Panama City, Panama
|We are continuing our travels N. via the 'SouthoftheBorders' travel journal. This is our second 'coming' to Panama City so I hope the journal is not too confusing. First entries going S. and now going N.
Flying from Cartagena to Medellin...very different countryside around Medellin, beautiful villas w/ swimming pools round about the town as we come in low. Airport unfortunately, is an hour bus ride each way so we are unable to check out Medellin scene. Plane lands 10:30am and we hang in the airport til connecting flight leaves at 3 (exchg $$, eat, read). We meet Mari, Bon's sister, in the airport and going thru customs encounter a mom and her out-of-control, autistic boy - screaming, kicking windows, completely out-of-control. We thought she was travelling on our plane and approached the security people saying we could not fly on the same plane but the woman came over and said her son would be fine once on the plane. Well, luckily, they went on a different plane! I really don't know what I would have done if this kid were on our flight and didn't settle down! Mari arr in Medellin yesterday by bus from the S. and said she really liked the town. From the looks of the villas around/near the airport, the drug business has been good for some folks in the area!
Only an hour flight and we land in Panama City about 4, walk across the highway from the airport (after waiting out a downpour) and catch a bus for town. It is HOT AND HUMID! The airport here is an hour from casco viejo and our hotel but the bus breaks down and Mari gets frustrated and tries to get a cab while Bon and I get another bus. Buses only cost .25 US, and yes, this is US currency, ha! Well, the buses are pretty crowded and with our packs to deal with a bit much, nevertheless, we are ablt to leave them safely on the floor by the driver and get seats as people get off. Finally, get to the bus terminal at Alport Mall and catch the casco viejo bus to the stop where we walked to Lunas Castle Hostel, where we stayed. Bon made reservations to arr by 6 or so(this is a busy tourist place and getting in this late we didn't want to have to hunt!). Mari had arrived only a few minutes before having tried to get a taxi w/o success and taken the bus but where she got off didn't realize where she was and tried again to get a taxi, even went to a hotel to call one for her and they said there were none that would take her to casco viejo! Don't know what that was all about but she said she finally had to plead with a cabby to take her (she wouldn't tell us how much it cost, the mood she was in I think it was alot, tho).
Today is a planning day to figure out what will fill the next 9 days before flight to MX.
We attempted to make contact with a boat, the Andiamo, and found that it would not be possible to do the 2 day trip to the San Blas on the schedule that they have. We also tried to come up with another plan to get a boat thru the Canal but this proved to be prohibitively expensive. So we settled on the train. See next entry.
Info @ Panama Canal Railway
More Info & Pics About Railway
Having done the train and now looking towards our next and last bus adventure, we went to the bus terminal to get info on Darien buses. The highway must have improved considerably since our LP was written, there are buses leaving every hour on the hour all the way. We ended up at a movie, The Black Swan, really great performances...Portman certainly deserved her Oscar! Still trying to reach Barbara Perkins in Todos Santos where our car is stored. Tried calling the numbers on their website and got nowhere, they no longer exist. Hmmm, not a promising sign. Hope the car is not sold or worse! Bon has emailed a Linda Hamilton, also listed on her website...maybe we'll get a response from her?!