A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about carnival

Carnaval in Panama City

Almost time to return to CONUS

sunny 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.IMG_4130e.jpgIMG_4140e.jpgIMG_4131e.jpg

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.IMG_4268e.jpg 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 behaviorIMG_4286e.jpg 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, IMG_4314e.jpg IMG_4349e.jpgIMG_4321e.jpg ride huge floats waving and smiling to the crowd. Between the floats carrying the various queens, marching jazz bands, calypso dancersIMG_4338e.jpg IMG_4302e.jpg and a staggering group of intoxicated revelers entertain the crowd. The night ends with a great fireworks show that everyone seems to enjoy. IMG_4386e.jpg

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.

Posted by rhislop 13:31 Archived in Panama Tagged queen carnaval caribbean panama carnival fireworks panama_city coronado policemen Comments (0)

Hairy Knees

Many new friends

sunny 85 °F

I was sitting at the pool a few days ago, diligently working on my tan and reading The Painted House by John Grisham, when one our new friends announced, "Damn, I'm getting hairy knees!" I looked up from my book, "What...?"

"I'm getting hairy knees," he exclaimed again. "I've been in shorts or swimming suits for such a long period of time hair is starting to grow on my knees."

Now that's a serious problem to have I thought. Then I looked at my knees...fine sun bleached hair was sprouting from my kneecaps. Welcome to the too long in shorts club. What a problem to have, but not to worry, unfortunately in a few short days I'll be back in jeans and the denim fabric will quietly and quickly rub off my hairy knees.

Our time in this beautiful place is rapidly coming to an end, we've been saying good-bye to many new friends for the past few days. Most of these new friends are from our northern neighbor Canada. It seems that Canadians have figured out what a cool place Panama is and they have been coming down here for years. There is a small airport in Rio Hato, Panama that has been expanded and is accepting charter flights from Toronto and a few other Canadian cities. The various hotels, condos, and all-inclusive resorts are filled with Canadians. IMG_3567e.jpg IMG_3571e_edited-1.jpg

When the winter Olympics were going on there was a lot of good natured cheering and bantering about our nation's teams. When the USA hockey team defeated the Russians high fives were slapped all around. Then the fun stopped, the USA women lost to Canada, the USA men lost to Canada, condolences were given to us, much like the Super Bowl defeat. As the Americans continued to falter the Canadians excelled. The gold medal game was at 7am, team Canada's headquarters at the Coronado Bay started the day with Bailey's and Coffee at 6am, switching to Caesar's at game time and most of the day. Eventually, beer and other adult beverages found the way into the mix and the Canadian victory dance lasted until 1am the following day. That afternoon there were no Canadian hairy knees at the pool.

One of the Canadian techies has set up a Facebook page for all the guests, friends, and others to share pictures of this area. If you are interested in seeing a collection of photos of the place search for Coronado Bay on Facebook. Most of the pictures at this time are from a wedding photographer from Toronto and me. IMG_3788e.jpg

We are heading into Panama City tomorrow morning to attend "carnival" or the Panama version of Marti Gras. We will be with Colorado friends for the big parade on Saturday night viewing the festivities from their balcony and from street level. Two years ago we left the city to avoid the madness of carnival but this year we're going for it. It should generate many cool images.

Posted by rhislop 05:37 Archived in Panama Tagged panama bay usa canada hockey playa carnival panama_city coronado_beach hairy_knees rio_hato Comments (0)

From the village to the beach

once again enjoying the beach

sunny 94 °F

Panama has got some beaches, white sand, black sand, and salt and pepper sand. All beautiful. This is our last beach stay until we head back home. We´re staying at the Playa Blanca Resort, allegedly one of Panama´s best. Judgement will be reserved until we leave, however the all inclusive drinks are pretty good. 9bobh_006.jpg44bobh_002.jpg3bobh_003.jpg

We almost drove right by the turn off for this resort. When we left Pedasi we put the resort name in the gps and received our directions. Off we went, in the right direction, but the gps had us going about sixty miles past the resort to another beach area. By chance we had stopped along the way and checked a map, measure twice...cut once, the gps didn´t seem to be properly reading the route. After we got back on the road and had been going for about thirty minutes we saw a sign "Playa Blanco Resort" to the right. We pulled over, checked the map, made a phone call, turned off the gps and drove into the resort. If we had stayed with the gps we would have been at least an hour away from where we should have been. You just don´t want to image how upset I would have been. Kryss would have made me walk to cool down in the 90 degree heat!

Since we were unable to upload any photos yesterday, some from Pedasi are included in this entry. 0bobh_004.jpg42bobh_001.jpg12bobh_005.jpg

Posted by rhislop 10:03 Archived in Panama Tagged beaches panama playa carnival blanca pedasi Comments (0)

Adios Las Olas...Hola Pedasi

Beach to Village

sunny 86 °F

As we packed up to leave Las Olas we knew that we would miss the beautiful beach and crashing waves, but it was time to move on. Pedasi was a 5.5 hour drive from Las Olas, it probably wouldn´t have taken so long under normal conditions but road construction, post carnival traffic and getting lost in Las Tablas didn´t help. When we made to the hotel, cold beers were on order.

A recommendation from a friend in Panama City brought us to the Pedasito Boutique Hotel and Spa. A great recommendation! This quaint hotel offers bed and breakfast rooms and regular hotel rooms with breakfast. Our room had a small patio over looking their pool and back courtyard. On Friday evenings they serve sushi in the courtyard area. The tuna is fresh that day and prepared by an able sushi chef. I would post a few pictures but this is the land of very slow computers and uploading pictures is a PITA! So no pictures on this entry, might get some up at our next stop.

Pedasi is a small village about two miles from the beach. We´ve visited four beaches in the area and enjoyed all of them. One of the beaches is the home of the Panama surfboarding championships, not quite California or Hawaii but good surfing for those that do. The night that we arrived in Pedasi they were still celebrating carnival. We enjoyed a brief moment of the carnival parade as one of the queens was driven through town for one more curtain call.

While sitting on the various beaches in Costa Rica and Panama we´ve read a bunch of books. And for my favorite book blogger www.amusedbybooks.com, I´ve read eight books. The best one Bill O´Rielly´s Killing Lincoln. A great book and historically very interesting. The other books I´ve read aren´t the genre Amused likes but most were enjoyable. Kindles are a great way to travel with reading material.

Later today we are leaving Pedasi and heading to Coronado, Panama. Getting down to our last few days before the trip home. Hard to think about!

Posted by rhislop 06:23 Archived in Panama Tagged beaches las panama carnival olas pedasi Comments (0)

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