A Travellerspoint blog

Going on hiatus

8am Didn't rain yesterday, so it's getting an early start today.

This website is shutting down on the 19th. Going to spend time this week trying to set up a new blog site; several alternatives available. Also going to be doing a lot of work setting up my Surface Pro and then transitioning from my MacBook.

So, looks like only boring stuff for the near future (more boring than what I've given you recently).

Be seeing you soon though.

Posted by raydesro 17:00 Comments (0)

Exploring my tablet

Worked on getting my Surface Pro set up.

Took a break from that. Went up the road to get a few more groceries.

Nice walking around this morning: sunshine, mild temp, and a slight breeze on my way back.

A little more work on my new tablet.

Noon. Time to chill. Beer and cheap store bought pizza for lunch. Rum and Coke and pitted dates for dessert. Watching 'Now You See Me'. Good movie.

Looked like rain all afternoon, except for a dash of sunshine around 3pm, but nothing yet.

After the movie, I worked on my tablet.

It's now 7pm. Another movie.

Time for bed

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A few things done

Dropped off another load of laundry. Bus came by just as I got to the laundry place. Left my laundry at the door and ran to the bus, which was just crawling along. Went into David for more food: paid $12 a pop for a couple steaks. Might just as well go to the restaurant and get a full plate for $16.

Picked up both bags of laundry at noon. Nice to have non-musty clothes.

At 2pm, it rained hard for about an hour. Cooked a steak and watched a movie.

At 4pm, it began to rain steadily, and kept on raining until I went to sleep.

Watched another movie.

More set-up work with my Surface Pro. Played games on my Mac while stuff was happening on my Surface.

Bed time.

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Another rain day

My new credit and debit cards arrived yesterday. Dropped off my musty laundry; then went into town to the MBE (Mailboxes Etc.) to pick up my cards. Began to rain.

Went down the block and across the street to get more groceries. Hit the ATM in there too.

Taxis stop right in front of the store: one drove up just as I came out. Only one other person got in. Paid the driver $2 to take me to my door.

Lit candles to cover up the mustiness, put away my groceries, put on a movie, had a couple hot dogs.

Did some dishes, played computer games. It's rainy and dreary outside. Don't know what to do. Got to know my new computer a little more. Liking it so far.

Watched a couple movies. Mac and cheese for dinner. Internet social stuff. More games.

Time to read and sleep.

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Another long travel day

Packed up, took some pics of the hostel: comfortable enough place, except for the humidity. Either it's a new hostel, or newly renovated: all is nice and bright and clean and roomy. Bunks are comfy, with outlet and light, good separation from other bunks; only wish they had fans. With the A/C on, everything is perfect, except for some of the guests (but that's everywhere - the me generation effect).

Left the hostel at 8:40, got to the mall at 8:55. The doors are closed until 10am. I was hoping to be able to walk around inside the mall, staking out the shoe stores before they opened. No such luck.

Rather than hang around in the heat and humidity for another hour, then shop, and return to Boquete at 8pm or later, I decided to get on the bus right away. From when I left here on Monday until more than halfway back, I saw no rain. Lots of heat and humidity, but no rain. Got lucky though; when I got off the bus in Boquete, it wasn't raining. Went to my apartment, then needed to go to the corner store. After that it started raining.

Had water on the floor in two places when I first got here Fri. Told the owner; he patched/sealed something on the outside; nice and dry everywhere now. Watched a movie; ate cheese and crackers; went to bed.

frony

frony


front

front


inside

inside


outside

outside


showers

showers


upstairs

upstairs


dorm entry

dorm entry


bunks

bunks


my bunk

my bunk


restroom

restroom

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Cédula and shopping

Walked to Tribunal Electoral; nine blocks on map, I figured 10 min. Got there at 8:50. Was supposed to meet my contact at 9am. Waited 30 min, tried to do it on my own, finally figures out I was in the wrong place.

$5 taxi ride to Tribunal Electoral nuevo, met my contact, then we went in circles like three times (research before traveling informed me this is common), then told to wait two hours. Ended up being 1 1/2 hours. Got paperwork, took photo, will receive new ID on June 12 in Boquete. All told, less than three hours, even with my 40 min screw up.

