A Travellerspoint blog

Panama

Kirulishen makes a landing

Gambling in Panama


View MAP OF THE JOURNEY on AnnaMickus's travel map.

We left San Blas on a large motorized canoe; we headed towards the mainland and continued upriver into the dense jungle. In the jungle there where jeeps waiting for us to transport us to Panama City. Yeah hah finally we would be able to take a shower and enjoy some good food.

As we were approaching Panama City the jungle gave way to more urban settlements, and then we crossed a large bridge and on the other side we saw........Miami. Yep; large skyscrapers, shopping malls, designer boutiques, SUVs, luxury boats, fancy harbour, fast food restaurants, gangs, crime, poverty and despair. No wonder they call it the Miami of the south!

Well well, we were going to stay here for a few days as one little gritter from Finland was coming to visit us! That’s right, Kirulishen was heading over for 2 ½ weeks to do some travelling with us all the way up to Guatemala City. While looking forward to finally meet a good friend from Finland we had a few extra days to familiarise ourselves with Panama City.

A must see was of course the Panama Canal. So we headed over to the Miraflores locks which are the closest ones to Panama city. Suuper exiting....no not really, but we happened to arrive just as a large tanker was passing true so it was kind of cool, as an American would say.

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Another sight we visited was the old town, Casco Viejo. It’s basically more or less a shady area that they are trying to fix up, which we noticed while reading the map and took a wrong turn; people told us not to go down that road. A man on a balcony was articulating hand signals of getting your throat cut so we quickly retreated to safer grounds. An interesting land mark was the abandoned ruin of Club de Clases y Tropas, the favourite hang-out General Noriega, which was heavily bombed during the US invasion in 1989.

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Most evenings we spent splashing out on nice dining and drinks. We also visited the marina, which housed luxury ships that were so big that they almost could be mistaken for mini cruise ships. The gap between the haves and have not’s could be immensely felt in Panama City.

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Wine and cheese at a wine bar

The day then finally arrived when Kiru was arriving so we headed out to the airport to give him a warm welcome. It was nice to finally see a familiar face and hear some stories from the motherland.

So after getting Kiru settled we headed out for a nice dinner and topped it off with a visit to one of the numerous casinos. We didn’t have more time than to double Kiru’s travel budget ;) before we left as we had an early flight to catch. Yep, heading out by plane, the quicker the better in our opinion. Panama City isn’t a place you want to linger in any longer than necessary and besides we didn’t want to sit cramped in an 11 hours night bus to Bocas de Toro on a road that was rumoured to be in notoriously bad condition.

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Posted by AnnaMickus 17:16 Archived in Panama Comments (0)

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