Saturday, 21 July 2012

To Panama City

From Almirante in the northeast of Panama we want to cross the country to the Pacific side and make our way down to Panama City.  We planned our route and spoke to a girl in Bocas Town who described it as a very difficult and dangerous road across the mountains.

To this day I don't understand why she said that.  The road was "good" as far as we are concerned.  The rain kind of sucked while we crossed the mountains, but it was still awesome! We found a perfect lunch stop in the middle of nowhere.. always the best!


So ironic in the photo below.. there is chicken cooking on the grill above and there are live chickens pecking away right below their dead friends.  I think I'll go for an omelet with cheese and tomato, thanks!



There wasn't a whole lot of photo-taking in the rain, but once we got to the other side of the mountains near David, Panama, it was a totally beautiful day!



We finally arrived the Pacific coast and it wasn't what we expected.  Nice, but we decide to keep moving.


We found a place down the beach that would be awesome for camping!!  It's still holidays here in Panama, and there are heaps of cars and people camping.  Car radios are blaring at full blast and loads of drunk people.  Bugger!  It's so pretty, but we decide to keep moving.



We figured out that trying to stay near the beach at this time was the problem, so we went looking for a camping spot more inland.

On the way down a long dirt track, we found this house that offered accommodation.  Kevin decided to check it out.  (I didn't see the point, you can tell by looking at it that it's expensive).  He really loved the country and the view.



A quick look inside one of their two rooms?  I look at Kevin, and say "no way Jose".  He didn't think the cost was bad, I did.  Which is quite surprising really.  He is really careful with his money and I would not have guessed he was so willing to stay here. So I talked him into finding a good camp spot.  It's getting late, and we don't have food, let alone a camp set up.


Back into town we find a little restaurant.. there is only one of them too! And it is ridiculously cheap. 



We waited quite a while for dinner to take away and during this time, Kevin convinced me to go back to the house he fell in love with. He didn't want to look anymore and had his mind made up for that princess room!  I couldn't believe it.  He kept telling me how much he liked it there, it's okay to spend this money every once in a while, we are not in Panama very long.. etc etc. 


We took our cheap food and found a bottle of wine at the local shop and headed back to the Palace.

With some tunes, candles and a full moon it was a beautiful place to have dinner.


Now more than ever, I am glad I didn't press the issue and decided to agree with him to  'live a little'.  Until now, I have never seen him so passionate about where we stay tonight and cost didn't matter. Enjoy the best when you can get away with it, because you never know when your last day is.....


Sunrise.  For many weeks later he talked about this spot, and I'm so glad we stayed here.

So along with the Princess Suite came the Princess breakfast!


Not much luck in motivating him to pack up the bike when he is far too comfortable and happy to move.  As much as we'd like to, we have limited time.  We have a booking on a boat to get us from Panama to Colombia.  We've already paid our deposits, so we need to carry on to Panama City today.


Well he finally moved!  From the breakfast table to the hammock!!  Hammock man strikes again.  He only noticed this hammock and pool this morning.  He kept asking me, "why didn't you tell me there was a pool and a hammock last night? I didn't see it".  I argued that it was hard to miss as the pool was glimmering in the moon light!  The hammock I didn't see either.. It's not like we've done anything today other than eat breakfast, but we have a long rest in the hammocks fighting for the attention of the cutest puppy.. WE ARE SPOILED!!!!  And certainly making the most of this place.



C'mon Kev!  I'm packed and waiting by the banana tree and pineapples.


It was an easy ride down to Panama City from here.




Kevin confirms with the cafe owner at our late lunch where to go to find our hostel once we are in the city.  He's good like that, and little local advices are always a plus.


We were sort of able to find the hostel with my gps.  Kevin put this photo on his facebook and said, "The digs are going downhill"..  Compared to last night, anything would be downhill!!


Parked on the inside of the hostel and it wasn't so bad.. but still quite a contrast to last night.


We made sure the boat to Colombia was organized and paid (as many of you know, there is no road connecting Panama to South America) and then we set off to see the Panama Canal. What else do you do while in Panama City!


Kevin disappeared, I was wandering around taking photos and lost him. This is what I found..!! ;-) Trying so hard to be the snacker-man incognito.. with the "Oh no, I'm busted" kind of smile.


The lady kept looking at me and then at Kevin, and then me again.. and she wanted me to take her space so Kevin could take a photo.  We didn't need to ask her to do that.  She was too cute!


The little train cars are pulling the ships through the canal.


Absolutely fascinating to watch this and amazing that it even exists at all!  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panama_Canal


After the Panama Canal, which was super cool to see, we did something that I have not done in a VERY LONG TIME.. We went to the MOVIES!!!  That was a real treat.  The movie was in English with Spanish sub-titles, even better.

After the movie, a ride through Panama City old town.




There would be some serious stories these streets could tell.



I liked this contrast of the old building to the new.


Somewhat surprised in such a busy city to find the indigenous Panamanian ladies here.


We found a place to park with a security guard to watch over the bikes and went for a walk.


Along the way, Kevin spots a restuarant and asks the staff to put a table across the street on the water, so we can watch the sunset.  They agreed!  I was laughing and surprised and grateful.. how fun!




The good thing about Kevin is that he teaches me to slow down and enjoy more.  To get more out of each place we visit. I always seem to be in a rush and he says, "Relax, stop worrying, everything is fine.." Another superb dinner and another great night...


Buenos Noches!
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