SAN BLAS ISLANDS, PANAMA
Well this was a biggie! We've been travelling on bit of a clock through the latter parts of central america primarily because of plans to do San Blas Islands and with a big group. 5 more friends from Melbourne joined us in Panama City on 16 May to make a group of 12 which filled a catamaran for five days to sail San Blas. It was a hectic few days really, in some incredibly picturesque places. It cost us $550US each for 5 days so not cheap, but definitely a memorably experience. No one really got sea sick either which was a treat. The pictures aren't great but given how wet and salty everything was on the trip we were very sparing in the amount of time we had our phones out for photos. I can't believe how soggy, salty and hot i felt for 5 days - nothing dries properly on the ocean i learnt. And the last 2 days of open water sailing were hectic but we survived and i was too happy to be back on terra firma with a fresh water shower and some aircon!!
19 May 2016
SAN BLAS P3
Aaand some more photos
18 May 2016
SAN BLAS P2
More san blas photos!
16 May 2016
It was touch and go for a second, but fortunately despite mild hangovers me, Ash and Ammie decided to jump on a bus and visit the Panama Canal. Everyone eñse was too wasted that morning or had seen it before, but I'm so glad we went, was really impressive and clearly a national treasure of theirs and a huge part of their economic development which we saw reflected in the size and extent of their city and infrastructure. Some particularly interesting things i took away from our tour were:
- the French first tried to build the canal but technology at the time wasn't up to the task
- it took 40,000 workers 10 years to build it, with a huge proportion being from the West Indies
- new 'locks' are under construction to enable boats up to 360m to pass through (currently limit is 300m)
- Panama took back control and management of the Canal from the US in the 70s
All in all a nice fay trip...the ceviche we ate at the fish market post tour was dog shit but 😋
15 May 2016
PANAMA CITY, PANAMA
We boot scooted from Monteverde after 3 nights and got a 16hr bus from San Jose Costa Rica to Panama City. The border crossing into PC was the most strict so far, by a long way, but we eventually got back on the bus and made it to PC. I was surprised by the level of development of the city, especially considering the population of Panama is only like 4 million; the city landscape is muy impressive. We stayed near a big mall that was real fancy as well, and to my delight had a maccas, burger king and pizza hut all in a row - geez im cultured. Definitely more exepensive country of central
America (although supermarket booze was cheap), along with Costa Rica, but real glad got to do a few nights here - was much nicer than I was expecting. Still a few remnants of their ongoing development, like the 'bangkok-esque'mpower line intersections on the poles 😋 definitely worth a visit this one, especially if ur hankering for some broader food options which we were.