Today was the day I did goodbye to Panama and to Central America, I left the hotel early, caught a bus to Albrook, the main bus terminal. I had read that you could get a bus which took you all the way to the airport (which is 40km outside the city) and to look out for To I asked 3 different people where the bus might be and received 3 different ananswers all off which were incorrect. I even resorted to walking up and down infrpont of the 50 bus bays looking for my bus but still couldn’t find it, I was just about to give up but then I saw a bus with the right name coming in and chased after it until itm stopped, I asked if it was for the airport and to my relief it was so I climber aboard and saved myself about $40 of taxi fair.
My journey ‘home’ (going back tom Germany where I am based with the Army) was Panama – Punta Cana (Dominican Republic) – Frankfurt then a train, the flight was fine to Punta Cana but when we landed I was meet by an escort as I left the plane and despite my objections I was told I couldnt leave the airport instead I was shepherded from one terminal to another, via a chauffeur driven bus, and round pass passport control, all the way to my departure gate. There is babysitting and then there is taking the mick.
So aside from not being able to go to the beach (just half an hours walk awaway), I had to wait in the departure lounge for just over 6 hours (where I am currently writing this) and more importantly I can’t say I have visited the Dominican Republic as airports certainly do not count in my book. 6 hours do not go by quickly in a small terminal, looking at the duty free and other shops takes up about half an hour, there are only so many planes you can watch take off (the terminal has open sides tol keep air mflowing through and also palm leaf roof which is a first for me) I also repacked my back, changed my shirt, read a little, bought a drink and i still have 3 hours to wait. Not exactly how I planned to spend my Saturday afternoon/evening but I’ll be back at some point to see what the country is like outside the airport.