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Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Brian & Deya met in Vancouver Canada. After a few years together we were married and made choices. One was not to have children the other was not to take life for granted. The rest is yet to come.

June 28, 2011

Panamania

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Sure, why wouldn’t we spell it that way? It’s kind of exciting, after
clearing through a very comfortable customs process we entered on to a fantastic road. Far from the clutches of doom (exaggeration) in Costa Rica, the Panamanian route from Rio Sereno to Volcan was awesome. P6080032The pavement was nearly perfect, little to no traffic and beautiful vistas and fincas everywhere. Maybe it was the combined package but this stretch on that day was one of the better rides we’ve had, definitely in the top 10. After Volcan the road becomes average, not much to say really. Prices in Panama are almost half of Costa Rica and the country seems more advanced, did I say that already?
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We had to travel South to David because we thought you could not take the route across the volcano from Volcan to Boquete, we were wrong. We’ll probably take that pass in the future. In Boquete we stayed at a place called Topaz for about 16 bucks a night, it was a pretty good spot, simple room with nice people. We checked out the town a bit and there are lots of tours and hikes possible. We had different plans so we didn’t do much there. We did meet a couple of other travellers of interest and have attached them to our links column. P6090044
It’s always interesting to meet other people and hear a little bit about their adventures. Whether they are in cars, on bikes, campers, sailboats or bicycles they each have different styles and stories to tell. Some of the stories are the same as with any travellers but many are different, this is the beauty of it.P6080040
We had planned to get to Panama City to wait until our boat to Colombia was ready to go, to do that we would take two easy days, stopping first at a beach called Las Lajas then near a place called Nata but Nata ended up giving us that sketchy feeling so we continued onto Santa Clara for the night.P6090052P6090053P6090055P6090056P6090057P6090058
The beach cabins at Las Lajas costs 10 bucks a night and were very simple but we had access to washrooms, showers and a restaurant. The food was well priced and we decided to sample some Panamanian beer before heading onto the beach for a swim. The food was excellent for the price, the beer is very light but refreshing and the surf is shallow and only mediocre but the beach is long and impressive.
After exiting Las Lajas we ended up passing Nata and got to a resort beach area. There was beach camping for 6 bucks and it looked great but with the temperature and the crowds it just didn’t seem right. We looked around for a better place and nearby we found the Blue Dolphin Hotel, the folks there let us camp for 10 bucks, it was pretty sweet and we enjoyed cooking, the swimming pool and watching the Canucks beat Boston. We barely missed a big thunder shower and were able to set up our tent under a thatch roof, yeah.
The next day was an easy ride to Panama City; it was raining
so crossing the Canal produced no good video or pictures. Fortunately Deya discovered that she has family in Panama and we were able to find their place easily. The family here is awesome, we’re really lucky to be surrounded by good people like this. They showed us around the city so we were able to experience far more than we might have on our own.
Panama is an impressive centre of activity, the Canal sets the pace for this small country and suggests a feeling that things can get done down here. It is very modern and far more advanced than the Central American countries we have been in. It’s also very nice as far as large cities go, on the ocean with the impressive Canal at its centre the city is connected to islands that are a definite tourist stop and promotes the expansion and development of foreign business. There are so many banks here I’m sure you will be able to find at least three that you have used before every few blocks. We checked out the Canal and learned about its impressive history and the work that has been done to improve the standard of living for residents since the Canal was repatriated from the US in 1999. The average cost to traverse the Canal is about 300k and about 14000 cargo ships travel it per year.
So far I would say that Panama is my favourite Central American country. Even though Costa Rica has Pura Vida, which I have a particular fondness for, I would pick Panama if I had to choose. The interesting point to note is that Panamanians do not consider themselves a part of Central America, some of this ideology comes from history and their own independence. It is however a critical area for trade and commerce and key zone connecting North, Central and South America.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous04 July, 2011

    Have fun you two. Both of you look great.

    Shawn

    ReplyDelete