Unusual quiet Isla Grande and lots of Austrians in Panama City

The owner of the hostel organized us a transportation to the ferry station and by water taxi we took over to the Isla Grande. This island is usually overcrowded by locals at weekends. At carnival there is a party going on a whole week and it shall be impossible to get a free bed, if you don’t book it three months before. We arrived after carnival and at a working day and so it seemed like staying at a ghost town.

Nothing was going on at this little island. The hotels and hostels were nearly empty and it was rare to see people on the streets. The few guys we’ve seen, looked tired after doing party one week long. So we also rested one day in a hammock and went out only for dinner. The island is rather small and the next day we did a little two hours hike to the other edge of the island to an old ruinous light house. First we hesitated to go upstairs, but on top we had an amazing view all around.

Rest of the day we spent at the beach and at evening some people arrived at the hostel. A four-year-old French girl always wanted to play with us and we had great fun. At night a Columbian volunteer helped Peppi to buy a bottle of rum at the black market and so we spent some lovely ours with the guests and employees of the hostel.

Only a few days were left before our big vacation ended. We went to Panama City and got settled in hostel at the historic old town of the city. This area was surprising clean and most of the buildings were beautiful restored. We read about this area before. The government tries to revive this area with hotels, bars, restaurants and many little shops since more than ten years for tourism and they are doing a good job. You can spend days by strolling around and enjoying the architecture.

At the hostel we were impressed to meet more than 15 Austrians and several Germans. It was unusual to speak in mother tongue after such a long time. There was also a bar in the hostel and so we spent hours having fun with other travelers and sharing stories. All of these guys were fresh travelers and we mentioned that they were telling their stories with much more passion like we do.

We thought about this difference and we had to confess: After all the experiences we had, so many gorgeous places we have been, all the great people we met, … it is so difficult to get motivated for new things. When you see the 20th waterfall and so many sunsets, stay at the 15th lonely beach, climb up several mountains, suffer in the desert heat, explore the jungle, … nothing is so thrilling again like you do it the first time. It was time for us to go back home to Austria!

Being back at home, life seemed to be completely different. But we were so lucky to see our girlfriends, our family and our friends again. All the people we love! After processing all the impressions, we are sure, this trip will be with us the rest of our life. Many people ask us, if we would do this vacation again and we wouldn’t hesitate for a minute! We’ll be back one day!