Almost time to return to CONUS
02.27.2014 - 03.02.2014 85 °F
Our time in Panama is drawing to an end and we are already dreaming of a return trip. Our last night at the BOO, Coronado Bay Condos, was another potluck on the roof. There was a wide array of foods from organic popcorn to KFC. Yes, there is a KFC in Coronado as well as a Mickey Dees. Three couples were leaving on Friday morning, including us, so there were lots of good-bye wishes, hugs, email exchanges, and promises of meeting again somewhere on the road. There were a lot of like minded people in this group.
On Friday morning we headed back to Panama City for three nights of Carnaval, aka Marti Gras in Panama. The city shuts down one of the main streets, Cinta Coasta and cordons off the area. This becomes the playground for the Carnaval . All the party goers enter thru police check points. You must show an ID to get in, the police check your bags and give you a patdown. Once you are in the party starts. Beer, food, and music in mega doses abound. The sights and sounds are really no different than an American festival, except there is definitely a hot Latin/Caribbean beat. In the past there has allegedly been a lot of rowdy and criminal behavior but with a very large police presence the crowds were just having fun, music and dancing.
At dark the parade starts. The Carnaval Queen and her court, decked out in feathers and glitter, ride huge floats waving and smiling to the crowd. Between the floats carrying the various queens, marching jazz bands, calypso dancers and a staggering group of intoxicated revelers entertain the crowd. The night ends with a great fireworks show that everyone seems to enjoy.
We're glad that our last few days in Panama are during the Carnaval because the joy and happiness of the celebration keeps us from thinking about the sadness of leaving Panama.