We made our way back to the pacific coast and needless to say the weather turned hot and humid again. Lots of popular and touristy beach towns, lots of signs everywhere with zip-lining tours, eco tours through national parks etc. We drove through endless coconut plantations and even rice fields and the rain forest mountains kept accompanying us. Just before the big rain started we found a small village called Ojachel with a tourist center right at the roadside.
The lady behind the desk (from Vancouver!) recommended a B&B and we arrived on their doorstep when it started to pour.
Hotel el mono Feliz is a lovely Hotel/B&B run by Otto and Anja from Holland. It is nestled in a beautiful garden and also has 2 cabanas for more than 2 people. Happy to have found a room with air condition we settled right in.
We spent 2 nights, hiked to a waterfall in the rainforest and had a refreshing dip into it, saw howler monkeys and lots of exotic birds. It did rain very frequently, so we had to abandon our trip to the beach from there.
One more border crossing on Wednesday that went surprisingly fast compared to the others (two hours) but we came prepared with good instructions from another motorcycle couple’s website.
This time though they were more curious and we had to open our panniers and again they fumigated our bikes. It is always a place where you meet interesting people, for example an older gentleman from Quebec who was travelling to South America on a 150cc Honda that he bought in Mexico. He had his diving gear in a basket on the back and was planning to work as a diving instructor when he runs out of money.
So, here we are in Panama, the last of the Central American countries.
Time to hit the mountains again with cooler weather, so we left the Pan American Highway again and rode to Boquete a town in the volcanic mountains.
A lot of American retirees have discovered this town and moved here. The town offers a lot of hiking tours again as well as coffee and hot springs and waterfall tours…you name it. There’s a shuttle bus to the Bocas del Toro Islands, that I would have loved to take, but you have to spend a couple of days there. Oh well!
Lots of backpackers are staying here, in fact we are staying in one of the hostels (Hostelmamallena) and have met lots of them from all over: Germany, Australia, Israel, California…
First night, we were just up in our room, when the receptionist came knocking on our door asking if we could come down, there was a guy, who wanted to meet us, because he saw our bikes at the front. So we met Mike from Idaho, who is here with his wife Cindy also with a motorcycle (two up on a Yamaha Super Tenere) doing the same trip as we are and actually they are also taking the same sailboat to Colombia. They have met and were at times travelling together with Robin from Switzerland (on a BMW800GS), who will also be on the sailboat.
We all met for dinner at a Spanish restaurant and had a nice evening together with lots of exchange of ideas, experiences etc. Cindy and I were both thrilled to find another “girl” that will be on the ship!!!
They all have left Boquete now and we will see them again soon.
We decided to stay until tomorrow even though the weather is not really cooperating. It rains about twice a day and that heavily!! Outside walks are usually possible in dry conditions in the morning only. So I am getting a bit antsy at times being cooped up inside. Rainy season it is!
Tomorrow we will ride towards Panama City, but will stop for one more night at the pacific coast.