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Published: January 22nd 2010
From Lima we took a plane to Panama City, a whole new leg of the journey now starts as we begin Central America!
We arrived in Panama around 6pm, our hotel had arranged for a transfer pick up which was great as we were greeting with a friendly Venezuelan holding up our names. Our room is really nice we also have a little kitchenette which we got really excited about!
On our first day we decided to be lazy, we slept in before going for a lazy walk and ended up just going to sit in a café!
On day 2 we took a Diablo Rojo (Red Devil), which is what they call the buses here! The name is very fitting, the drivers are crazy! Despite that though these buses have a certain charm about them & have got to be the single coolest buses I have ever seen! After our first bus experience we arrived in the centre of town, we looked for an information center but there was none at the address we were given. We took another bus to the main bus terminal to get information on the buses going out of the city and
to book a ticket to Boquete; unfortunately it’s impossible to buy tickets in advance so we just took a bus back into town! Back in town we walked to Casco Viejo, its like an old town, its got beautiful old buildings, many of these are now just skeletons and all that’s left of them is the walls! We walked around exploring the area and taking photos before stopping to have something to eat before slowly strolling our way back to the center, from there we jumped on a bus back to our hotel.
On our 3rd day we went to Albrook mall, the mall in itself was not that exciting so we left and took a taxi to the Miraflores Lock. This lock is the most famous out of all of the locks; it is the entrance to the canal on the pacific side. The Panama Canal is 77 km long and joins the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific. Around 14,000 ships go through it per year!
We went up to the viewing platforms where we saw a huge ship being squeezed into the locks. Whats even more impressive is the water system that is used to lift
or lower the ship! The level of the sea and the lake are different, the lock has different sections in which they either fill up to lift the ship or empty to lower it therefore getting it level with the lake. After watching that we went to watch a short documentary this explained how the canal works and how it got built. We then went to the museum before taking a bus back into town.
We spent the remainder of the night packing and went to bed early as we had an early start the next day!
Overall the city was great; everyone was really friendly to us from the bus drivers to strangers on the street helping us when we were lost.
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