Archive for February, 2012

First Leg is Done

Now its time for a nice Panamanian beer and dinner in the restaurant of the Hotel Costa Inn.

The day started off with a very nice flight on Copa airlines to Panama City. The hotel package included a free shuttle from the airport (saving me $30). I found the shuttle contact right outside the baggage claim. The van was there in 5 minutes! Nice drive into town. Great service from Viaje Florencia.

Panama City has lots of spectacular skyscrapers – really, really tall ones and no middling ones. No pics, though, the windows on the van were kind of a mess.

My challenge for the afternoon was to get my phone on the local phone system and get internet access. Found some great support at the Cable and Wireless store in the Albrook Mall.

The cab ride back from the mall was an eye opener. I think that cabbie truly believed that blowing his horn would magically clear the space in front of him. I believe as well, or else I have experienced the space between electrons and nucleus allowing seemingly solid objects pass through each other. He was also a confirmed advocate of using all lanes available as frequently as possible.

Which brings me around to dinner. The restaurant in the hotel is a nice cosy place. The waitress, Joani, made some great suggestions from a menu that would look familiar to those who have eaten in Puerto Rico.

Tomorrow the flight to Bocas del Toro.

I’m heading out

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The plan to get to my destination is to take two days. I got a nice non-stop flight to Panama City that arrives mid afternoon. The flight from Panama City to Bocas del Toro leaves from a regional airport about a half hour away, by taxi, from the international airport. I figure there is no way to clear customs, get my bags and get to Albrook (the regional airport) in time to catch the last flight of the day at 4:30 pm.

That means I’ll spend the night in Panama City. As anxious as I am to get to Bocas, this will give me time to visit the local telecom store and get me set up with phone and data services.

The flight to Bocas leaves at 6:30 in the morning. Since this flight is on a smaller plane, I’ll have to ship my two heavy bags from Albrook as cargo. They “generally” arrive about the same time as my flight. We will see.

Frankie and Terry will meet me at the Bocas airport. Arriving this early will give them the opportunity to see the sunrise. I look out for them.

After breakfast in Bocastown, we’ll do a little shopping, then get on the boat to their place.

That’s the plan. I’ll check in later with how it went.

Photo credit – Luly Carson

I’m going to Panama. The time is near!

After months of anticipation, planning and some procrastination, the departure date for my trip to Panama is upon me.  

For those that don’t know, I am heading out the the Bocas del Toro area of Panama to visit my sister, Frankie, and her husband, Terry.  They have decided to give up the seafaring life –  Aarrgh! After spending two hurricane seasons sheltering in Panama, they decided to buy an island and put down some roots!  

As part of the planning, I asked Frankie what they might need for me to bring from the States that they can’t get there.  For the longest time, her only answer was “Cheez-its” – the things you miss when you don’t have them. After some weeks of proding, the ideas began to flow. From tools, to electronics, to 6 pound of grits and, of course Cheez-its, we built up to the baggage weight limit. 

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The big bag on the right is mostly stuff for them, the one on the left has some stuff for them, too.  Unless I do some serious shopping, I may be able to come home with only one bag.

As this is my first shot at a blog, give me some feedback, and let me know how its working or any thoughts you might have.

Next up, the itinerary. Thanks for stopping by.