The Causeway & Casco Viejo
Panama City Travel Blog› entry 3 of 13 › view all entries
Today Bruce, Karin, and I explored a couple of the local areas around Panama City.
We started with a drive out to what´s known as the Causeway, a small peninsula type thing that was built using dirt from the Canal excavation. It seems to be undergoing some kind of renewal or redevelopment effort (as does much of Panama). There are restaurants, museums, dance club, etc out here.
So we had lunch at nice place overlooking the bay. We could see boats lined up to enter the Canal. After lunch we walked through the Culebra, a protected park area where we saw a couple sloths, iguanas, and pelicans (in trees, which i guess is unusual for pelicans if you think about it). We also went to the small aquarium here to see some local marine life, including a couple sea turtles and a nurse shark.
Next we drove to Casco Viejo - "old town." This neighborhood has a LOT of potential for getting restored and rennovated and becoming a sort of hip place to hang out. There are at least two town squares and a boardwalk along the water. (under the boardwalk are apparently old prison cells subject to the tides - so i guess in a really high tide the prisoners are in big trouble.)
As we were walking through town, we watched a big parade of people pass us by. They were rallying for one of the presidential candidates Juan Carlos Navarro. As they walked by, a man came up and kissed Karin on the cheek - it was Juan Carlos himself! I tried to take a picture but was way too late with my camera. Wonder if he´ll win.
After our stroll through Casco Viejo, we headed back to Panama. I was ready for a big Saturday night out. But Bruce and Karin were pretty tired. They stayed home, and I decided to head out on my own.
I walked down to Calle Uruguay and after passing a few places, decided I had to go to TGIF´s (yes, TGIF) to see what all the hub-bub was about this place - it was supposed to be pretty happening. And well, it didn´t disappoint. There was a nice, fun crowd in there - and i soon learned why. Every night, 530 to 930 was happy hour. My jack-and-coke was $2.50 - throughout my trip I´ve paid something more like $6.00. So I stayed at TGIFs for a bit, but then decided to keep exploring.
The next place I hit had a pool table, so I played pool for a couple hours. I decided that at least in this joint, Panamenos aren´t very good at pool. I played several games, including a few against one particular guy (can´t remember his name now, a few days later) - but after a few games, we decided to play doubles, so we found partners - mine was Maria, from Colombia. We had fun.
Around midnight, I went to the club Guru´s and stayed there for the rest of the night. Good time. Good crowd. Wild time.