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Panama City

PANAMA | Sunday, 5 January 2014 | Views [739] | Comments [1]

We've been in Panama for nearly a week now (ok, it's only been 5 days but it feels much longer than that) and we (i.e. me) are slowly adjusting to the new rhythm or lack thereof. The first few days we stayed in a bit of a fancy area just to get over the jetlag; an area with lots of fancy hotels and restaurants, a few decent bars right in the same street as our hotel.  

For a bit of contrast we then moved to a backpacker hostel in the old centre of town, which is UNESCO heritage-listed. In a way a bit of a strange place as it has been scrubbed up only recently and borders right on a poorer rougher part of town. They take the tourist industry seriously with a whole bunch of special tourist police roaming the streets looking after us lot so we can wonder around with our cameras snapping away in safety. 

Panama City is actually quite a well-off place due to the industry associated with the Canal. The Canal was dug and operated by the USA but was finally handed over to Panama in 1999. As such there is quite an American influence in this town, and it is in part very glitzy with lots of skyscrapers, most of them surprisingly beautiful as far as skyscrapers go. They even use the US dollar here as a currency, and wealthy Panamanians in big shiny 4WD's abound in the well-to-do areas. But of course that's only a small part of the population as we've already noticed. 

Apart from the fancy and the old part of town, we've also joined locals by hopping on a ferry to la Isla Taboga for the day, where we did a short hike through the jungle to the top of the mountain (spotting poising dart frogs and hummingbirds along the way), followed by a swim in the ocean. No matter where we were on the island we could see the long line of massive container ships biding their time to enter the Canal. Quire an impressive sight, and a reminder of how important the Canal is to Panama. 



Hey you two!! Great to see all your photos and read the blog - looks like an awesome trip!! I actually only just noticed the "Journal" part !! (DER). Typical me - I thought it was just photos!!! Life incredibly busy here (as usual) and Eugene Onegin is opening tonight. Should be really good - a co-production with the Royal Opera House Covent Garden. Nonie is in the UK for a month (she had to go over and visit a sick friend of the family) and is taking the opportunity to refresh some of her network and friendships. I'm really happy she can do that. But I miss her!! Actually, I miss you two as well ! Can't wait to hear about the next part of your journey. Hugs, G

  Gerard Feb 28, 2014 12:00 PM

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