So all along, I had been in touch with Michael McKenzie, who i had worked with at Outward Bound Canada in Toronto. We had talked about the possibilities of me working with him down in Santa Catalina, Panamá where he owned and operated Fluid Adventures Panama guiding kayak trips to the tropical paradise island of Coiba.
It just so happened to work out that Michael needed another guide for the peak of his season and invited me down to work. I just needed to work this out with Tom and after chatting we figured it could work out fine for me to leave and work until the end of March then meet up with the boat again in Ecuador.
I struggled with the decision to go out to Playa Petrero Grande in Santa Rosa National Park with Karaka but decided timing was too tight so i left Feb 13th and made my way to Tres Rios outside San Jose, Costa Rica to meet up with my friend Carola whom I met at Outward Bound Mexico. We went the next day to Turrialba to stay with her family for a night. Turrialba was a nice place in the heart of Coffee and sugar cane country.
I finally had a real Costa Rican experience outside the gringo mess in Playas del Coco. On Feb 16th i boarded the bus in San Jose to Panama City but of course left early in Santiago. I met a guy named Jeff from the US who sat beside me and was also going to Santa Catalina and who also was coming from a Sailboat that was in Belize. We both met up with my Couchsurfers Lena and Rodier late in the night in Santiago and walked 45min to their place from the bus terminal and went to bed.
The next day Jeff took off early but i stuck around and hung out then made my way by bus to Sona where i met Julio a local farmer type Panamanian who invited me to a cantina across from the bus terminal where they had 750ml beers for $1.10! I then got on the bus to Santa Catalina and tried to find Michael. Eventually met up with him and stayed the night sleeping out at Rancho Estero and left the next day for Coiba!