Off we go…

So the scenario is this: I have been in Costa Rica for about a week now. Easter holidays are coming up. What am I doing? .. Where am I going? – Since Semana Santa (holy week during easter) is a one week holiday, Charlotte, Lina and I decided to go on a little adventure. Lina is also a volunteer through the Goethe-Institute but she works in a private american school, which is about an hour away from us. Charlotte had to leave the country – let me just say this: the Visa for Costa Rica was a lot of work. And it doesn’t stop when you get here. You have to leave the country every 90 days, not necessarily for a long time but you have to leave and then you can come back and stay for another 90 days. Until you have to leave again. The authorities take too long (maybe intentionally) to give you a 1 year visa. By too long I mean 2 years. Anyway there is no way around it for us as volunteers but that’s just something we gotta deal with. So we girls decided to make a small vacation out of it and go to Bocas del Toro, Panama. The islands are on the Carribean Coast north west of Panama and are a popular travel spot. The 3 of us spent friday night in San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica, because we had to leave early in the morning to get to the border. We bought the tickets at the bus station but we only got seats for the 8am bus instead of the 6am one that we were planning on taking. We weren’t sure wether or not we would be able to arrive in time on the islands because the last water taxi was leaving at 6pm. We just said ‘tranquilo’ ..which translates to slowly, chill – and it’s already one of my favorite spanish words. We were stuck in traffic for quite a while as we were definitely not the only ones driving towards the coast, but we eventually made it to the border in Sixaola, CR.  We had to pay about 15$ to enter Panama, then cross a rustic bridge with our backpacks and fill out some papers. It was pretty easy. From the other side of the border we took a cab towards the dock and from there we took the last  water taxi to Isla Colon, Bocas del Toro. The following days were filled with a lot of good food, too much sun, extreme relaxation, adventure and good talks. On one day we took a tour where we were supposed to watch dolphins first but sadly we didn’t see any, then we went off to see some starfish – which we saw, afterwards we had a short snorkeling session and then we drove to this phenomenal island, with a beach that looked like it was photoshopped out of a travel catalog. For me personally that was one of the highlights on this trip. The islands was uninhabited, there were only a few other tourists and the ocean had a beautiful shimmery turquoise color. A few sunburns and beers later we we’re already on our way back. We spent 4 nights in Bocas and after crossing the border again we stopped in Puerto Viejo, CR – a small hip beachtown,  for 1 night. We wanted to stay longer but unfortunately everything was booked out! We ended our trip with a satisfying beachwalk during sunrise. I personally love sunrise walks – it’s like the calm before the storm. No lights, barely any people and the sounds of nature. We saw some vultures looking for food in the trash and heard the roar of the monkeys from the nearby jungle while walking back to our hostel. When we were in the bus going back to San Jose I started talking to the guy next to me. He kindly offered us a free uber ride to our next bus station because the last bus stop would be in the Coca Cola district of San Jose, which can be a dangerous area at night. We took up his offer and were grateful for his kindness. The 3 of us then seperated as Charlotte was going back to our home in Poás and Lina and I were going back to her place in Heredia. I spent 2 more nights at her house and we just hung out and enjoyed the last days of our break. On Sunday I finally got back home. Muchas gracias Panamá!

& thank you for reading!

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