I’d had enough of the heat and humidity. I wanted mountain air, cool streams, and beautiful scenery. In addition, we needed to get to Panama because we had a timeline to cross the Darien Gap. Boquete, a small town in the mountains of Panama, fit the bill. So we packed up and felt melancholy as we left Costa Rica.
Here’s a bit of advice for future travelers on the Pan-Am: save time for Costa Rica. Don’t plan your shipping too far in advance. I think we could have spent another month exploring more of the interior of Costa Rica and the Caribbean coast.
After a long day driving and crossing the border, we arrived in Boquete. We drove out of town and found a pirate camp spot on the edge of a river. I jumped out of the truck, popped the XP up for Erica, stripped down and jumped in the water.
Near our campsite were some really interesting rock formations. They sure looked familiar:
The next day, we went on a hike to some amazing waterfalls up in the mountains.
We spent an extra day in Boquete running a few more errands (picking up a SIM card for our phone and doing some more coordination on our plan to tackle the Darien Gap). We would have spent more time in this area (we wanted to climb a nearby volcano), but the clock was ticking.
The Azuero Peninsula
Way back in Honduras, we offered to pick up some cigars and deliver them to a fellow PanAm overlander John in Panama. Apparently some laws between the countries in Central America make it difficult to ship certain items to PO boxes. We’re not nearly as fast as FedEx, but we are able to avoid issues with PO boxes by carrying an item like this over the borders.
We needed to deliver the cigars to John’s house which is about half way down the the Azuero Peninsula, and it turned out to be an ideal spot to stop in order to break up the drive between Boquete and Panama City.
We spent two nights at John’s house, so we had an entire day to relax and enjoy the scenery. In addition, we had hot showers, a laundry machine, fresh grilled fish and some incredible food and wine — what luxury! We have been taken in by new friends like this several times during this trip, and we have been so grateful to them for sharing their home’s with us.
We would have loved to explore more of the Azuero Peninsula, but that damn clock was still ticking! I think the Azuero would have been similar to the Osa and Nicoya Peninsulas in Costa Rica–epic overlanding and free camping. I’m sad we didn’t have time to do more.