We have all arived safely. Robin has been passed fit to drive.
We have had a fantastic day’s driving. From the moment we left our hotel in Boquete, the scenery was glorious. We passed through pretty fields in a hilly setting with glimpses of the volcano behind us. Then we crossed a dam bridge with enormous speed bumps and next started to climb through wooded hills and a series of winding mountain passes in cool morning air.
We then dropped down into the coastal heat as we headed north to the Caribbean sea and turned NW towards the border with Costa Rica. There were two exciting bridges to cross. The first was just before the border and the second was the border itself. Both had been built as narrow gauge railway bridges but have been crudely boarded either side of the tracks and are used for foot passengers and the occasional vehicle – including, today, the 19 vehicles from Panama Alaska Friendship Rally. This was always going to be a long day as border crossings can take 4 hours. In the end we did it in three and then headed off into countryside that looked exactly what we thought Costa Rica would look like.
Soon we returned to the coast and the road ran right beside the sea – so of course we had to stop and paddle, leaving the car underneath a coconut palm for shade. (Something I realised afterwards you should never do! No dents in the roof though .) The arrival at Las Horquetas was at 6pm since traffic was bad on the road. Finding the last part was quite interesting too – we had to drive across a bridge that is clearly marked as no vehicular access. However the hotel is idyllic and full of jungle sounds.