We leave Ojai on February 27th – not for good, but for a while. I am keeping my office on Bryant St. and a six inch square suite at the mail place. The office has a back room that will be larded up with furniture and boxes, and the gated parking is perfect for long-term storage of our cars.
We’ll catch Copa Air’s non-stop red-eye from LAX to PTY, arriving late morning on the 28th. Is it wishful thinking that we arrive well-rested from our $100-a-ticket business class upgrade?
A cab ride takes us to Albrook International, a smaller airport in Panama City that appears to be International only because Costa Rica is a prop engine plane ride away. At Albrook, we board a late afternoon flight for the hour trek west to the tiny “International” island air strip on Bocas Del Toro. How tiny is BOC? A few choice excerpts from Wikipedia:
The airport has a single runway with no taxiway. Taxis and telephones are available. Few, if any, other services are available. No aviation fuel is available. The airport has no control tower, runway lights, or approach lights. There is no apron or turn-around at the west end of the runway. The airport does not have filtered or treated water. The town does not filter or treat its water. Visitors should drink only bottled water. As of 24 May 2009, leading travel sites Expedia and Travelocity do not recognize Bocas del Toro as a valid airport using city, airport name, or airport codes. Unlike most of Panama, Bocas does not have a clear wet and dry season. Thunderstorms occur year-round, which will delay flights.
From Bocas Town, we take a water taxi to our friend Heather. Fifteen days in Bocas Del Toro, eight days in Boquete, three days in Panama City before returning to California briefly en route to Loreto, Mexico.
Bocas Del Toro
With an indescribable and overwhelming natural beauty, added to the great combination of races and ethnicities, living in harmony with indigenous, Western Caribe peoples, Latino’s and extraneros, Bocas del Toro is not just a beautiful archipelago lost in time, blessed by nature — Bocas del Toro is an example of coexistence and multi-cultural respect for everyone. (bocasdeltoro.com)
Boquete is a small and beautiful town located in the Chiriqui Province, Panama, in a colourful valley surrounded by the impressive mountains of the Central Mountain Range. Activities include: treks in the forests, canopy, kayaking, river rafting, ascent to the top of the Baru Volcano, visits to La Amistad International Park, birds and fauna watching, or simply walking along Boquete’s main street, visiting the local attractions. (boquete.chiriqui.org)
Panama was founded on August 15, 1519 by Spanish conquistador Pedro Arias Dávila. The city was the starting point of expeditions that conquered the Inca Empire in Peru (1532). Panama is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Panama. It has a population of 880,691, with a total metro population of 1,272,672, and it is located at the Pacific entrance of the Panama Canal. (wikipedia)