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Friday, May 09, 2008

Panama: Finally

Well, I finally bought the ticket and made the pilgrimage to Panama. I came all the way to Panama City, which took fourteen hours, including a layover for a few hours in San Jose, Costa Rica.

Generally it was a dull trip. I got a pleasant surprise when I looked at my tourist card, though. Panama had changed the law to grant only 30 days on entry with a possible two extensions, and there I was with 90. Later I found out the law had been changed back. That happens a lot here, apparently.

My theory had been that since it was Semana Santa (Holy Week, I'm way behind here), I wouldn't have the same difficulty finding a place to stay that those headed for the beach would have. I was so wrong.

The problem was compounded by the closing of one hostel and the relocation and reduction in size of another. Luckily I had a taxi driver who knew all the hostels, and he drove me from one place to another until I found a bed for the night. Just the night. Voyager was booked solid for the rest of the week.

The next morning I found a bed in a hostel in Casco Viejo, the old city. A couple I had met at Voyager had been promised two beds, so I tried, too. Success! And they would let me stay once I was there, since they don't take advance bookings.

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