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180 Degrees

Panama City to the beach

overcast 80 °F

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No it's not that hot in Panama, it's our living pace. For the last six nights we've been in Panama City and the surrounding area. Today we woke up at the beach. While we were in Panama City we visited an Embara Indian village, the black Jesus shrine and the Fort of San Geronimo in Portobello, and a number of local historical sites near our hotel. We are ready for a change of pace.

We've learned about Panama time...if you are told a time to meet, feel lucky if they are there within an hour of the scheduled time. A very frustrating condition when dealing with Panama natives. We had arranged with a travel agent to meet at 6pm, after our trip to the Embara Indian Village, three phone calls later, she showed up at 7:30pm. Not really the way we had wanted to spend the evening. Everyone has an excuse why they are late, but doesn't do anything about it.

We bought a throw away Panama phone. A smart thing to do if you are going to travel here. Having a phone helps in getting things done.

The Embara Indian village is about two hours away from from Panama City. A van ride to a national park and then a canoe (powered by a 15 horse yamaha outboard) ride up a river for about an hour. The boat ride was through the jungle, with lots of birds and other wildlife living on or near the river. About 100 people live in the village, selling baskets, handcarved items, and masks to the tourists. We enjoyed a native meal, dancing, and walking around the village.34bobh_003.jpg61bobh_002.jpg50bobh_001.jpg

The trip to Portobelo was a car ride about 1.5 hours from Panama City. Portobelo is a very small town that was once a shipping port and Spanish garrison, back in the day. Visiting the old fort was interesting and very similar to the Spanish built fort in St. Augustine, FL and Limon, Costa Rica. The building plans must have been like today's shopping centers...here's the plan, build it. Also, the Black Jesus statue is located in a local church. Google the Portobelo Black Jesus to read about him. Lots of interesting rumors. 2bobh_005.jpg

The drive to the beach was 460 kilometer ride on the the Panamerican Highway and a narrow paved country road. At least 60% of the Panamerican Highway was four lane as we headed to David, PA. The other was a two lane highway, with a few pot holes that kept us on the alert. When we got on the county road we realized that it could have been a Costa Rican super-highway.

We'll be here a few days, maybe more than we want, since it is carnival in the big cities and getting rooms is a struggle. All the city folk go to the beaches to get away from the insanity of the carnival. But why not stay at the beach...it's beautiful, quiet, and of course relaxing.

Posted by rhislop 06:12 Archived in Panama Tagged beaches birds indians panama black jesus portobelo embara Comments (0)

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