Looked at map to go shopping: up one block, over two. Exited on wrong side of building and ended up going in the wrong direction.

Lots of backtracking in steamy hot weather. Checked out stores for shoes (no luck), pants (3 pairs at big discounts - no idea what's going on, but everyone is having sales). Went to McD's for lunch (A/C): different special every day, for $4; I wanted a shake, so I ordered a al carte, $8.40. Walked up the street, checking out more stores. Got hot, went into the next McD's and got a large Sprite. Cooled off for about an hour, and ogled attractive women (not that many).

Back to hostel around 3pm. Too hot to hang around here. Went down to the restaurant I was at last night. Sat in front of fan (so hot out, I couldn't completely cool down - went through a lot of napkins). Had two drinks, ordered wings, then had another drink. Still too early to return to hostel. Asked about mozzarella sticks: none in the area. Finished my drink, got ready to leave, an order of moz sticks showed up. Don't know how he came up with them, but the owner made the order for me. Ordered another drink.

Paid my bill and returned to A/C in the hostel (in just one area). Entered my expenses. Wrote this blog. Will read for a while, then go to bed. Leaving in the morning. The big mall is right next to the bus terminal: will give shoes one more shot, then it's back to Boquete.

Posted by raydesro 17:00 Comments (0)

To Panama City

Got up at 6:30 after a pretty good night's sleep.

Left a little after 7am.

Waited about 20 min for the big yellow school bus that says 'BOQUETE' instead of 'SCHOOL'. At least I got a seat: bus filled up after a couple more stops.

8:20 Arrived in David. Ten minute sweaty walk to my lawyer's office; picked up paperwork, paid the lawyer.

9:10 Back at other end of bus terminal; bought ticket for 10am bus to Panama City.

9:30 Bus began boarding.

Last time I went to P.C., I was on a nice double-decker bus. This time I got an old bus: not much leg room, no drink holder, yucky rest room; but the suspension was good, and the seats were well padded, though some of the recliners were broken. Ticket was $15, but only $10.60 with my senior discount, for an 8 hour ride. The first half, we had a good driver; second half, herky jerky driver. Stopped for lunch halfway: had steamed veggies, cold but at least not overcooked, and what looked like pork rib but was a disguised plaintain. With drink and senior discount $2.15.

Got into P.C. at predicted 6pm. Had to deal with heavy traffic before arriving at the bus depot: evening rush hour.

Need a Metro card to get around. Only had a $5 bill. Card is $2. Machine did not credit me the other $3: got some kind of note on the receipt that I need to contact somebody (will figure that out later). Got somebody to give me a $1 bill for four quarters; charged up the card (train rides $0.35, bus $0.25). Got on train; six minutes and three stops later, got off. Walked two blocks up and two blocks over, and into Hostel Casa 33 (more details tomorrow).

First order of business: take a shower. Modern showers: hot and cold water, no suicide showers. Even after hot water shower with cold water cool down and fresh clothes, I was still sweating. Sat in front of A/C, which they'd just turned on, for 30 min watching Animal Planet (in Spanish).

Time for dinner. Walked down the street, less than a block, to an outside food court (no nice, air conditioned restaurants close by). Picked one of the restaurants with a fan. Ordered a beer and a mixed seafood plate. Beer arrived promptly. Got cooled off nicely. Dinner was baby clams, mussels, baby squid, large and small shrimp, and calamari; it was done in a very good spice combo (good for me: covered up some of the seafood taste), available in hot or not ('not' for me). I enjoyed it, along with the cute waitress, and had a frozen (blue) margarita for 'dessert'. With generous tip, $25. Took my time at the restaurant, enjoying the view, returning to the hostel at 9pm. They don't turn on the A/C in the dorms ($13.20/night) until 10pm. Changed into shorts and t-shirt, went down to an air conditioned area, and sat on the couch reading my book until 10pm. Back to my bunk, a little computer work, reading until sleepy, then night-night.

food court - right

food court - right


food court - left

food court - left


cute waitress

cute waitress


mixed seafood

mixed seafood

Posted by raydesro 17:00 Comments (0)

Rain, rain, rain

Started off raining.

