Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Peanut butter

Ok, I have succumb to peanut butter.

Understand, I HATE peanut butter. It is one of the few foods I hate. Peanut butter and Lima beans, and milk - the 3 things I don't eat. I will eat almost anything. Scorpions, snake, and Kim chee, I will eat. But not peanut butter.


As of the past 2 weeks, due to many bus rides, too much fried food, and getting sick of Oreos, I have succumb to tortillas and peanut butter as the new ham sandwich.

I just cannot eat anymore gallo pinto or fried chicken or papas fritas. I am getting fat. At least peanut butter tortilla wraps are not fried.

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Location:Eladio Prado Saenz,San Jose,Costa Rica

Crossing the border

Yesterday I arrived to my hostel in San Jose late. very late and tired. I had taken the overnight Expreso Panama, from Panama City to San Jose Costa Rica, normally a 16 hour, overnight ride.

The first half of the ride was uneventful. We left Albrook Mall Gran Terminal at 11:00 pm. I fell asleep on the bus right away, despite freezing because of the strong air conditioner. I woke up at least 3x on the first half of the ride due to shivering. But I slept for the most part.

At around 6:00 am we reached the costa rican border, earlier than expected, and too early for processing. The border does not open that early. So we slept longer, the bus driver eating breakfast.

About a half hour before the border was to open we were ushered to get in line for processing, so we could beat the other buses and crossers. No problem. But. At 8 (or 7, Panama and Costa Rica have an hour time difference) the border did not open. And did not open. The road was getting filled with crossers and semis. Apparently the power was out, and no one was going to cross either direction until it came back on.

So we waited, ate cookies, drank coffee, talked among ourselves. I spoke to a nice German backpacking couple and a local Tica university student from the Caribbean.

Finally we crossed. On the costa rican side, after processing we lined up our bags for a drug dog smell. At first, no problems. But then the dog honed in on the German couples bags. In full public display, for 1 hour, the couple's bags were ripped apart, underwear examined, magazines examined, no inch not scrutinized.

Since there was no findings or arrest, the whole bus had to wait and watch. For another hour. The result was the German's souvenir coffee was confiscated, and they were released to get back on the bus.

We watched 2 American movies in Spanish - Cowboys and Aliens, and Flyboys.
and now I am at La Cuesta, the best value in San Jose.

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Location:Eladio Prado Saenz,San Jose,Costa Rica

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Panama City, Panama

Joseph and I under Balboa. also, Balboa is the best of the 3 local beers (Atlas and Panama being the other 2).

Irish and Joseph under Balboa.

That weird green building that curls....
The other weird building was built by Donald Trump and looks like the sail of a sailboat. Not in photo...

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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Panama City


Whore house

Old town

Business district

Old town

Church where Capt Morgan ransacked

Pope JP2

Kid hit me with a soccer ball!

Men in tight woolen pants are cool!

Dungeon now very good restaurant

De Lesseps was the finder and creator of the canal

View of new from old

Panama hats in panama

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Panama Canal

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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Isle Colon, bocas del toro

My foot swelled up again, so today, Carnival, fat Tuesday, I am spending with my leg elevated, on the waterfront, watching the boats go by. Joseph made a friend, a Swedish merchant marine, and they are out having an adventure. I am on the main island of the bocas, colon. Carnival ended last night, a night early. Technically today should be the big, last day. People are still out, but the parade is over. The place is still alive.

Tomorrow we take an all day snorkel and boat trip around the islands, so I have to rest this foot.

After that, we hit the road, the road to panama city!

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Location:Calle 3ra,Bocas del Toro,Panama

Our Bartender

In Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica, we stayed at a hostel named Kaya's Place, owned by JT. The place was build by a german expat who was creating his dream hotel and house, about 3 miles outside of town. Due to circumstances, he had to give up the place, and currently both the mansion and the hotel are owned and operated by JT. JT recently hired Frankie to run the bar and restaurant. Franke, who owns 2 pizzerias in the States, really knows his sauce and breads. The pizza is the best. And he knows hospitality.

The bartender, Serge, is from Panama, and has spend 7 years in new jersey. He is 39, but is very pretty, with braids wound around his head. He makes mojitos with care, a perfect and strong blend of light rum, lime, mint, and sugar.

Kaya's place is right on Playa Negro, the best swimming beach (meaning sand break, no rip currents, flat.) it is maybe 200 meters from town. Close enough to walk, far enough that the music from the discos cannot be heard. The waves will lull you to sleep. At high tide a few sets will shake the ground, and feel like an earthquake.

Kaya's place is perfect.

Manzanilla beach

Dinner at JT's house

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Location:256,,Costa Rica

Pictures of Panama

Son of owner of coffee shop, with whiskers the kitten, 1 month old.

Walk to Top of the Hill, where there is coffee and organic goods, 15 minutes through jungle.

Rush hour, at the dock, Old Bank.

Police station. Old Bank.

Main square. Old Bank.

Grocery store.

Main street, downtown Old Bank.

View from our hostel. We are a stone throw from main street.

Hostel Jennifer, only open for 3 days, brand new, fresh paint, clean sheets.

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Location:Isle Bastemonte