Today we take the long bus ride back to Almirante (the last mainland stop before Bocas del Toro). Buses here are a breeze. You take a bus or taxi to the bus station (which is connected to an enormous mall and across the street from the national airport where you can take short flights all over Panama and other places in Central America). The only caveat is you can't count on a last minute bus to major destinations, because they're often full. And we have yet to figure out how to make reservations without having to actually visit the bus station.
Things in the bus terminal are easy to find, and there's even a place to store luggage (costs $1.50 per bag per day). Everything is clearly marked and people are extremely helpful.
When we were looking for the Guardia Equipaje random people would stop us and point in the right direction. I guess we're not the first gringos to look lost around these parts.
We decided, though, not to take an earlier bus to David which would require an overnight stay to connect to the Almirante bus tomorrow. Instead, we're waiting for the overnight bus leaving 9PM, which gives us another whole day in the city.
But we are exhausted and in no mood to shlep back to the city for the day. We decided to mull it over in the food court.
Albrook Mall is quite expansive and a great place to spend the day with a child. There's an arcade, a playspace with rock climbing, swings, slides, balloons and more. Near the food court, there's a huge carousel (a fun reminder of our time in France). Lila's been jumping on the trampoline with a little boy named Eddie. He's very sweet, probably five years old. I've also heard tell that there's an ice skating rink and bowling alley.
We stopped by a department store to pick up a present for Keren, the Israeli woman who runs Lila's school. She just had a baby, a 3 week old boy named Eli, and there is a baby shower for her next weekend. We chatted once on the phone, but it will be my first time meeting face to face.
It's funny to see the mannequin's in store windows have had their breasts done as well. "Mama," Lila asked me. "How come her booby is bigger than her head?" Ah, brave new world and the parents in it who must face this sort of questioning from their children.
It feels odd to spend the day in the mall, but I figure when we're back in Bocas, there won't have anything like this again for quite a while.
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