Blogs from Panama City, Panamá, Panama, Central America Caribbean - page 16


Central America Caribbean » Panama » Panamá » Panama City October 8th 2009

Today we took a cab to the Panama Canal. Unfortunately our timing was off and we waited for over an hour with no signs of any boats passing through. Finally, a couple of very large boats approached so we were able to get pictures but had to leave before we actually saw one pass through the locks. We also made the mistake of cheaping out and only buying tickets for the observation deck for $5 instead of the $8 general admission which meant missing out on the 3-story museum and the theater. So if you ever take a trip to the Panama Canal, just pay the extra $3 - this is not the time to get cheap, especially when you may be waiting an hour and a half for a boat to arrive. Tonight we learned ... read more
Panama Canal
Panama Canal
Panama Canal

Central America Caribbean » Panama » Panamá » Panama City October 8th 2009

We arrived in Panama City last night around 5:30 after a very long bus ride. Fortunately, the bus itself was good, comfortable, clean and the people were friendly. (Recommendation: Tica Bus). Crossing the border from Costa Rica into Panama was a frustrating experience that took 5 hours. First we arrived at 5am - 1 hour before the offices opened. Then the computer system stopped working and the officials refused to do things by hand despite having the ability to do so. Lineups were long and the local people did not care to wait in line like the majority of us tourists so they just pushed their way in front. The whole thing was quite a scene as the local media even showed up to report on it. So we are finally here and staying at the ... read more

Central America Caribbean » Panama » Panamá » Panama City September 30th 2009

A Banana Bridge forms the border between Costa Rica and Panama. For miles and miles on either side of the border there are vast banana plantations with blue plastic bags covering the bunches of bananas hanging on the trees to ensure that they reach our supermarkets in pristine condition. Going down to the border there are container depots everywhere including the Man from Delmonte - its the first real industrial area we have passed for weeks, everywhere else has been pristine, green tropical countryside and little villages. The banana bridge is what it says - basically a bridge across the river to carry the train that carries the bananas. Being a railway bridge its got train tracks down the centre and a couple of planks on either side - well there are planks most of the ... read more
International Immigation Control point
crossing the banana bridge
banana plantation

Central America Caribbean » Panama » Panamá » Panama City September 30th 2009

From Playa Hermosa we head to Volcan Arenal. The route plan is to take in the Cloud Forest (it is what it sounds like) but this is a gravel road and the recent heavy rains mean it is a no no. Only five people have done it in previous tours and two of them blew their rear shock absorbers. So we climb into the volcano range and the clouds close in and the humidity drops. We ride with Kevin and Julia and stop for lunch at a German owned café / gallery. It looks OK from the road but when we walk through it surrounds a stunning football pitch size lagoon. Howler monkeys are heard in the trees and the variety of brightly coloured birds is huge. Humming birds are feeding on the flowers and are ... read more
Costa Rica

Central America Caribbean » Panama » Panamá » Panama City September 15th 2009

It's going to be little sleep for awhile. Didn't sleep well last night because of coughing jags. Carole took me to the airport Tue. Sept 15th at 5 am. Flight to Atlanta and to Ft. Lauderdale were uneventful. Then checking in at Spirit Air, the lady said I could not enter Panama without a return trip booked. Some rule I didn't know about, and the airline saw no reason to tell me when I booked the flight a month earlier. So then it was a panic scramble to book a flight within 15 minutes so I could make my plane. I had to do it through her terminal, and she acted like it was her second day on the job. I wanted to get a refundable flight so I could tweek it later (I was originally ... read more
The Express Bus

Central America Caribbean » Panama » Panamá » Panama City August 28th 2009

Booking of a uncommon tour I had see a small paragraph on a backpacker website about an indigenous Wounaan community, close to Panama City, that encourages tours within their village. Our friends were actually staying at that particular backpacker hostel and so we made enquiries about the tour and were able to organise our time in the village for today. Apparently, no one from the hostel had been out to the community in a while and so the receptionist wasn't really sure on what was involved. She confirmed our tour with a member of the community and let us know that we had to catch a bus from the Albrook bus terminal in Panama City out to a town called Gamboa and we would be met there for the tour. Transportation difficulties It all sounded easy ... read more
Traditional house on stilts
The guy who carved the blue that I purchased

Central America Caribbean » Panama » Panamá » Panama City August 27th 2009

Our first introduction to Panama City was at the Albrook Terminal, the main bus station for the city. A huge shopping mall is adjacent and so the city appeared to be quite modern with new facilities, even though the chicken buses were visible everywhere. The city is quite modern to an extent, but we were quickly introduced to the poorer side of the city once we entered Casco Viejo, an old town that was built after the Old Panama town was Panama La Vieja, but before the modern city took off and moved over to where the centre of the city is now located. We had read and heard good things about Casco Viejo and had reserved our accommodation there for 3 nights. Upon entering the area, our cab driver told us to not walk past ... read more
The lock
Boat on the Panama Canal
Buildings in Casco Viejo

After getting up ridiculously early and being tugged by a small speed boat to the island where immigration was (the engine failed the previous evening), we eventually had our passports stamped and were legitimately in Panama after 6 days of officially being nowhere. We jumped into a small boat and head for the mainland, a little sad to be leaving paradise. The mainland wasn't quite what we expected. A small building with a few men sitting around outside, a plane wreck, and a ''toilet'' - nothing more than a few planks of wood over the water surrounded by corrogated iron - greeted us as we stepped ashore. Luckily the boatman who had taken us there helped us find a driver to take us to Panama City, and soon we were rolling through the jungle, across rivers ... read more

Just got back into this after almost a year. Now that I read what I wrote in August of 2008, I find that is is valuable as a reference to activities and events. Now as we prepare to collect our paperwork on THE VIEW - 31B and hope to find out more about its construction status. Original delivery was April 2008. Now, maybe December 2009 but we shall see. Also, am having lots of problems with HSBC panama. First they changed all the web access and account numbers without telling me. Then since I could not access my account they made it inactive and charged me $15 each month from October 2008 until March of 2009. During this time, I called, emailed and contacted several times HSBC panama representatives who would not return calls nor fix ... read more

Yiipiee...wir haben es bis nach Panama City geschafft. Nachdem wir in Santa Catalina noch tauchen waren...ja, Luzia taucht nun auch mit Haien...sind wir direkt zur Hauptstadt gefahren. Hier sind wir nun schon seit 1 Woche und machen die Stadt unsicher. Bilder folgen sobald es wieder einmal ein anstaendiges Internet gibt. ... read more
Extra WC fuer Chinde
...isch wuerklich ziemlich chli

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