Eigen Reis has started! The exciting eight days travelling through Panama have started! Eight days, eight people, 20 dollar budget per day, per person, one million ideas, one starting point and one finishing line.
We left Regina Maris, stepped on Porto Bello in the morning of the 14th of January. Planning not to plan too much, my group had decided we wanted to travel to Panama City and go to Panama Jazz Festival, a promising festival we had read about on the “Lonely Planet”, the most desired touristic guide that ever stepped on Earth.
We got to Panama City. It took us a few hours to find an available hostel and a couple more hours to find an available and affordable hostel.
Once we did, we enjoyed 30 full minutes of relaxing inside. We left, with marshmallow fluff and bread packed as dinner, towards Panama Jazz Festival. With the same marshmallow fluff, but without bread and with great energy growing inside, we left the great music and got to Albrook, central bus station in the city.
The 15th started on the 14th! It started after Panama Jazz Festival, after the relaxing, enthusiastic, contagious atmosphere felt and lived around the stage and the colourful band we listened to. It started from the moment we rode to Albrook, taking with us emotions and impressions.
Somewhere in the middle of a two hour search for the right bus home, the last few minutes before Kika’s birthday arrived. That night in Albrook we were two groups, we all searched for the bus, we all got one hundred different instructions, we all counted down, we all sang happy birthday in the middle of the bus station and we all found eventually the right bus.
Waking up on the morning of the 15th was waking up to the excitement of having a whole country to meet, a whole day to see one city and a whole week to let this feeling be felt.
We left “La Cantora”. At first we were in a smaller group, looking around the Residential for a cake for Kika and cheap meals for everyone. Later all the eight of us left the hostel and walked through the hot city, heading to Casco Viejo, an old, beautiful part of Panama City.
We walked along a beautiful park, along an amazing, relaxing green growing on our right side where very small food businesses were held. And on our left side… That was the Pacific Ocean! A stunning calming blue. It was pacific blue. Stunning blue of the Pacific Ocean, an Ocean I had never looked at, I had never smelled, I had never felt.
On that day, while walking on the streets of Casco Viejo we met Carlos, a young man who became our first Panamanian friend. He talked to his neighbors, helped us finding a cheap lunch, gave us his phone number, called an Uber to take us to Albrook, gave us a hand, which felt like an arm.
We got a cheesecake from Picasso, restaurant in which Carlos works in, and celebrated, in Casco Viejo, Kika’s birthday!
Leaving on the Uber Carlos called for us we went to Albrook, bought tickets to Soná and assured the next couple of meals for the group.
It was a six hour ride, on an amazing bus, with fifteen sassers, young people, old people, locals, not locals, families, couples, friends… It was one of those busses with life, through day and night.