I decided to go back to the US with Tim to help him organize, pack up, and get rid of some of his things so he can get out of his rental house in Florida and make a permanent move to Boquete. I’ll be here until mid-February, so hopefully we can get quite a bit accomplished before I leave. Tim will stay longer to wrap things up.
I’m in Cocoa, Florida, which is south of Orlando and near Cape Canaveral, where they launch space ships. There was supposed to be a launch today, but apparently it has been postponed. Too bad – that would have been exciting!
Getting to the US from Boquete is a bit of a trek. On Tuesday, we left on the 7 p.m. local bus from downtown Boquete and headed for David, about 45 minutes south. Sometimes these busses are large vans, and some are actually repurposed school busses. Our bus this time was a school bus.
There’s a huge flower festival going on in town for the next week or so. There are tens of thousands of extra people milling around downtown, and our bus was super crowded. Some seats had three people wedged into them, and there was a radio playing latin dance music at the back of the bus.
As we headed out of town, the bus stopped several times and took on almost a dozen more people. In Panama, the busses will stop if they see someone alongside the road (whether at a bus stop or not) who waves them down. Once we got out of Boquete, the stops became fewer until we got closer to David, where people started getting off the bus at regular intervals at the small towns between Boquete and David.
A couple of hours after arriving in David, we caught the 10:45 p.m. express bus, which arrived in Panama City at 4:45 a.m. This is a very nice double-decker Greyhound-type bus, and I was able to get some sleep on this part of the trip.
I had an early appointment on Wednesday morning in Panama City to get my cedula (national Panamanian ID card, sort of like a Social Security card). This is the final step in the documentation process, and with the help of my lawyer, it went as smoothly as all the others.
Our flight left at 2:50 p.m., so we had plenty of time to catch an Uber to go across town to the airport without stressing out. The plane was a little late, but we had a couple of hours layover in Miami, so we made our connection to Orlando with no problem.
Tim’s friend Mary Anne and her husband picked us up at the airport and made the 40 minute drive to Cocoa. So after about 27 hours (including layovers), we arrived at his house about 10:30 p.m., tired but happy to be at our destination.
Admittedly, it’s a bit of a journey to get from Boquete to another part of the world, but I love living in Boquete and wouldn’t trade it for anything. I’ve only been in Florida for two days, and I miss Boquete already!