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Hot, Wet and Wonderful day in Panama

PANAMA | Sunday, 26 August 2018 | Views [164]

We slept quite well but were up and at it by 6am. We completed the blog and set off to breakfast. The buffet is included in our hotel cost, either for the price of our room or another travel perk; not sure. Either way, we are not huge breakfast eaters and the food was not very exciting. There was pulled pork, hotdogs and peppers, grey scrambled eggs, a variety of fresh fruits, meats and cheeses and some toast and pastries. We were able to find something to fill the gap, but we were not all that impressed. 


Although it was grey skies and light rain, we decided to set out and look for the Hop-on-hop-off bus. We walked down to the ocean front, enjoyed the tropical flowers. 


After about a 20 minute walk, we arrived to the mall where the bus was scheduled to stop. There was a person claiming to be an agent for the company and he exclaimed that the bus was on a reduced schedule for Sunday. Of course he offered to take us around in his private vehicle for the same price. We decided to believe half his story and ditched the bus idea for the day. We returned to our hotel after a quick stop at the supermarket to get a couple beer and a few snacks.

We decided to enjoy some time on the rooftop hot tub and pool. It was fairly enjoyable to have an open air hot tub but the rain must have cooled the water a bit.



The rain had settled a bit so we set out for another adventure; Albrook Mall. This huge shopping centre is situated next to the national bus terminal and accessible by the Metro. We bought our $2 USD metro cards and loaded them both with $3. At 35 cents a trip we love this modern and clean system. After riding the subway the wrong direction for a stop, we figured it out and we quickly arrived at the bus terminal. This bustling area was certainly a spectacle; filled with buses that have been customized. 



The Albrook mall is modern with prices comparable to discount malls in the USA. It is huge, filled with shops, cinema and many food venders. I wanted pizza and Tim reluctantly agreed. It was cheap, tasty but a bit undercooked. The place was packed; clearly a local favourite; certainly not my favourite but who can complain paying $5 for a good pie.


McDonald's ice cream was a nice treat; hold the sprinkles next time ($1.25).



We hopped back on the Metro for one stop, 5 de Mayo. The streets were lined with open huts that had been tailored as barbershops. They were both unique and very busy on this Sunday afternoon.



5 de Mayo is a bit sketchy of a neighbour but seemed to have a certain local charm. It must be safe, they had many tourist stalls; we were the only tourists however.



Making our way back to the 'beaten path' we discovered a very nice looking restaurant area; reminiscent of an open air cafeteria serving fresh seafood. It was clearly connected / associated with a seafood market with many eager birds eagerly awaiting a snack. 



Although we were stuffed, Tim looked at a couple of the aggressive greeters (shills and barkers) menus and happily thought the prices were very good. For seafood, the place smelled very good; might have to come back with an open mind and appetite.



We walked along the water and enjoyed the view of this modern city.



We decided to turn back to the hotel and leave Casco Viejo, the old historic city for another day. We walked along the boardwalk for a couple kilometres,  enjoying the community feeling of people out on bikes, playing soccer and selling all sorts of food and drinks (mostly hot dogs and shaved ice).

The waterfront seems quite popular; treating people to nice views and all sorts of tropical flowers and foliage.



We even stopped at a park to watch the navy instrument band.



We got back to the hotel quite tired, many kilometre and hills behind us. Tim had a nap and just relaxed. Our evening was chill, made our way out for an evening walk and just enjoyed being on vacation on a Sunday night. The picture is hard to tell but it was a beautiful moon.

 

 

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