David, Panama... Soaking in the hot springs
Apr 14, 2005
|Zach and I arrived at David last night, just before sunset. Had originally planned to stay at a well advertised hostel (posters seen all the way in Nicaragua), but found out it would be a loonng walk from the bus terminal. After flapping about at the terminal making sure there were buses to Panama City for the next night, it was dark, and we werent quite sure where to go...
A friendly Irish-Canadian recommended his hotel to us, which was only across the street. Though at $18 a night, it was a bit expensive, but it was close, offered hot showers and cable TV. Since there wasnt much (reputedly) to David, we resigned to a night of telly... Its a hard life you know!! Oh, and did I mention the restaurant delivered dinner to our room at no extra charge????
Hence we were pretty slow moving this morning, switching on the TV again almost as soon as woken up. Nonetheless we still managed to catch the bus to "Los Pozos de Caldera", about an hour bus ride away from David. It was a beautiful ride, but the whole journey there was almost unsigned, hence was a little unsure as to whether we were going the right way or not.
After a half hour hike up a rocky dirt track, we arrived at a farm, where upon paying $1 admission fees, we were free to roam and find the three natural hot springs. We were told to follow the trail, but there were numerous, and we got slightly distracted by mango trees, and ended up throwing stones up at them... Ah, how I remember the good old Tárcoles days, when the village was full of juicey ripe mangoes, free to pick and delicious to eat!
Anyway, with the help of some retired Americans, we found our first hot spring. Although small (about 3m diameter), and not as glamorous as the swim up bars in the thermae spa near Volcanoe Arenal in Costa Rica, we knew it was from a natural source. Yuk would be green with envy to know we sat there for a good half hour, before moving onto another...
At five oclock, we arrived back at the bus stop, in time for me to catch the bus back to David, whilst Zach heads more inlands to the mountain town of Boquette. We said goodbye, when we saw my bus approaching. Except it didnt stop... Then said goodbye again when his bus turned up, but immediately followed him onboard, as advised by a local, as it was better to change bus on the main road. So Zach got third time lucky at the main intersection, and was finally rid of my company after a week of travelling together... Until Europe my Brûderchen!!
Finally got on my first real chicken bus! Although the old US school bus was no way as eye catchingly and lovingly colourfully painted as my beloved chicken buses in Guatemala, a rooster crow announced the entrance of a man coming onboard! I wasnt the only one intrigued, but I was lucky enough to sit across the aisle from him, and got permission to take a photo of it in the bag! I dont think he understood my Spanish explanation as to why I was so happy though... oh well!!
Got back to David, had the cheapest meal so far ($1.50 for rice and vegetables... I paid $5 last night for the same thing, but with chicken, which I donated to Zach). Must also say the Hotel Toledo is the kindest ever. Not only did it allow me to leave my bags there until my bus at midnight, but it was also happy for me to use their showers and watch their cable TV... all at no charge! And remembering what I wrote earlier, you can guess this is definitely one of my favourite hotels!
In just over two hours time, will be catching my first night bus, heading to my final destination of Central America... Panama City, for the grand canal, and the (reputedly) most beautiful captial city in Central America!