Panama Canal

Trip Start Feb 28, 2012
1
9
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Trip End Apr 25, 2012


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Flag of Panama  ,
Monday, March 5, 2012

Took a bus to Colon, there immediately a taxi as the people from my hostel recommended because it's dangerous there, wanted to go the yacht club to check if anyone needs linehandlers. Each boat needs four linehandlers to go through the Canal, therefore many smaller sailboats with just one or two persons look for people to help.
The yacht club was supposed to be a five minutes drive from the bus station, but my taxidriver didn't know where to go, nor did anyone he asked on the road. Finally he reached some cousin on the phone who confirmed that the yacht club had moved. What I only got to know later, it had moved to the other side of the canal, so instead of a five minutes drive it turned out to be a one hour drive. But it was interesting, the driver a happy, talkative person and when we crossed the canal he said this was a historical event in my life I will  be able to tell my grandchildren about :-)
At the yacht club it was very international and someone asked me if I could join immediately, but then they already found someone else. I took some pictures of the pinboard in case I might come back later, but since it finally turned out to be a half day trip just to get there from the city, it would need to be planned in advance.
Since this was sort of in the middle of nowhere, I had asked the taxi to wait, bought something to eat and then we made our way back, where I asked him to drop me at the Gatun Lock. This is one of the three locks which the ships have to pass to go from the Caribbean to the Pacific or the other way round. I know now that the Panama Canal is not just a straight forward canal, but it actually goes through a lake. This is the reason for the locks, the ships need to go up from sea to the lake level and back down on the other side.
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