We arrived in Panama City around 5pm Feb 12th. It was a very quick connection in Houston - time enough to use the washrooms then get on the next plane. In Panama City, we had to get off the plane on the tarmac, load onto a bus and ride over to the terminal. Then we went through customs. They all seemed really happy and joking around - either that or they were laughing at us and we didn't know it! Our baggage wasn't on the carousel so Clancey had to find out where it went. Turns out it didn't make the connection so the would deliver it to the hotel when the next flight from Houston came in. We were all tired so we went to find Marc, our driver, and head off to Novotel Hotel.
Adyson, Caedon and Teagan looking out on Panama City from the 6th floor of our hotel.
Clancey and Keiran went to grab supper for us all. They ended up going to Jap Jap which is a very good rotisserie chicken place. We don't know for sure how good it was as we were all so hungry than anything would have tasted delicious. Our bags arrived around 10 that night. Addy and Tiggie were so glad to wake up to having their special blankets with them again. All of our luggage had been opened by US, Canada, Panama or all 3 customs. Everything was rearranged and Clancey's egg topper for removing the top of his hard boiled eggs was missing. Hopefully that's all that's missing.
Dulce de leche filled donuts at the bakery.
After a good sleep and a relaxing morning we headed out to explore what was around our hotel. It was carnival here which is a very big holiday and most stores were closed. We did manage to find a bakery that was open. The kids each had dulce de leche filled donuts. Dulce de leche is big here. You'll see people with small containers of it eating it by the fingerful.
We also managed to find a place to buy sim cards for our cell phones so that we can be in touch.
After an afternoon rest - I napped - we headed out again for a walk and somewhere for supper. There was a park not far from us that was supposed to have a very large busk of Einstein. We found it!!
Here are a few more pictures of our hotel rooms and the view from the window.
After a day of sightseeing we got up early to catch the 9:15 Parachif bus from Panama City to Bugaba. We ended up getting on the 7:45 bus as it was just about ready to leave when we got there. Our driver called two men over who helped us get our baggage through the terminal. They then took all of our stuff and got us on the bus. It was very quick and easy but then we were left wondering when we'd end up paying for our ride.
It was a double decker so we all sat on the top where we could see the countryside pass by. Naps were had by most. The bus stopped in Santiago for a lunch break. We weren't sure how long it was so Clancey hopped off and ran to get some food. The bus stops in almost every town along the way. Along the highway there will be a walking bridge to get from one side to the other. Along side it will be a bus stop. Even if it appears that there is nothing around there will be people waiting for the bus.
It took us over 8 hours to get here. We were so thankful to arrive and have Kama meet us in Bugaba. We grabbed Domino's pizza while Clancey tied the luggage on the roof and we set off up the hill. There were switchbacks and everything! It is a windy road that leads up to the farming land of Panama. We were glad to see our new home, unpack our bags and eat pizza!
The first night was a very windy one so most of us didn't sleep very well. The noises here are very different. We will get used to it in time.