The Zancudo Experience - 2011 travel blog

The wake up call came an hour early. 5:00 am. The taxi we arranged in advance wasn't at the hotel BUT, we still arrived at the bus station in time to buy a ticket and board. The bus was only 1/2 full and no blaring movies or music. NICE. We did stop a lot and the predicted 7.5 hour ride became more like 9 hours. We did have a nice lunch along the way but the bathroom stops were non existent and you wouldn't want to use the bus bathroom. Just saying! Anyway, we took about a 30 minute gas stop but we weren't allowed to get off. Finally, we arrived to the frontera in the rain. We checked out of Panama. While waiting in the line, one guy sells us a 'stamp' for our passport and charges us a dollar. Rey said he found out the stamps are unnecessary and just a scam. We looked back and have purchased those before. Then, we carry our luggage about five minutes up the road and get into another line to check into Costa Rica. You'd think that checking into one country would serve as proof that you'd left the other but, nope, not here. So, in Europe we almost never check in/out of a country and never have our passport reviewed but here we do it two times in one place in addition to the two checkpoints along the way on the bus ride. Go figure.

Rey finds us a bigger than usual taxi. Yeah! The water taxi option was out due to the rain and the late hour. The road started out better than expected but deteriorated quickly. Jose, the driver, was superb! He got us to Zancudo safely and the headlights only reached the water level one time! We found the house in good shape...just musty from the rain. Yoko had been in to work her magic. We found peanut butter and canned tuna fish for dinner.

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