Descent pavements and lots of taxis.
From San Jose we took a long distance bus to the first major town in Panama, the town of David, which is Panamas second city. There wasn’t anything special about David, but it was only 9 hours from San Jose, instead of the 15 hours all the way to Panama City. It was a good place to break up the trip for a few nights.
There seems to be just as many taxis here as there are private cars. Hundreds of them, all yellow like the New York taxis. Some of them in various states of disrepair and some of them done up with lights and huge sound systems.
The next morning we went out to find breakfast and sat outside a bakery with croissants and tea and coffee. After a while a pick up drove past with a load speaker, and something in Spanish being broadcast. We thought nothing of it, but after a while row upon row of children and adults holding banners, playing drums very loud with some good rhythms, dancing, and sometimes marching in order (then stopping, chaos continued as water was handed out and when the water was finished they resumed their orderly lines and continued marching.) We managed to make out some of the signs which said something about ’children are our future’ and ‘stop violence against children’. At the end of the march there was a long line of cars. They respected the marchers and didn’t beep their horns, but as soon as the side streets of cars that hand been held back, met the line of cars that were following the march, the horns started and crazy driving continued again.
It was difficult to find places to eat. They seemed to close very early or ran out of food. For the second city in Panama, there wasn’t much of a night life, especially of the eating kind. During the day was ok, but by 6pm most places had closed and we had to search for something to eat by time 8pm came around.