A Christmas with a mugger and to end up in Costa Rica for New Year's Eve

December 31, 2014 Sofia Nordlander 1 Comments



So, my board is broken. I wait for a new one and it will be sent to me within a couple of weeks. Anders gave up his bike to. It had given him too many flats and broken spokes and he didn't seem to enjoy the Panamanian mountains anymore. We will have a couple of weeks going by bus instead. We were thinking both of us deserved a normal and relaxing time spent together.

We started at Lost & Found, a hostel were Anders had stayed for a while and had made friends. It was great to see him again, had longed for that moment for so long. Nothing else there, just the mountains and the nature. Well, hammocks and the chilly air too.

Lost & Found gave us time to drink some Gin & Tonic and watch animals in the jungle I had never heard of before and others I had been looking forward to see, as sloths. We also met some Swedes who we joined for a day and we went swimming in waterfalls, in a canyon and in some hot springs. Lovely days.












Christmas
Christmas was coming up and we decided to go to the well-known Bocas del Toro at the Caribbean coast. The turquoise water and the mangroves was a nice contrast to the mountains and a water taxi took us to the island called Bastimentos where we had time to do a hike along the coast, palm fringed beaches colored with white sand and clear water. The jungle was literally on the beach, green leaves framed pictures in my camera display. Two steps in from the beach you could find the trail covered with mud and cute but poisonous red frogs decorated the path.

We woke up in time for a family gathering on Skype on a bad internet connection moment. It was nice to see them, truly. We started a hike again, took off to Wizard beach. The trail was hard to follow and muddy, all the sounds of the nature was intense though the creatures of the jungle was hiding from us.

Finally a long and, what appeared to us as, empty beach was in front of us and when the waves were to high shoes were soaked and laughter was loud. We were aiming for next destination, a coffee farm up amongst the hills. A couple on the beach we hadn't noticed before told us where to and Anders went ahead.

All of a sudden I heard him scream from above, "run, run, run". I was looking up to were he stood, waiting for me, and saw the reason. A man with a machete was running towards him, his face all covered up and with hunter eyes. I felt fear and ran back from where I came. Anders took the lead, I was running downhill but sprained my ankle pretty bad and lost speed.

Every time I looked behind me he was still there, yelling "Para, para!". My guess was it meant "Stop" but I couldn't. Started to scream, me as well, hoping that someone in the jungle would hear us, at least the couple on the beach. Being chased by a man with a machete wasn't exactly something I had prepared myself to.

We reached the beach, made the other couple aware of the danger and ran into the water. The man didn't give up and pointing with his big knife at us, one at the time, we did what he told us to do. Gave him all our money having faith in his assurance that he wouldn't hurt us if we did. He left, disappeared into the jungle again and there we were, poorer but still alive and with our cameras and cell phones left. We gave up our plans to go to the farm and scared of every little sound of the jungle we went back through mud and rainforest. Late Christmas Eve became a night talking, drinking and feeling grateful for being safe together.
















Going to Costa Rica
We spent a night in Bocas town, known for "all night parties" and all kind of life related to that. Still shaken up from the night before we went to bed pretty early to have some sleep before the next day of crossing the border to Costa Rica.

The land border procedure was as time consuming and ineffective as we were expecting it to be but once in a new country it wasn't too far to the lazy town of Puerto Viejo de Talamanca. Here we recovered from stress, drank mojitos in sunsets with caribbean live band playing and watched surfers trying to master the huge waves, for several days.

Since one of us are running out of time we catched an early bus all the way across the country to reach a hard raining La Fortuna last afternoon. We will try to catch a glimpse of Volcan Arenal shaped as the perfect cone here but until now the rain and the clouds are teasing us.









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And so I went back to my biker

December 20, 2014 Sofia Nordlander 0 Comments



Two scared rabbits jumped away while I did my walk in the dark and cold night to the bus station of my home town around midnight. The streets where empty except for me, randomly passing cars and the small animals I just frightened. I had many hours left until I could rest from traveling. The weight from my backpack on my shoulders was heavy, already burdened with grief and worries about family members, the reason I left Panama to go home for a period. I found my bus, got off at the first stop at Gothenburg and realized that my imagined idea of a nap at the bus station were going to change to a walk through a town of dimmed lights and doors closed due to the late hour, just to keep myself warm until the next bus arrive. The rain and the wind were unmerciful to my face and me, not dressed for "December Sweden", was freezing. I managed to find a pizzeria which was obviously closing, but still willing to serve a frozen traveler in need. They offered me to sit down and I eagerly ate a Kebab roll while the rain made nasty sounds towards the windows.

My next bus was not fully booked and since I had a 4 hours ride to Copenhagen I could curl up in a double seat. Sleep didn't bother to find me for longer periods though but I guess I had some, because the bus ride felt shorter than expected and I could embrace the early morning hour at Kastrup, the airport of Copenhagen.

Before take off I had a mission. I had to find somewhere to print the bus ticket which was the proof for the immigration office in Panama and to the airline company that I had no intention to stay in Panama forever. The ticket had become one more thing to worry about since my last enter to Panama almost had become a "no entry moment" and the purchased online ticket which now was supposed to be sent to my email hours earlier hadn't been there until 10 minutes ago.

My plan was to look for the Hilton hotel attached to the terminal and hopefully find a friendly face in the reception who could help me with my issue. I put some lip-gloss on, organized my tangled hair and tried not to look like the homeless and desperate woman I was. I didn't even have to walk to the hotel, the woman at the airports information desk where I asked for the direction helped me right away. Less stress, good. I was ready to sit down for a coffee and then to start my travels to Panama City via Paris, Charles de Gaulle. Hours of naps, movies, snacks and Sudoku began and the terrible tiredness I felt when I finally sat down in the shared and awfully expensive taxi from Tocumen airport was almost so bad that I couldn't enjoy the chat with my fellow traveler, the still warm evening and the skyline I knew from before. But only almost. That night I slept for hours and hours and I woke up in the morning with new energy for another day of travels, this time to reunite with the boyfriend waiting for me in the middle of nowhere and whom I have missed so much.

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Going home and longing back

December 04, 2014 Sofia Nordlander 0 Comments

To change this…


for this...


I write from Sweden. Family matters made me catch a flight back home as fast as possible, to the cold and dark winter I have tried to stay away from and I will be around until the 18th of December. To be with the ones that I need right now, and who need me as well.

I left "my biker" in Panama, in order to fulfill my plans or to make his own until I come back to spend Christmas with him and hopefully to continue to live the life I intended to. Brought my trailer and my Subsonic board to Sweden and will try to find some time to further changes since my board actually seemed to be broken during my last pushing day.

Be patient and give me strength! My heart must be here right now, in the country with less sun and without the green and lush rainforests but with family and caring friends close by. Though, I must say, a little piece of it are longing for new rides and for the one I left behind.

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