Border hop to San Vito, Costa Rica

Dennis and I had to make a border hop in order to keep our driving privileges legal here in Panama.  There has been a lot of chatter on the local website ‘Boquete.ning giving all kinds of advice on how to avoid delays and problems and we made sure we had everything we thought we would need.  (cash, return airline ticket, credit card, copies of bank statement and passports) We decided to travel by bus and enjoy the scenic drive through the mountains with our friends Linda and Gary.  They, too, had to leave for a short period as tourists are only allowed a 6 month stay.  Many take a short vacation, get their passport stamped, and return to Panama for another 6 months.  We are working on obtaining our pensionado visa, so that is not a concern for us, but until we have completed the process, we could only drive legally for three months.  Confusing you say…….you don’t know the half of it.  Anyway, the trip was awesome.  One bus to David , and another to Rio Sereno , a border town.  We had to pass through several small towns as well as Volcan and Concepcion, which are more populated.  The buses bounce along,  and everyone is sandwiched together and very sweaty, but it’s still a lot of fun.  We then walked up to the Panama immigration office and got checked out, walked down the street to the Costa Rica border office and went through a slightly different process.  We decided to hop a bus into San Vito   and take a taxi from there.

San Vito was originally settled by Italian immigrants and still retains its Italian roots.  Town was bustling with Christmas shoppers while we were there and there was music and vendors and loudspeakers and traffic everywhere.   One fellow had opened a shoe store in his van and was selling everything from sandals to cowboy boots and I was very very tempted.
We took a cab out of town to Cascata Del Bosco, a wonderful spot in the jungle.  George, our host, was awesome.  He and his girlfriend, LeReggie, cooked  all of our meals on a wonderful outdoor grill.  We were the only guests, but many of the locals stopped by, so we got to meet quite a few people and found out that San Vito was another expat destination where many folks come to spend the winter.  Like Boquete, they are only a short distance from wonderful beaches and offer cooler, more comfortable weather.  I was sad we would miss their Christmas party.  They were roasting a pig named Floyd for the occasion.  Pink Floyd……think about it.
We hiked up the road to the Wilson Botanical Research Facility and took a self guided tour there through the park.  I get very excited over the different exotic plants and their seeds.  Just a plant nerd, I guess.  We also found some jungle trails at the place where we were staying and walked a few of those as well.
We breezed through customs on our way back and no one wanted to see all the documentation we had so diligently collected.  Still, I was glad I had it all with me.  Traveling at Christmas time made it a bit more hectic than it might have been, but it worked out beautifully.  We’re back home and legal.  A nice feeling. ‘THE CLEAREST WAY INTO THE UNIVERSE IS THROUGH A FOREST WILDERNESS.’ John Muir

Bus selfie
Flower  street vendor in David
On the way to Rio Sereno
Little guy got separated from his mami’.  Not happy.
Linda stretches from the long ride
Traffic stop
Vista bonita
No long lines…..yay!
San Vito town center
Our balcony
A little gritty from the bus ride
view from the deck
Our cabana
Dennis and George discuss grilling techniques
George has roasted marshmellows.  How do I say no?
View into the bar/restaurant
cool seeds
more cool seeds
Dennis is 5’10”
love this
Wilson Botanical Gardens

Channeling my inner Jane
San Vito melon cart
Shoes, anyone?
Bus stop in San Vito heading home
Santa touring Boquete by train
my favorite fruit stand.  Edgar has the best stuff.
My neighbors down the road…John and Brandi
Santa dude

About Rona True

Welcome to my blog. My name is Rona and I live here in Boquete, with my husband, Dennis. I've been keeping an online 'journal' of our adventure moving to Panama as a way to stay in touch with friends. As the universe is wont to do, my path crossed with some serious bloggers who have been encouraging me to step it up a bit with my technology, and so here I am; a novice blogger with a penchant for the spiritual path. Panama is a perfect place to recover the pieces I left along the way as I raised a family, had a career in teaching, and generally followed the 'responsible' road. I travel a new road now and each day brings a new awareness. Panama is a land which brings the senses alive. The culture, warmth of its people, sights and sounds are the stimulus for my journey. Without my incredible husband, this would not be possible. We breathe the same air on this adventure and I invite you to come along for the ride.
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