¡Todo norte – Hitching Panama to Alaska! Part 1: Panama City to Tamarindo, Costa Rica

¡Todo norte! Or… California, at least.

I just hitched from Panama City to Tamarindo, Costa Rica for three days. My hitching partner, a Canadian named Cat who just quit her job to travel Central America, likes to tell people with a wicked smile that we are going all the way to Alaska. And we might!

Ever since I went phoneless, my brain changed completely, and I found myself thinking more clearly about dreams and goals. And yes, haven’t we all dreamed about the epic journey through the Americas?

It all started… 4 days ago? Cat and I left the Casco Viejo Hospedaje in Panama City and walked towards the Panamerican Highway. This was the most dangerous part of the trip so far. Walking through the Chorillo barrio feels a bit like walking through a warzone. It’s a poor neighborhood, so there is crime, so we were stopped several times, first by some street vendors warning us to turn around (Vayate!) and then by two policemen who yelled at us and then directed us to walk a certain route out of the neighborhood, past other police cars, to safely reach the highway.

We reached the highway and soon a local bus stopped, despite us waving him off, and the money collector stepped out to explain to us that hitchhiking was not possible here in the city, and yet 5 minutes after he left, a nice Panamanian picked us up and took us over the Bridge of the Americas and up the road an hour north.

WHOA! As I write this at the hostel in Tamarindo, on the reception computer that they are letting me use, Ive just been offered a ride halfway to Nicaragua by some volunteers here at the hostel. I just woke up Cat and asked if she would be ready to go, but she has decided to stay a few extra days here in Tamarindo (she made friends), and that is the way of the road! I will have to go on without her, for now, and hope that our paths cross again… there is much more to this little story of getting to Tamarindo, including an encounter with a Costa Rican cokehead who took us to his house and then got way coked out on the beach and scared the shit out of us, but this story will have to wait… the ride has been offered, and I must go… TODO NORTE! Nicaragua is next.

(Edit 2/28/18) – This post will introduce you to my ongoing hitchhiking expedition all the way north from Panama to Alaska. While writing this post yesterday on a hostel computer, I was suddenly offered a ride out of Tamarindo, and so the story drops off and picks back up in the next post.

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