We are on our way to South America! Well for the most part. The most part being the van in a container waiting at the shipyard for the boat that leaves on Sunday. It was just a couple of days ago we were hanging out on a beach in Costa Rica and got an email saying that there was a fellow traveler in need of a container share. For this week! We either had to make a beeline to Panama City or risk not having a container to share for a couple of weeks. It was unanimous and we packed up and made it from the town of Puerto Jimenez, on the Osa Peninsula to Panama City in just 2 days.
The last 2 days were pretty much non existent. They were filled with police checks, customs lineups and of course making dozens of photocopies! It was not at all difficult or taxing on the brain but there was a ton of waiting and driving to different offices, and of course sweating in the sun and waiting.
We went with an agency that assisted us with the whole process along with 3 other foreign vehicles doing the same.
We locked it up this afternoon at the port of Colon and then headed back to Panama City.
The next time we will see Ginger will be in Colombia at the port in Cartagena. We will fly in the next couple of days but with Carnivale happening for the next 4 days flights are busy. And we don’t have to rush there because the shipment won’t be ready to unload until Wednesday at the earliest. So we are enjoying our time without the van and will check out Panama and Cartagena as traditional backpackers.
We did have a good week before all this shipping stuff got going. We got the van back from the mechanic on Monday afternoon and were really pleased at the work that was done. So confident in the brake work that we decided to head up to Arenal Volcano. Of course the next day when we went to the National Park and hiked as close to it as possible it was all fogged in. Second volcano where we never got to see anything!
After the little hike we found some hot springs to relax in. There are a ton of different swanky hot spring spas and resorts but we hit on the Termales Los Laureles hot springs. A bit more local and much more budget friendly. We stayed here all afternoon before boondocking in the town of Fortuna.
As we headed south again we stopped in the mountains at a trout farm that also has a stocked pond for fishing with a little camping area. It was beautiful and cool up here and very serene.
They also have a 45 minute hike through the jungle to a number of waterfalls and look outs. The night was so cool and lovely that we had to get the duvet down!
We then headed back to the beach and a town called Dominical. Here we had some great free beachside camping. It’s a big surfing beach and every morning and evening the beach and parking lot would be filled with all the local expat surfers.
We didn’t want to move on but were anxious to get to Corcodova National Park which is supposed to be the real gem of Costa Rica.
From all our reading about it, never did we read that reservations were required. However, when we got to the Park Office there was no availability for camping in the park until Wednesday, which was still 4 days away.
We debated waiting it out and exploring around the Osa Peninsula but when we got the email regarding the shipping we forgot about the whole thing. The biggest pain in the butt about this trans America trip was shipping across the Darien Gap to Colombia and we figured we better jump at this opportunity. And now we’re on our way!