Road traffic in Panama can be crazy

We needed to leave the boat in Panama while we travelled to South Africa for my daughters wedding which was at the end of January. We are currently in Buenavista Marina which is about 75 miles from Tocumen International Airport. 75 miles would normally take about an hour to an hour and a quarter to drive but the marina manager pointed out that we are traveling on New Years Day so we should allow extra travel time due to heavy traffic returning to Panama City from the Riviera Pacifico. We opted to allow 3 hours travel time and arrive 3 hours early at the airport. Our flight was at 2am so we left the Marina at 7pm. Well, the laugh was almost on us because we arrived at the airport at 12:30am. Fortunately it is not very busy at this time of day so there were no delays with check-in or security. On the other hand, the only place open in the airport was our gate.

We waited and waited and eventually somebody came and informed us that there was a technical problem which the pilot has spotted while doing his rounds and the technical team was en route to check it out. Tick tock till 4am when it was announced that a new plane was being brought as the problem was more serious than initially estimated. Well, I was relieved that the pilot was on his game. Imagine finding there is a problem at 33000 ft. We boarded and eventually took off at 5:30am. Remember, we had not slept yet. And of course we had missed our connecting flight but luckily Frank had a word with the agent and we had already been booked on the next available outbound flight. None of the other passengers on our flight were that lucky.

We eventually got home to the apartment after 4pm. 20hours after we had left the marina. We were pretty tired and so had an early night and slept well.