use and a pagoda over the water with a bar and pool table to hang out. In proper spanish style the party didnt get into full swing until about midnight, but the DJ was set up, fire artists were on display and everyone was having a really good time. An older american 'swinger' couple obviously hoped they could entice some of the younger clientele to join them in some extra curricular activities as they got butt naked and wandered around chatting to everyone, which provided a good amount of entertainment! no photos though - sorry to disapoint! haha.
We met a really lovely American couple called Brandi and Chris who haddn't really done the 'hostel/backpacking' thing before and had initially planned to spend 19 days chilling in Bocas but all the talk of the amazing things we, and others at the hostel, had seen and done saw them change their plans and decide to go exploring. I hope they have a good time!
Next stop: Panama City and its infamous canal