Purgatory is a whirring bus ride with a stop at the mystery cafeteria

I am, for the first time in a month, on interent that is not costing minute by minute. Sitting in this hostel in San Jose, I thought to use this time to write about life lived on Taboga Island. But there is a more pressing story to be told.

Two days ago we decided to go to Costa Rica. Last night at 10:45pm we boarded a bus for the Panama-Costa Rica border. Full of riders, the capsule carried through the night, stopping only once at 2:00am. It was a twilight zone of a rest stop. As soon as our charter pulled to a stop all other passengers were ready and on their still sleeping feet, soon shuffling off the bus to what amounted to a Purgatorial Luby´s in the middle of Panamanian Nowhere. Served one at a time by late night lunch ladies, the passengers still in their bus seat sleepiness piled up ribs and rice and meat and meat and meat. Piles of meat. At two in the morning. Like drones.
I, like a typical CenTex youth group kid driving home from a middle school retreat, bought a pack of Pringles and a soda. Somehow that makes more sense at two in the morning that a pile of ribs.
On the bus again, snacking, I watch the meat eaters file back on and take their seats as the bus took off for the border. And it Took Off. Took off. All the sudden this sleepy bus turned into a theme park style terror ride. Going 90 mph down a hardly two lane highway in the middle of a rainforest corridor. The window fog shown blue from the bus lights reflecting on tree branches and creepers racing all around us. And on every curve the bus tilted as if it was not on wheels at all but actually flying above the ground and leaning into the turns. Carla, sitting across the isle got so frightened on one turn she reached up for the seat in front of her but instead grabbed the seat´s rider´s head. The confused man just brushed her off. It was a perfect ride into this Halloween day.
Then, at the border in 6 in the morning we still hadn´t decided where in Costa Rica we were going. While waiting on our exit stamp from Panama, we borrowed a travel book from the Aussie couple in front of us and decided on San Jose. The border crossing took all of two hours during which a small Panamanian lady launched a verbal assault on us because she said we were in a wrong line. She actually got on the phone and complained about the ¨mess¨we were making.
We finally arrived in Costa Rica after another 6 hours on the bus. We decided this afternoon that our final destination is Monteverde. What will we do there? Rainforest type things maybe. We´re not sure. It will likely just happen to us.

One Comment on “Purgatory is a whirring bus ride with a stop at the mystery cafeteria

  1. Haha… We had to take vans from San Jose to Jaco and it was incredibly terrifying. These tiny, tiny roads, being abused by speeding, top heavy vans.btw: you might see more comments from me; i’m reading your blog since you linked it and i’m bored at work. :D

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