Trip Start Feb 10, 2010
42Trip End Jul 21, 2010
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We landed in Panama after having to pay a whopping $40 each to leave Ecuador, a nice surprise!! We were both really excited to start the final leg of the trip and to explore a different part of Latin America. The flights to Panama city were amazing! We had to take one to Bogota and then one on from there and for the first flight we had our own private TVs complete with loads of new films and our own remote controls!!!! Laziness at its best!
However as we were driving from the airport it seemed that the part of Latin America we had just left behind was still very much with us! World cup fever was in full swing and nearly every car had flags all over showing their preferred team..
Anyway we arrived at the hostel and the heat in the room was ridiculous!!!! Especially considering as when we left Quito it was 13C and raining! We quickly dumped the bags and went to check out the area, though not before we were given a map with all the areas we shouldn`t go in marked on. There was something about the area that had us both more on edge than we had been in South America and was a complete contrast to the other part of the city which you could see on the other side of the bay. On this side rather than decaying colonial houses there are loads of huge skyscrapers and a marina displaying some pretty impressive boats.
The next day we decided we weren`t really feeling Panama city and so booked our tickets into Costa Rica that night! However before we left we went to visit the Panama canal, a 30 minute bus ride away from the city on a funky painted American school bus. The canal was cool to see and the boats going through a touch bigger than the ones steaming through the Bath canal!!! We stayed for a while watching some huge tankers passing through which were paying around $100,000 just to go through the canal!!!
We then thought we`d go check out the city`s skyscraper district! It was fairly uninspiring, its all offices and a couple of bars... not the most exciting place to wonder around!
So that was our brief stop in Panama city! It`s great to be in Central America and we`re hoping other places will have more of a balance between neglected suburbs and sterile centres.