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12 June 2006

Tiff: Panama City

"I Love Panama City also. The people are wonderful and
extremely helpful and boy are they proud of their
country and its canal. We went to the old colonial
part of the city today. It is so beautiful and the
way they are working on it, it will be even more
beautiful as the years go by. It doesn´t hurt that it
is on the Pacific Ocean and there is a very long and
beautiful boardwalk to the colonial part. I won´t
bore you with all the churches, etc., but I must tell
you that Noreiga´s old hangout is for sale (a fixer
upperfor sure- but it is on the water). We went up to
the presidential palace housed in an old colonial
building. The president of Panama lives on the top
floor of the building. The palace is surrounded by
quite serious looking guards--Well they are just a
great bunch of guys. They chased a bunch of birds
(herons) around so I could get a good picture of
them-even posing with the birds. They opened the
security gate so I woulñdn´t have bars in my picture.
They posed for pictures of both myself and Brad and
had a great time talking to us. Everyone here want´s
to know if it is your first visit and when you are
coming back. We have felt very welcome and valued as
tourists. Panama really is rocking and rolling. Lots
of foreign business envestment, etc. They are
planning on building a second canal. Its funny--for
all the coups, rebellion, and horrible civil
wars--Central American Presidents are sure a lot more
accessible to the people--especially in Honduras where
the president rode down the street horseback with no
visible security at all--of course it was carnaval.
Everyone was quite sure including the local tourist
support group that we could never find our way to the
Miraflores Locks of the canal on the local buses. The
tours there are $49 dollars a person. HA!!!We got to
the locks for 35 cents each way. We also got from the
airport to our hotel the first day we landed--a real
feat I have to assure you. If you have never been to
a Latin American City you can´t possibly envision the
total lack of order and total lack of street signs and
addresses. You can´t talk to anyone because the bus
music is always blaring at about a million
decibles--and the horns are always blaring. Basically
you can drive a bus if you have loud enough speakers
and love rushing across double center lines--cutting
off every other vehicle on the road (mostly other
buses who are your competition) with your hand
constantly pressed on the horn.
Anyway, we made it to the canal and had a thoroughly
enlightening time. The museum was very interesting
and we had a great lunch while watching the ships go
The dumb thing we have been doing for two days is
looking for a Harley Shop which everyone seems to know
where one was but then it moved. We are on our 3rd
location tomorrow while we visit "Old Panama", a ruin
that goes back to the 1500s."

posted by - 7:20 PM


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