Glad I hadn't planned on doing anything today. Little by little getting the place cleaned.

Rained, hard at times, on and off (mostly on) all day. Sure getting a lot more rain here than in Guatemala. Don't remember it raining this much last June.

Tried to get my Surface Pro 4 up and running. Tried figuring out 'network security key' again: found what I'm sure was the right one but it wouldn't work. Finally decided to bypass that for now. Got other things set up. Then tried to get browser working, again asking for 'network security key', and just entered the password (tried this, and one other thing, before), and it worked! Don't know what the hangup was (don't much care), but, for now, I'm connecting. Most important thing about the computer, for me, is internet access.

Got tired of 'working'.

Had hot dogs for lunch and dinner. Watched a couple movies. Packed for tomorrow. Did internet stuff, on my old laptop: still not done configuring and figuring out the new one.

Played some games, and now it's bedtime.

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Picked up my 'presents'

Slept pretty well in my semi moldy apartment.

Computer stuff.

Went to MBE to get my packages. Picked up four packages. One on the way still. And one hasn't shipped yet.

Opened my Christmas presents (anytime I get a package it's like Christmas to me, even if it's stuff I got for myself).

Now it's lunch time, and I need a break: been 'working' all morning.

Tried to set up my Surface Pro, but it wants 'network security key'. Owners are out again; have to wait on them.

Did a little cleaning. Played games on laptop.

Owners came back, but no help.

Had hot dogs for lunch. Ran out of propane. Usual propane place closed.

Owner got my propane tank refilled.

Had wine, cheese and crackers for dinner. Candy for dessert. Finished tv series.

Read, then went to bed early.

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San Jose to Boquete

Again a mostly sleepless night. After dinner last night, I was reading and dozing off 'til it was time to actually get to sleep. Set my alarm for 6:35. Most of the lights went off, but the front desk is manned all night: that's great, except whoever was out there kept talking all night. Not conducive to good rest.

Left the hostel, telling the clerk I wouldn't be back, and why. Only a ten minute walk to the bus station (that's why I chose to stay there). Under way at 7:30. I was next to a big guy and on the wrong side of the bus that I wanted, so I moved to an empty row (bus was maybe half full). Ended up being across from a gal who was in the same dorm as me. We hadn't talked at the hostel, but we ended up chatting for a couple hours, mostly comparing notes, as most travelers do. She got off at the halfway point. I mostly read the rest of the way.

I got through immigration and customs in twenty minutes, but it took another 45 min before we got underway again. Didn't take a good look at who all I was traveling with, but I think we were waiting on about five people who came from another bus.

Got into David at 5pm (Panama time: one hour ahead). Waited about 15 min for the Boquete bus. Got to my apartment about 6:15. Owners weren't home. The humidity (rainy season) has taken its toll on my place: mold on a lot of stuff. I dropped my pack and went out to dinner.

Big Daddy's changed hands about 7 mos ago. Since I've been gone, the new owner really spiffed it up. Filet mignon was excellent, as usual, and so was the glass of wine ($25 w/tip). That really hit the spot. Tasted so good I wanted to do it again. But I refrained and went to the grocery store instead. Was just going to get Coke, but got wine and cheese, popcorn and chips.

Got back, made a rum/coke, started in on chips, put on a tv show.

In a little bit, my landlords came home. I had my window open, and I heard the surprise as they saw my lights on. I opened my door to say hi and the 9 yr old son charged me and wrapped his arms around my waist! I didn't think we were real buds, never did anything together, but he was real happy to see me. His 7 yr old sister couldn't have cared less. So I chatted with the mom and dad for a while. Then I finished my show, checked emails and Facebook, and went to bed.

I had lit a couple candles to get rid of the moldy smell, so it wasn't too bad.

Tracopa

Tracopa


army?

army?


so delicious

so delicious

Posted by raydesro 17:00 Comments (0)

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