Enter Panama City

Trip Start Aug 28, 2004
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45
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Trip End Aug 2005


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Thursday, April 14, 2005

After a long journey of 16 hours plus we got to Panama a little jaded.
We went with Jamie a mexican american, and another german girl and shared a taxi into the centre. Booking into the new Hotel Texas. Hot water, large bed, cable tv $18 sorted. Well found Jamie.

To our delight to found that Copa airlines were just around the corner so we were able to reconfirm our tickets onto Lima, Peru. You cannot believe just how much of a hassle it can be, but if it means your seat is actually yours and not three other people, who also have paid to fly then it{s well worth it!!!
(what is it with airlines that have web sites you can even select the meal and seat you want but don´t let you reconfirm on-line and list phone numbers that don´t exsist)
Panama is a more developed city in it{s overall apearance and resembles a north american town very much. It´s a real hub of activity, the older part of the city is very busy and packed out with the locals, and the opposite side of the city is a contrast, very tall with it´s high rise buildings and big Shopping Malls etc.... Very much the old and the new. Further out there is really old city and that is very much a series of ruins, a Nunnery , Cathedral etc...

We took a trip out to see the amazing engineering feat of the Panama Canal,(well the trip consisted of a 10p bus ride that dropped as off at the edge of the road as buses do. You know when you have arrived the cheapest way possible when you find yourself tripping over rubble and rubbish bags) and it´s just an amazing stretch of water if you ever saw one!!!(Heike you are easily impressed, which is good news for me)(our up to date guide book suggested the viewing center and museum were free not the $8 each, I blame the americans STOP TIPPING and paying 10 times the going rate)NB Hi to all the cool americans we´ve met!! The ships, cruisers and Cargo boats that go thro´it are just massive. Each vessel is guided thro´by small, but precise locomotives designed and built by Kawasaki and Honda, costing approximately a million dollars each to make!!? It´s pretty mind boggling stuff indeed. There are literally inches to spare on either side of the vessels to make it thro´and the process takes a good 1-2 hours from entering to getting thro´ the other end. Boats worldwide are built with just this in mind. The locks are not quite as high as the ones on the Yangze but still pretty big. It costs mega bucks for vessels to go thro´ but this would be even more if they had to sail all the way around South America, both in time and money too.

It took over 20,000 men from all over the Americas (west Indies esp.) to build this canal and it was a mammouth task from the invention of boats, diggers, to the way the land had to be blown uo into smaller more manageable sections to take away.

All in all, in Panama the food was really cheap and very good if you like your meat dishes. Panama is known for it´s cheap shopping, we are now onto our third camera. We met some great people which we´ll expand upon in more detail in our next entry. Hi to you all!
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