|Her friend the King - Barriles Pre-Colombian site|
|Restaurante Il Forno, Volcán, Panama|
|Dos Rios Hotel - Volcán Panama|
After satiating our hunger, we drove further down the road in pursuit of a hotel. If we'd done any research before we left home, we probably wouldn't have landed at Dos Rios Hotel. Trip Advisor doesn't give it a top rating, which looks about right to me. The eating area and the grounds are lovely, but the rooms are cheap and cramped. Since it was also the most expensive of the three hotels we stayed at, we won't be returning. Next time, I think we'd choose Mount Totumas Cloud Forest hotel.
A personal highlight of Volcán, for me, was meeting Jay Mills, callsign HP3AK, a fellow ex-pat radio operator and blogger. We chatted over a beer at Dos Rios as he related to me most of his experiences as an ex-pat in that locale. Perhaps he'll stop by our place for a visit the next time he's through Costa Rica.
|Sitio Barriles, Volcán, Panamá|
|A pot in the wall|
|Note the prominent sign at Panamanian Customs|
|Our gracious host, Tony, at the border soda|
Since we gained an hour upon entry to Costa Rica, it was now 11 AM, so we'd have plenty of time to catch the officials on this side of the frontier. We thought.
Turns out the guards on each side of the border synchronize their lunch hours, so we had an hour to kill. It was just as well, since we could take lunch at the nearby soda, which turned out to be a gem. The manager, Tony, who is only visiting from Florida for a few months, knows the meaning of friendly customer service and the fried chicken was some of the best I've had down here. After lunch, we wandered amongst the street shops on a street that straddles the border. Literally, you can step in, step out, step in, step out of Costa Rica into Panama.
Then, it was time to head home. From Río Sereno, you can't miss the 100 foot ceibol tree showing you the turn into Sabalito. From there, via San Vito, it's about 2 to 3 hours drive home through the pineapple fields south of Buenos Aires.
|Huge Ceibol tree near Sabalito|
I didn't even mind the bumpier roads, and getting stuck for half an hour behind an overloaded sugar cane truck, which is a common sight in Costa Rica during the summer months. It was good to be back to the "home" country, and better yet to sleep in our own beds again that night.