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Published: November 4th 2015
We arrived Sunday night in a downpour after a turbulent plane ride from Panma City to David yet the flight from Fort Lauderdale to Panama City was fine. I expected the bumpy ride since we were arriving in a thunder storm. I was apprehensive about getting to the Condo we had rented and connecting with the landlord in a timely manner but everything worked out perfectly, he was here waiting for us.
We are in a gated condominium community filled with Americans and Canadians. We have a swimming pool, nicely landscaped central court and well appointed one bedroom condo. Considering we rented sight unseen from Craig's List, it is a pleasant surprise. There is a good size grocery store within 5 minutes of here with everything we need. We are 10 minutes from downtown of this the second largest city of Panama with a population of 150,000. It is an old city with run down buildings and streets and sidewalks in disrepair. All properties are bared, fenced including some razor wire, we thought there must be lots of crime but apparently not. The landlord assures us it is quite safe to walk downtown at night, he must be overlooking the
treacherous sidewalk and narrow roads with few street lights.
Today we explored the downtown and took in some of the Independence Day parade. We were lost for a while but soon found our way back. This is a three day celebration. Yesterday was the day of the dead with yet an other parade to the cemetery next door. No alcohol sold on this religious holiday. A steady procession of locals bringing flowers to their loved ones, quite the colourful ritual.
It is very hot but we appear to be the only ones feeling the heat. Folks walk around with umbrellas to block the sun. It is a constant 29 to 31 degrees every day of the year, apparently the hottest city in Central America. I should have done more research.
We will take a bus ride into the mountains to the town of Boquete where it is reputed to be cooler. I had read that but apparently it rains more there, at this point, who cares, too hot here.
Lots of day trips to take from here to beaches, water falls, marinas, volcanoes and tourist towns. More on our excursions as we explore the area.
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