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    Is This the Isthmus? Tour – Panama Part 8

    Sunday, July 23, 2017
    Panama City to Almirante, Panama

    A common area at Luna's Castle in Casco Viejo, Panama City, Panama.
    A common area at Luna’s Castle in Casco Viejo, Panama City, Panama.

    At noon today, I checked out of Luna’s Castle and hung around until 4:30 pm, when I caught a taxi cab back up to the Albrook bus terminal. (On my way back from the Panama Canal yesterday, I had bought a ticket at Albrook for a bus bound for Bocas del Toro, an archipelago on the Caribbean in Panama.) A little while after I arrived at Albrook, I went to get a snack, and by the time I made it back to the gate, the bus was already boarding. I rarely let the bus people put my backpack in the cargo hold down below, but since they were tagging everyone’s bags, I thought it would be safe. Hopefully, they check the tags when people get off at random stops along the way.

    Some artwork at Luna's Castle in Casco Viejo, Panama City, Panama.
    Some artwork at Luna’s Castle in Casco Viejo, Panama City, Panama.

    Around 6:30 pm, the bus was packed and pulled out of the terminal for the grueling 10-hour drive. Some really cheesy Latin hip-hop glamour videos  played for a little while, followed by the movie Kong: Skull Island dubbed into Spanish. Not long after take-off, a white European girl seated right in front of me reclined her seat, which completely pressed against my knees. I asked her if she would move it forward a couple of inches and she did. After the bus pulled over for a 30-minute bathroom / food stop, she tried it again.

    Another common area at Luna's Castle in Casco Viejo, Panama City, Panama.
    Another common area at Luna’s Castle in Casco Viejo, Panama City, Panama.

    I explained to her that I was too tall and couldn’t fit in my seat if she reclined her seat more than a couple of inches. So, I asked her to move it forward again, which prompted her boyfriend to start arguing with me. Finally, she moved it forward a little, but it was still pressed against my knees. I hate, hate, hate reclining seats on airplanes and buses. They are a freaking nightmare, and I wish they did not exist. Then the little old Panamanian lady next to me kept pushing her arm into mine, even though mine was not on the arm rest at all. I had already let her have the arm rest!

    At Albrook bus terminal in Panama City, boarding the bus bound for Almirante, Panama.
    At Albrook bus terminal in Panama City, boarding the bus bound for Almirante, Panama.

    To top it all off, a couple of Panamanians–a man and woman–right across the aisle from me talked non-stop from 6:30 pm until 12:30 am midnight. They talked through the movie. They talked through the stop when the official climbed on the bus to check passports. They talked in the light. They talked in the dark. They talked through thick and thin. They talked circles around anyone else in the world who talks a lot. I have never in my life heard anyone talk so much for so long. I mean, it was just a constant hardcore motor mouth verbal diarrhea stream of words with never any cease fire at all. Too bad I left my plastic ear muffs in my backpack down below in the cargo hold! Finally, after 12:30 am midnight, there was some peace and quiet.

    Words and photos ©2017 Arcane Candy.

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