Highlights: New Group and CEO.
During the day I farewelled most of my group. Some I had been travelling with since Mexico over 6.5 weeks ago and other for more than 4 weeks so I found the occasion sadder than normal. Stephen decided to quit the group and spend more time with the Dutch girls and get back to his backpacking routes so only James, Robin, Laura and myself remain from Mexico City when we started on 15 December 2013.
For most of the day I did little at all other than coming down to reception and at various points and farewelling people. I did go to the local supermarket with Laura and buy ingredients for lunch and to the shopping mall to get some extra US dollars out.
That night we meet our new CEO Liza Villalobos who is Costa Rican and last year won the G Adventure Award for CEO of this area. With Stephen’s with withdrawal the group is now eleven people; Rebecca Kalman, Ivan Huisson, Bo Huisson, Evan Fitzsimmons, Esther Oluwatosin, Dottie Duncan, Michael St George, Laura Hadley, Robin Burton, James Gordon and myself. Dottie celebrates a birthday tomorrow with this trip being a birthday present to herself.
I learned that I’ll need to leave Santa Catalina early for Panama City if I want to see the Panama Canal before I leave on Sunday 10 February. I’ve already had a few discussions with Liza and I’ll probably catch a couple of local buses the day before we are due to leave Santa Catalina and that way I can do the tour on the Saturday while the rest of the group travels. Since I don’t need a room on the night of the 10th February Liza will try to move that forward to the 8th. Should be interesting travelling around the country on public buses by myself. Hopefully
Liza can organise this change, otherwise I’ll probably do it all by myself anyway since you have to see the Canal.
Dinner that night gave us a change to start to know each other. For most of the new people this is their only tour on their holiday so they have an enthusiasm that hopefully rubs of on those of us who have been on the road for so long. Tomorrow we leave the hotel at 5.30 am to catch a public bus to Puerto Viejo and in a few days we will move onto Panama my 50th country visited.