We spent a few days exploring Panama City… and when I say “exploring Panama City” I mean exploring the shopping malls and sitting in the Police Station trying to get a police report.
We did actually need to spend a lot of time in the mall – Liam had literally all of his stuff stolen in Costa Rica + Panama and we hadn’t seen a proper mall in about 4 months, so there was a bit of stuff we needed to buy. The first day we spent 6 hours in a mall (Mum, you would be proud) and then saw The Hobbit at the movies. It was nice to spend a “normal” day like that, though we dont want them very often.
The next day the plan was to get up early, head to the tourist police to get a report about Liam’s stolen stuff and my computer, head to the Canal and then make it out of Panama City. No such luck – the tourist police didn’t speak a word of English and it ended up taking us 5 or so hours to get a report and then a few more hours to buy the stuff that we needed to replace.
We finally finished everything we needed to to at about 6pm that night, so we legged it to the Panama Canal to take a look. The Canal is a serious feat in human engineering – seeing these HUGE boats be taken through a 35 meter wide canal is pretty cool. You see these massive ships come in and drop with the water level as they take then through each confine and the ships literally disappear because they go so low.
Yesterday we did finally make it out of the City and headed to the town of Portobelo where we today catch our boat down to South America. It was Liam’s birthday, so a few other friends made the trek here for some celebrations and Beersbee – it turned into a very funny day with a bunch of 20 or so local guys joining in the game. They loved it, it got very rowdy and they ALMOST beat us.
Today at 2pm we begin our 5 day sail from Panama to Colombia upon Wildcard (http://wildcardsailing.com/), a 60foot single hull yacht captained by a Kiwi called John. There is going to be 16 of us on the boat and we’ve already met 11 of those people on our travels, so its sure to be an amazing time. We sail for a few days through the San Blas Islands and then onto Colombia, arriving on the 20th or 21st.
SO, today marks our last day in Central America, just over 4 months since we left the beautiful shores of Australia. We didn’t think we’d end up staying in Central for such a long time, but it was just all too much fun. We’re super excited to make it to South America for a change in scenery, culture and adventure. Bring on the next 5 months!