Category Archives: Panama

Panama City, Panama

Believe it or not immigration in Panama did not ask about our flight out of Panama. Go figure.

The airline clerks in Lima were more about Panamanian Immigration than the Panamanians were.

It’s all smoke and mirrors!

The good thing about the whole ordeal was that we didn’t have to spend the night in the Panama Immigration Hotel.

The first day was the hop on hop off bus and Yup…. it was a national holiday – diá de bandera (flag day) and half of the bus stops were closed. One being access to the historic district – Casco Viejo and all the museums. Flag day in Panama is a big deal. We caught a glimpse from the bus and hundreds of thousands of people were out packed in like sardines celebrating. It was great fun to see.Lucky for us we got to watch a huge ship go through the Miraflores Locks at the Panama Canal. I was able to experience locks growing up on Saranac Lake in New York. It’s a tedious and meticulously planned operation. Train-like engines guide the ships through the canal keeping the boat in the middle. It was a bit like watching water boil but thrilling none the less.A malecón (seaside walkway) called Cinta Costera Park links the wildly growing modern urban center to Casco Viejo – Panama City’s spectacular old town and UNESCO World Heritage site.We baked ourselves in the sun walking from our hotel to the historic center on the Cinta Costera but enjoyed the seaside breeze in the evening on the way back. Skaters, walkers, joggers, dancers, vendors, kids and their parents, novias and amigos relished in the cooler night temperature.Casco Viejo is a mixture of crumbling abandoned buildings and new or newly refurbished ones – stately, ornate and adorned with Spanish inspired balconies. Fantastic restaurants, super cool hotels and fun bars.Oh yeah – the moon righted its self. Explain that to me please!We happened upon a runner, Jan-Casper Look, who just completed running from Vancouver, Canada to Panama City. Phase one of his journey. It took him a year. He runs pulling a cart behind himself averaging 30 miles per day. You can follow him on Instagram @jclloo21 where there’s also a link to his blog. And we thought walking a few Caminos was a big deal.

Strange and crazy. This Camino Pilgrimage symbol was on a building in Casco Viejo!

A conundrum of sorts…

Leaving Lima

It’s common to be asked by the airlines to show your flight itinerary out of the country you will be entering.

At the Copa counter in Lima we were asked just that. “Where are you going after Panama City, Panama?” To which I promptly whipped open my Expedia app and showed the gal we would be heading to Georgetown, Guyana. “Por favor. May I please see proof that you had yellow fever shots? It is necesario to travel to Guyana.”

“No podemos!” declared a stunned Paige.

Ok, ok…… so we were supposed to get yellow fever shots but the thing is there were none in Charleston. They had been out for over a year.

Bill thought we needed the shots and when he couldn’t find them he went back on the internet and searched until he found an article that said we didn’t need them. The power of the internet right. You can find any answer you want!

Well, you don’t need them if you’re flying from the USA. Not the case if you’re coming from South America!

You see Bill’s original plan was to fly to Guyana first from the USA but oh no Paige needed her Panama hat first….

So…. we have two non-refundable airplanes flights. One to Guyana and one leaving Suriname and we’re not allowed in either country.

Get shots in Panama you say? The vaccine takes 10 days to be effective and we leave on the 14th. You do the math.

So plan B is in the works. Columbia? Nicaragua? El Salvador? Suggestions?

Once again I contacted my mother to asked her to call Suriname Airlines (our flight home) and beg for a refund.

So much for having to show where you are going next. We’re currently flying to Panama with unusable tickets out of the country. Perhaps we’ll be staying at the Panama City Immigration Hotel.

Hello Panama