Monday, February 4, 2008

Panama Borders Suck

This border, which closes at one o'clock for lunch, is also used by trucks. One at a time

Rather than the usual dangers at border crossings, such as shady money changers, dodgy taxi drivers, corrupt officials and opportunistic conmen, the ultra-tame Punta Blanca border between Costa Rica and Panama featured only one hazard: the bridge that links the two nations. Seeing as the bridge is in no-mans land, it seems no man wants responsibility for it, and it has thus rusted and rotted into a dilapidated span of steel and wood with conveniently human-sized holes along the entire length of the floor. We cautiously walked across the planks (that surely were once makeshift), the river waiting twenty metres below should the seemingly autonomous oversized backpacks we carry should decide to overbalance us. After carefully dodging oncoming ricesack lugging locals and colossal old women, we stepped foot into Costa Rica, our exit from Panama almost as dangerous as our entry.

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