Monday, March 19, 2007

Travel Update #9

Saturday, Feb. 24

Pencas, 211-3671,

Our last day in Panama. We were able to sleep in this morning but all I could manage was until 7am. Shower, breakfast and then Julia and I took a walk to the pedestrian shopping area. The walk along Avenida Central was pretty interesting. We saw some great stuff – women getting manis and pedis on the sidewalk, fruit, veg, herbs, flowers for sale. 3 pineapples for $1!!! After looking around a whole bunch of shops for skirts (apparently jeans are in this season) I finally found a cute little top for $5.

Keith met us there and we sauntered over to the Indian market where Julia picked up a couple of fun souvenirs for some friends. We also stopped at a stall to have a slice of fresh pineapple. Delicious! On the way back to the hotel Keith dropped us at a grocery store where I was able to buy some coffee and Julia was not able to buy her cookies, ha.

Met with the rest of the group at 12:30 to spend the rest of our last day with them. First we visited the Kuna craft market, where plenty more shopping was done by the group. I did buy myself a two more molas and am happy with them. Think I’ll make a nice triptych with the one I have at home.

From there we went to the Miraflores Locks. I love that place. The museum part is really cool, the movie interesting (short and sweet) and then my favourite – watching the ships pass through. I could sit and watch them all day. It was really hot and sunny. I put sunscreen on this morning but didn’t reapply before heading out this afternoon. Should’ve. Got a bit of burn. Oops.

After that we drove another 15 min. past Paraiso to the Gamboa Rainforest. We stopped at a resort hotel up there. Unfortunately there were no more tours for the day. But we spent about 30 minutes or so just chilling on the terrace and enjoying the view.

Catherine and Jessica went down to the pool (apparently forgetting that we were not paying guests) to dip their feet in the pool. When Duncan and Dave went down to bring them back up I knew something was up. One or both of them would surely end up in the pool. And I was right! Duncan threw Catherine in, fully clothed. It was funny. When they came back up, she had the nerve to complain and act surprised! I mean, hello, pool, hot sun, no bathing suit, obviously somebody was gonna end up wet.

After that we had to head back to the hotel for a quick change before going back to Pencas for our last dinner. I like that place.

Anyway, after dinner we did a few last minute errands – grocery store for Jules & Bob (Maria cookies), then to Wendy’s for Bradley, dropped Bob, Catherine and Paul at the Hard Rock CafĂ© (t-shirt shopping) while the rest of us headed for Baskin Robbins and yet MORE ice cream. Don’t think I’ve eaten so much ice cream in one week in all my life!

Finally back to the hotel. And … a last swim (thanks to Keith!). Julia and I had a laugh when on our way up the stairs, David tried to stop us by asking if our room had been done that day. We barely slowed down to say yes and he told us that his hadn’t. By this time I was halfway up the next flight of stairs and called down to him “Oh well” and kept going! Julia found this completely hysterical and couldn’t run for laughing so hard. At the top the guy who was about to close the pool let us in and we had a lovely 10 min. swim.

After that we dried off and started packing. Keith dropped by while we were doing that. The three of us chatted for a while. I finally managed to get all my packing done into the one carry-on bag. Sweet! After Keith left Julia and I chatted, I finally remembered to take a picture of us in our room and then we turned off the light around 1am. Did remember to get a wake up call for 5am. Ugh.


Why said...

I had a good giggle over the "Oh well" on the stairs. I can just picture you! By the way, how is the Panamanian coffee?

Stef said...

Cafe con leche is high on my list of priorities when I'm in Panama. Higher than shopping (yes, I did say that).