I return from Panama with a fresh visa and a lighter wallet. With a couple friends we managed to navigate two countries’ worth of buses and customs agents. Only got lost a few times, and only missed our stop once. But it all worked out well. Some lessons learned: just because there is a road between two towns does not mean there is a bus between them, let alone a regular bus or an everyday one. Panama accepts US currency as easily as its own. And while Costa Rica makes you leave the country every 90 days, you still have to pay an exit tax to leave the country.
It’s right back into the swing of things with overlapping university groups. But there’s plenty for everyone to see. Frogs and lizards abound. Been seeing more howler monkeys now that certain fruit trees are fruiting, and there’s been bioluminescent plankton in the water the past few days. Going out at night when there’s no moon you can see the ocean sparkling as the waves roll in.
The Osa Peninsula is a good place to see the jungle for the first time. It’s not too intense, or too overwhelmingly deep and vast. The coast is a nice calming barrier. Plus, the bugs aren’t too bad. Returning after a weeklong furlough reminds me of that.