Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Traveling Panama

Currently, in the Panama Canal area on the Caribbean side near the city of Colon. We are docked at Shelter Bay Marina for a week or two while we wait for some engine parts we ordered from the USA. One of our engines is out of service and the boat doesn't maneuver very predictably with only one engine nor move very quickly if the wind drops. Since much of our travel is amongst dangerous coral reefs and rocks and the weather highly changeable we really need both engines working. Squalls are frequent and intense with winds from 20-40 knots from any direction.

While we wait a week or two for the parts to arrive we've decided to travel around Panama in "Backpacker mode" and see the sights. Tourism in Panama is not developed and thus making for adventure travel.

So far we've crossed the istumusn of Panama three times between Colon and Panama City. Twice via local bus and once via the Panama Railway. It's only about 50 miles (80km) from the Caribbean to the Pacific or about 2 hours and pretty cool to see the two oceans in the same day.

Near our marina we can go for a short walk into the jungle, as we do each evening, and see several different kinds of monkeys, furry ground mammals of uncertain variety, many tropicla birds and an amazing array colorful flowers. After our evening walk we play four of five games of volleyball and then take a soak in the hot tub. Marina life is a nice treat.

Like I mentioned we are taking a week to explore non-coastal Panama via land. The first stop after leaving the Marina was the dentist. Kathy had a veneer repaired in a first rate English speaking, super modern dental office for a mere $35. Next we caught the Panama Canal train for a scenic and historical trip across the isthmus to Panama City. Tourism is not so well developed as in neighboring Costa Rica which keeps thing interesting as the guide books for Panama are pretty thin on details. Life is good.

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