Domestic Flight To Bocas Del Toro

Maybe I was only fascinated by this flight and these airports because I’ve never taken a domestic flight before, I dunno, but it was definitely a very different experience from British Airways and Heathrow Airport!

There was NO queue at check-in (a very strange phenomenon… normally I wait at least 10 minutes), and to be honest there was no security, like I could easily have walked round to where the staff sit behind their desks because the scales they weigh the bags on were only about 7cm off the ground so you could just step over them if you wanted to. I had to pay $20 excess baggage which is way less than the £40 I paid at Heathrow (well my mum paid the £40 but yeah). The luggage label was written by hand instead of printed, and she actually wrote the wrong destination on mine, but thankfully the staff member next to her noticed, otherwise I’d be without my luggage right now which would really not be fun.

She pointed at a door which said Security above it and told me to go there in an hour, so I followed the signs to “food court” to find somewhere to sit. It had 5 different food places but only 2 were open. I went to “Healthy Bistro” and got the only vegetarian option, vegetable wrap:

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A green wrap?!?! Pretty sure the food colouring in that doesn’t go too well with the “Healthy” part of “Healthy Bistro”, but oh well. It was ok but I have no idea what the vegetables were, except the obvious tomatoes and peppers. It cost $3.25 – You can’t even get much more than a bottle of water for that price at Heathrow!

From the food court, you could see the place where the planes wait (don’t know what it’s called). This was my plane getting ready:

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As you can see it’s tiny! It was really nice on the inside, like a normal plane, and they gave us crisps and a drink which I definitely wasn’t expecting. The girls in front of me asked for vodka and orange juice and the air hostess filled literally half of their cups up with vodka! It was the bumpiest plane journey of my life and it was actually quite scary at some points. All the passengers were just looking at each other with worried expressions on their faces, trying not to spill their drinks.

It took 45 minutes and I didn’t get a chance to take a picture, but the airport in Bocas is so small. The plane lands about 10 metres from the nearby houses! When you get off you walk into the little building and just stand around until a man starts passing the suitcases through a flap, then you just leave when you’ve got yours. The suitcase man checks that you have the right bag by looking at the number attached to your boarding pass which has to match the one on your bag (this is put on at check-in). I’ve always wondered why they don’t do something like this at big airports because you could so easily (purposefully or not on purpose) take the wrong bags or extra ones.

Fiona, a staff member at the hostel who I’d been in contact with when I was planning the trip, met me at the airport and we took a 5 minute taxi to the hostel that cost $1.50 each.

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