PIPER AT THE GATES OF DAWN travel blog

riding the panama canal express

one year old coffee sapling


Went to mail my postcards i couldn't mail at San Salvador airport~~~~~~~~they closed down the post office Correos...because of a lack of customers...fair enough...but not even having a mailbox to post those last cards before flying out....but no...so i went to the Correos in Panama City and they actually let me post them without having to buy Panamanian stamps...said the El Salvadorean were fine. Walked about a km and the temp was about 30C with humidity up in 90% region...gave up and caught a cab to the Panama Railway station to buy a ticket...not able to do so...buy it on the day at 630am....as I left the hotel i was stopped by the Tourist Police and asked where i was planning to go..they advised me not to venture to the neighbourhood just across the road as it was peligroso...perilous...I thanked them and went for my walk...last night i walked past the area after Church service...as i dodged holes in the pavement unexpected gaps and stairs, rotting refuse, human waste..etc i noticed the bright lights of a casino or two..looking up side streets i thought i was back in SOHO London...with strip clubs Gentleman's clubs, etc up side streets...there are many casinos...but the ones in the part of town i was in were more down at heel poker machine dens than Vegas glitz....oh I saw a man being led out of a van by police..and the man about 1.8m tall and in shackles and leg irons! On my return several hours later there was one of those US school buses..ala Partridge family...but this one was heavily shielded and i could see heavily armed police on board and around it and many police vehicles all about...an armed officer was I thought about to ask me to halt.then changed his mind and asked me to hurry past...as i turned around the sound of clinking metal and at least one prisoner being guided onto the prison Partridge bus....

I also had a field day spotting people of various faiths...a Rastafarian,a Muslim,a Hindu, a Buddhist, a Jew and countless Christians both Catholic & Protestant, Evangelical etc doubtless Atheists and Agnostics as well I would imagine.......now the following day has arrived that being the Tuesday 7th June...i think by leaving my blinds open to the sunrise i will woken by its friendly rays and get the morning canal train to Colon...but it was not meant to be...due to noise from roadworks outside the hotel till about midnight....and the fact my alarm stopped working...the clock works the alarm no..even tried new batteries...just in case i thought i would ask the hotel to give me a wake up call...but the phi discoveredered was dead.....not the first time a hotel phone in my room was dead...and there was no clock radio....so i did get up at 620am for 715 train..i showered and put batteries into my cameras and was down stairs by 640am cab called it arrived at 645am but driver saidsaid not worth trying as traffic was too heavy....i ask him to try he says no it won't matter...anyway..i decide i will catch a bus up and get the train down to Panama City at 515pm....that worked out the bus up at 1pm got there at 220pm...cost $USD3.50 train back cost $USD22...got back to hotel at 650pm...in time to see soccer maGuadalupelupe playing some other Panamanian teamandwin 4 to 3...there is a habit amongst Latin American Soccer commentators to announce a gaol by shouting goooooooaaaaaaaaaaalllllllllllllllllllllll sometimes over 30 secs! Anyway tomorrow Wednesday 8th i am flying to Costa Rica....my new home by date is 14th July Bastille Day!

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