When Cam and I got back to the city we decided to just party all night until his flight. His 6AM flight meant he had to get a cab at 3:30AM, so it wasn’t that unrealistic. As it worked out, I got a double bed in a dorm room for 20$ so he could have shared with me if he wanted. After a couple man-sized rum on the rocks, we headed out on the town. Nothing was happening though: it was a Tuesday night. We wasted money on taxis and strippers and I don’t remember Cam leaving in the morning.
I spent the next few nights at the Magnolia Inn, paying 22$ a night, but comfortable in Casco Viejo. First order of business was finding the yacht club to post a sign for the boats that needed line handlers. The taxi driver had no clue what I wanted to do and despite me asking to go to the Balboa YC, he dropped me off near the end of the causeway. I asked about line handling at a private marina and the guy told me I needed to go back to Balboa. So I walked. Sign posted, I returned to Casco Viejo and started the waiting game. While I was there I took in a free outdoor opera show and a reggae concert I did some dumb walking and wound up on top of Cerro de Anton. I also spent alot of time writing and reading. After four days without any reply, I threw in the towel.
Saturday night I caught the last overnight to Bocas. This fancy pants cuban scanned me through the gate at the bus station. Later he told me he owns a tourist info centre on the island. He offered me two empty seats at the back of the bus when he saw me up front next to a woman with a baby. Unfortunately my seats were right at the back, so they didn’t recline. I was also not prepared for how cold it was, without Cam or Maggie to cuddle with. Then, when our bus broke down at 4AM, we switched to another smaller, colder bus. I spent the next four hours crammed into the back shivering next to a family of five who were squeezed into three seats. The cuban homie tried to get me a cab at Almirante, but I swooped out of there and got on a bus for the costa rican border. Then another bus. The border crossing out there is over a river on a rickety old bridge. The process is a breeze especially if you are early like I was.
Another bus took me to Puerto Viejo, and after almost 15 hours of traveling, I stepped out into the midday heat. I found an organic cafe to get breakfast, check wifi, and get changed into shorts. I discovered two cheaper options for camping: Rocking J’s and Crocodile Surf Camp. But when I was unable to find the surf camp, I settled on RJs for 6$ to hang my own hammock under a roof. After walking there with my bags, I saw a sign at the entrance advertising free cabs to the hostel. The Dutch girls arrived shortly after me and we met up for some drinks. By 8PM I them black out drunk, bleeding and missing their sandals, headed to bed. We started off at Mangos with two beers and a burger for 6$. Some free shots and a game of jenga later, we decided to have a games night. We played dominos at Outback Jacks and took silly photos. After a game of pool and some mojitos somewhere else we went back to Mangos to complete my undefeated games night run with some beer pong. Denique cut her leg when we were climbing on an old beached ship. Then Marleen threw her sandals into a hole on the boat and lost them in the water.
After another wild night with a fellow Canadian from RJs I caught a bus up to San Jose to spend my last couple days at a hostel, writing and relaxing, waiting for my flight home.