We left the farm about 8am in the end as our driver was delayed with rush hour but still made it to'check-in' at the bus station by 9am. Our place, like most here, is old fashioned. It is like going back 50 or 100 yrs. Back to the days when houses with their staff just ticked along most of the time 'unoccupied' with lives of their own . There is a good staff, including living on the property, and things just keep things ticking along. The birds get fed with bananas, the rabbit with grass, the garden weeded, house de-humidified and secure. There is no mail, so no worries there.
This might be why so many people that retire here travel a lot. At any one time maybe about 70% of your friends are actually 'in residence'. The rest of the time, like in July for instance, they are all over the world - Africa, India, Singapore, Borneo, USA............and so the list goes on and on. Remote though it often feels, this is a cross roads of the world with easy flights just about anywhere.
Well...the bus, from David to Panama City. I liked it, I liked it a lot. Getting on the thing was easier and quicker than the flight. Much less trouble with over size bags and amount or type of luggage either in 'hold' or on the bus. It seemed anything goes - lots of big very heavy bags, cardboard boxes, a surf board, sacks of beans and so on under the bus; In with us, what ever you wanted to take, not restricted to two pieces each.
Once on, about 2.5hrs until we stopped for lunch in Santiago. We had a Police check where we showed passports about 1 hr out of David. We were treated to a fabulous movie in English with Spanish subs about a little girl and her horse which kept Beatrice better occupied than usual. Then there were the little fat old ladies sitting opposite. Their astonishing stash of candy did not go unnoticed by Beatrice, who charmed her way into more than a fair portion of it in her best Spanish.
Lunch was OK in Santiago. It was nice to stretch our legs. We had quite a choice in a cafeteria type place of all sorts of different cooked hot dishes. The same little fat old ladies were very helpful looking after our food and bags while I took Beatrice to the bano. There were actually lots of older and younger people on the bus, most seemed very approachable and helpful. Good atmosphere. I had some sweet and sour pork, Beatrice some chicken with rice and good vegetables. Bathrooms clean and nice.
Then back on the bus for the next 3 hours. Another movie. Glad to get to Panama and be picked up by our usual driver. I saved about $200 doing this. It is approx 10th of the price of the flight. Beatrice goes for half price. The total bill was $28 plus about $7.50 for lunch.
It does take longer. However, partly because there are no mid/late morning flights it equates to a much smaller inconvenience. That is, it gets you in a couple of hours earlier than the late after noon flight and a couple later than the early afternoon flight.
On arrival at final destination, enjoyed a couple of cold Panama beers in a chilled glass (love that they chill the glasses here and give you one for each bottle), ready for an early night.