I actually really liked Panama City. David was a pretty crap place, and super hot and uncomfortable, but Panama City was quite beautiful with a nice breeze. We stayed at Mamallena Hostel, which had air conditioning!, and spent our days wandering the city and our nights at Carnaval.
Carnaval was fun, but nothing crazy. Lots of cops all over the city and pretty intense security to get in (I needed my passport). Once inside beers were $1, streetfood was plentiful (and not vegan), and the stages were INCREDIBLY loud. The last night we managed to catch the parade floats and dance to electronic music with a bunch of drunk gay Panamanians. I also got in a fight with a black man in traditional African garb and kicked him into a Porta-Potty. I also also got into a yelling match with a Panamanian taxi driver, who ended up blowing me a kiss. But that was the day before.
From Panama City we went north to Boquete, which I really loved. It’s a small mountain city with cool air and green mountains all around. All the local houses had well-maintained gardens, even the smallest, poorest homes.
Our hostel, Nomba Hostel, had very obviously moved locations recently, and was pretty half-assed in most respects. But it was close to hiking trails, and they arranged a rock climbing trip for us (I am really out of shape). If I had to move to Panama, Boquete is definitely the city I’d choose.
We’re now at Lost And Found Lodge, between David and Bocas del Toro. It’s isolated in the cloud forest (a 15 minute serious hike from the nearest road, and 30-40min by car from the nearest town). They have a honey bear they rescued that we can pet at night, a monkey that comes by around dinner for bananas, and incredible views. Yesterday we went on a tour to petroglyphs and hot springs, and today we did the L&F treasure hunt, which we successfully completed in about 5 hours (with a swimming break). Apparently we get prizes later tonight.