Today sees the first leg of our journey home. There are no direct flights from Panama to London, so this afternoon we fly back to Costa Rica. After the obligatory trip to the breakfast buffet, I blow the last of the Balboas on fridge magnets before heading for the airport.
A tactical error; I finished my book this morning. An error compounded by the fact that the airport wifi is limited to 30 minutes. An error further compounded by the fact that shortly after boarding commences, it stops again and the passengers who had already boarded reappear. Apparently, a member of crew has fallen ill. They promise to let us know what’s happening in 30 minutes.
And so afternoon drifts into evening with alternating additional delays and gate changes. At one point vouchers are issued and I join the scrum in the food court. Finally, 4 hours and 3 gates later, a new crew member has been flown in from Colombia and we can depart. The moral of the story is; don’t fly a budget Colombian airline (Wingo) between Panama and Costa Rica. Or maybe, just don’t fly a budget Colombian airline…
We are spending our final two nights at Casa Conde – the quasi colonial villa on the outskirts of town where I spent my isolation. We had booked a hotel in the city centre for convenience, but were won over by the fact that Casa Conde provides apartments rather than rooms. I am particularly persuaded by a) the pool and b) the washing machine!
When we finally arrive, 4 hours later than planned, it is too late to use the pool and the washing machine is broken. The latter is easily remedied – reception give us a key for another room and I can wash my pants before I go to bed.