On March 23rd, my wife and I headed to the Republic of Panama for a long anticipated visit. Without any hesitation, we asked Rene to meet us at the airport upon our arrival from Atlanta. What a wonderful sight it was to see his smiling face after we cleared customs.
Rene shared with us that one of his helpers was ill, so feeling experienced this being our second trip to Panama, we said, “Don’t worry, we will take a standard taxi to Allbrook Airport for our trip to David tomorrow”. Reluctantly, he agreed. We felt confident as our hotel was 10 minutes from the Aeroperlas Regional airport.
To shorten the story, we had trouble communicating and almost missed our flight because the taxi driver thought we wanted to go to the big airport, Tocumen International!
On our return home from Chiriqui, we missed our flight in David to Panama City due to a typo in our itinerary! Fortunately, we had informed Rene that we would take a taxi again because our flight the next day departed at 7:27 AM!! Otherwise, we would have stood him up at 10:00 PM!
What could we do? The airport in David was closed … rental car offices, too.
We decided to drive the 6 hours to Panama City on the Panamerican Highway (returning the rent car there) and make our brutally early flight back to the U.S. The drive was uneventful (I’d like to do it again in the day time as it seemed interesting from what little we could see!). However, once we arrived in Panama City, it took us 2 hours and 3 helpful Panamanians to find the airport, to which we arrived at 4:00 AM!
We caught our flight and made it back to the U.S. in one piece! We learned a lot on this trip … but, the most important lesson was this:
DO NOT travel without Rene!!!!!!!!!
PS. Thanks to Alicia, Phil, Manfred, Bob and Lilly … you guys are the absolute BEST!!