I still travel in backpacker mode. As opposed to suitcases that limit you to the airplane and cabs, the backpacker moves self + baggage on foot. Far more freedom. I took this photo of Eddie Sharman, from Reading, U.K. this morning in Puerto Jiminez. It’s a common set-up: the heavy pack on your pack, the lighter one in front. All balanced.
Backpackers are the travel explorers. They get to places before the tourism industry arrives with their luxurious travelers’ appointments. I also like the randomness of not having a tight itinerary. Today I took off from Puerto Jiminez by boat across the Gulf to Golfito ands on the boat met Skip, 63-year old expat surfer who I’d met the week before. We got a cab for $6 each from Golfito to Canoas, the Panama/Costa Rica border (an hour’s ride) for $6.00 each, then a bus (with about 30 stops) from the border to David for $2 each. Skip took off for points east, and I found a hotel here and tomorrow will head for Panama City, thence (with plans hatched this morning), a train along the Panama Canal to the Caribbean, go to an island or two and then try to find a boat to Columbia. Quien sabe?
When I stepped out of the hotel earlier tonight, I loved the unknown factor. Got to find a place to eat, then an internet cafe. It’s tough some times, but there are also many times when I get into a completely unplanned wonderful experience.