Saludos desde "down south"

Panama City Travel Blog

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The Guanacaste Gringos' Road Trip Begins!

So I finished my teaching contract a little over a week ago and headed down to Puerto Viejo with my gringo crew for a few days to experience some Caribbean flavor. It was a great few days, as we biked along the coast, swam in the sea, ate good food and stayed in an awesome bungalo. From there, my gringos went home and I headed further south past the border, to Bocas del Toro, an archipelago of islands on the northern Caribbean side of Panama. A beautiful beach destination especially catering to backpackers, I was in good company when I met a gringa ex-pat who deals Texas hold-em in Puerto Viejo, and two German girls on the way there, all of us traveling a solas.

After spending a few days living in a treehouse at Mondo Taitu, the premier backpacker's place in town, I left my amigas and took an overnight bus to Panama City, where I am now staying at the Mondo's sister hostel, Luna's Castle.

Paradise
It's a pretty great place to meet people, as I now have new Canadian, English, Australian, German and Swiss travel  buddies. One girl traveled alone for two years with a massage table through the entire continent of Africa, and one guy is currently on a year-long trek from upstate New York to the tip of Ushuaia on his bicycle. And people think I'm interesting just because I live in Costa Rica...

Yesterday I went to the Canal which was a definite must-see just because of all the history behind it. You can just feel the US influence in this country, due to their use of the dollar as currency, more American businesses than I've seen anywhere even in Costa Rica, and of course, all the history behind the Canal. But since 1999, the Canal has been completely in the hands of Panamanians, and they're in the midst of working on a huge transformation and expantion of the locks, due to be completed in 2014.

Ciao!

I'm about to head out with some new friends to the Baha'i temple (the only one in all of Latin America) and then making a good dinner. Panamanian food has been one thing I'm not too impressed with (although I'm sure I'd feel differently if I weren't on such a budget in backpacker's digs). Maybe one more exploration tomorrow and headin' home to Guanacaste within the next day or two.

I love traveling (obviously), but I realized I could never be a wandering soldier (contrary to what some of my family members may believe). I've been on the road for a little over a week and I'll be ready for that to end soon. I need a homebase, and for now, I'm pretty satisfied with mine.

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The Guanacaste Gringos Road Trip …
The Guanacaste Gringos' Road Trip…
Paradise
Paradise
Ciao!
Ciao!
Audrey and Cole- first night in PV
Audrey and Cole- first night in PV
Spicy gringas cooking yummy breakf…
Spicy gringas cooking yummy break…
I am a smoothie master
I am a smoothie master
Parque Nacional Cahuita
Parque Nacional Cahuita
Pensativas...
Pensativas...
Cole, Lindsay and me in Parque Nac…
Cole, Lindsay and me in Parque Na…
Lindsays in a hammock
Lindsays in a hammock
Bocas del Toro Archipelago
Bocas del Toro Archipelago
It was pretty
It was pretty
:)
:)
Carrie and I playing in the water
Carrie and I playing in the water
Lookin out the dock of the bay
Lookin' out the dock of the bay
Laura and I on the boat
Laura and I on the boat
Island Paradise
Island Paradise
The view from the hostel in Panama…
The view from the hostel in Panam…
View out the other side
View out the other side
Panama Canal!
Panama Canal!
Me at the Canal
Me at the Canal
Passing through the locks...
Passing through the locks...
All buses in Panama City look like…
All buses in Panama City look lik…
Bahaii Temple
Bahai'i Temple
Skyline at Night
Skyline at Night
Isla Toboga
Isla Toboga
Lunch with lovely ladies at Isla T…
Lunch with lovely ladies at Isla …
Enjoying island time
Enjoying island time
Petrena and I with the Pacific and…
Petrena and I with the Pacific an…
Ciao, Isla
Ciao, Isla
Boat that recently passed through …
Boat that recently passed through…
6,641 km (4,127 miles) traveled
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photo by: Biedjee