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Published: January 24th 2007
Boys will be boys... Ben couldn´t resist climbing up this crane.
Big place, home to over a million people. Its skyline looks very similar to Vancouver´s, with many more under construction. Panama is an international banking center with over 80 international banks (including ScotiaBank) and the skyline reflects this.
After an extremely cold (like sleeping bag cold) overnight bus from Bocas del Torro, we arrived in the city. Panama city is very influenced by the U.S., with freeways, big bridges and huge shopping malls. The US had full sovereignty over the Canal Zone until 2000 so I guess it only makes sense....(not to mention every American fast food chain is found here too). There are hundreds of semi-retired U.S. school buses on the roads that have been pimped out; including suspension lifts, headers, custom exhausts and detailed paint jobs! Pretty amusing seeing these beasts roaring around. So we´ve spent a few days here taking in the sights and sounds, namely the old city, city park and the canal. The Panama Canal is definately an engineering marvel of the world and was a big highlight. We were lucky to see two massive car carriers (5000+ cars each) go through the locks when we were there!
Another big highlight
Locks - One of Three
Start of this suspenseful viewing!
was meeting Peter, a retired Canal Pilot and his lovely wife Lesley who invited us down to their place on the Pacific. Peter and Lesley Tassel were wonderful hosts and made us feel right at home for the two nights we stayed there. They live right on the coast overlooking the ocean and showed us around the area including a trip to the beautiful highlands of El Valle in the interior. Muchas Gracias for the wonderful hospitality; it was definately a treat to have a taste of home. It was much appreciated and will be remebered long after this trip is done!
So our original plan was to sail to Columbia, but due to the heavy seas in the Atlantic, most charters are cancelled this month. Instead of wating around to get seasick on a sailboat, we bought some tickets on a flight to Cartagena, Columbia leaving tomorrow.
Big thumbs up for Central America. We loved it and will definately be back. Adios C.A.!
Stay tuned for part II of our adventures - coming soon to a computer near you....
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