|The drive to Cahuita from Almirante turned out to be a pleasant surprise. Normally, when one of our drives includes a run through a border, it becomes a long and stressful day, like going into Hondurus for instance. Usually, you have to hire a 'runner' who knows the various offices that must be attended and the paperwork required. For any given border run, with a vehicle, five or six offices must be visited, with their accompanied forms and bribes that must be satisified to let you through expediantly. Usually, one of us will work with the runner, going from office to office with a wad full of American cash, our passports, vehicle title and registration, and photocopies of everything, while the other one, watches the car for security reasons while gaining relief form the border stress. Going into Hondurus for instance, took me and the runner a good three and a half hours and over a hundred dollars cash. All the while Alice was getting hounded by interested local men. That was a bad border. But this border between Almirante and Cahuita at Sixaola was a good border. The only difficult thing was finding the actual border. After circling around a muddy little town, getting directions that only made us wind around the same circular pattern which began to make me dizzy, we realized that the road through the border was the unlikely, elevated train tracks. Yes, the border crossing required a drive across a raised train track over a dilapidated bridge. This seemed like a bad beginning, but no, it was the start of a border romance. Arriving at the Panamanian office we were greeted by a customs official wearing jeans and a T-Shirt who immediately stamped our car papers,and sent us inside an empty office, where a nice, black lady stamped our passports, all free of charge, and done instantly, without a runner or a wait. Next, we drove across a very rickety bridge that could no more hold a train than I could, and arrived at the Costa Rican side. Here, a nice middle aged man took our papers, typed up our car permit, and sent us on our way within minutes, free of charge. We were in love! If only every border could be like Sixaola! The next surprise was waiting for us a few miles down the road, where the horrid, gravelly, pot-holed mess of a road turned into a brand new highway leading us towards the location where we spent 3 romantic nights on our honeymoon. Getting to Cahuita along this road was like arriving home. Half of our drive was along a beautiful mountain road, adorned with virgin rainforest on all sides; a drive we had made together a year and a half ago, just for fun, on a rented motorbike. Old memories flooded back to us, and we were both grinning from ear to ear remembering our trip over a year earlier, as we approached Cahuita. Turning onto the dirt road to Cahuita, we were still filled with our magic memories, and we knew exactly where we were to stay. An old Spanish gentlemen runs the Kelly Creek Inn, which abuts a gorgeous national park and a Caribbean beach, both of which are less than 10 yards away. We had stayed at this beautiful place on our honeymoon and vowed to return, which we did, and even stayed in the same room, with a view of the jungle and the ocean. After paying for our night stay, we immediately went into the rainforest, after buying a bag of fresh pineapple of course (we were quite hungry after our drive). The jungle, which provided us with numerous sloth sightings on our honeymoon, did not let us down. On our last trip we hiked all through the park, crossing waist deep rivers, swimming along coastline to explore the entire park, but this time we agreed to walk only a mile or so and then return. Well, along this 2 mile walk we saw a huge sloth, and then we were greeted by a large troop of howler monkeys (the only Central American monkey we had yet to encounter)! We were the only people there to whitness these curious beasts, and after a long look at their communal life, trading off between camera and binoculars, we set off down the beach back to our gorgeous hardwood cabina. We ate dinner at our old restaurant, Roberto's, and had a wonderful meal of Carribean curries, and talked about our honeymoon. All the while, the weather was sunny and beautiful. What a pleasant reunion! That night we visited a local bar that hosted a local calipso Reggae band. It ended up being a fabulous evening.