When Gringos Attack
Panama Travel Blog› entry 17 of 25 › view all entries
Its such a fitting tittle, ill get to that in a bit, but first, Ive got to explain how we got to Panama City in the first place...
I already told yall about how we made it past the San Blas Islands and all that good stuff, and even met up with some of our friend from Cartagena the last night of our trip. Well, the next morning, the capitan wakes all of us up saying that the speed boats have arrived to bring us to the mainland. Well, I guess in the middle of nowhere, the definition for a speed boat is a wooden canoo with a motor attatched to the back, really not too much speed involved. We said bye to our capitan, and took off.
So, after a short 10 mins, we reached the mainland, but still had to travel for a good half hour up river through the Panama rainforest to get to a village where a few trucks were waiting for us to bring us to the capital city. It was a really nice ride, tons of nature and a few native villages along the way made it kind of adventerous. Later, we fianlly made it to Carti, the village where the trucks were waiting for us.
I dont really know what happened, but I think I got into my Louisiana redneck mode after seeing a few pick up trucks, because I got really excited and asked to ride in the back. The driver had no problem with it, but warned that it would be an extremely bumpy and muddy ride. "Sweet, even better," I replied, so I threw off the shirt and jumped in the back. Soon after, my other American friend couldnt resist, and joined in for the ride. Of course, the two Americans begging to ride in the back of a pick up truck, who would of thought??? You can only imagine the comments the Europeans were making.
So we traveled the bumpy ride and got a little muddy through more Panama rainforest, pretty fun I must admit. 2hrs later, we arrived in Panama City. So, why did gringos attack?
Well, because Panama City is by far the most Americanized place that I have ever seen in my life. It was more American than the US itself. There were Popeyes, Wendy`s and Subways, plus everyone listened to American music and dressed like people from the states. On top of it all, it was PACKED with foreigners from all over the globe. Did our capitan make a mistake and accidently drop us off in Panama City, Florida?
I usually like places with cultures different from my own, meaning that Panama wouldnt be my favorite place, but actually, I kind of liked it. Its a very clean, large and modern city, and it appeared to be very safe with little poverty. There were huge sky scrapers right on the edge on the coast, and the ocean was filled with huge ocean tankers crossing the Panama Canal. Very cool.
That night, we went out with all our friends from our boat crew to celebrate our last night together. Of course, the bar was packed with gringos, even a few people from my home state. I really felt like I was back home, kinda of odd.
So, we celebrated the whole night, sang along with the live classic rock band and remembered great memories from our excursion through the Caribean. Definitley a great way to end the trip. Its amazing how close you can get with a couple of strangers after spending only a few days with them at sea, I felt like I had known everyone for years.
The next day, my friend and I took off toward the Costa Rican border, trying to get to Nicaragua as soon as possible to avoid a night layover in San Jose because we heard it was extremely expensive. Well, of course, my luck, we made it to the Costa Rican border late that night and just missed the bus heading to Nicaragua, meaning we had to pass a night on the border. It wasnt that bad, we found a nice little hotel in the middle of the small town, ate some pretty good pizza and rested up for a long travel day the next day. Bright and early the next morning, we woke up and hit the road, back on the Panamaericana, Highway 1, our home for the last several weeks.
Then came Costa Rica...