The 2016 Board Tour took place this year in Panama. Along the Pacific Coast at Playa Venao. This one was quite different from the past ones. With a bit more, troubles but it was good and fun.
First there was the whole passport issue, which pushed the trip from July to November. The day of the original trip we noticed one of our passports had expired. So after about an hour on the phone with different people and deciding that there was no way to make to Miami by 2pm to get a new one that day. The call was made to change the trip to November. Eat the airline change fee and lose the hotel deposits. After contacting the Beach Break Surf Camp and explaining the situation. Nathan gladly just changed the dates with no fee. Making it some what more bearable.
So we got into Panama City very early around 2am, and waited for the hotel shuttle for about an hour. Next after checking in, and getting to the room. No luck, the room was locked from the inside with the security latch. So back down stairs, when I tell the desk its locked from the inside they look at me like I have two heads. Then finally give me a new room. At last some sleep.
Next morning heading to pick up rental car. Just a note the fee online is not what you're gonna pay there. They throw on the mandatory bodily accident fee (about $22/day), and ask if I want the car damage insurance too, no thanks. Got the GPS since I knew the roads aren't marked well and we'd get lost. The guy at the car rental added the location of Playa Venao in it for me. After loading the car and ready to go, the GPS wouldn't find a route to the spot, no address for the hotel either to enter. Talked with Beach Break and they advised to put in Pedasi as location and gave directions from there.
Less than 200 miles, but 5 hour drive that's crazy. No what's crazy is try over 7 hour drive to Playa Venao. Getting out of Panama City was a nightmare. Construction everywhere, merging traffic, just crawling along. Then even once out of the city, more construction along way. Once off the the Pan-American Highway very rural roads with pot holes everywhere and climbing thru mountains, but some great views. Such as going over the Canal, the mountains, seeing the ocean from them, and wind power field.