Our 2008 Visit to Panamá

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Tom & Linda's trip, March 30 thru April 10.

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The skyline of the new part of Panamá City is likely the most impressive in the Americas.
View from the causeway to Amador.
Not all the cranes are in Dubai. Many of the empty spaces are being prepared for more new skyscrapers.
Most of the tall buildings are residential. We heard that in 10 years, they think 36% of the population may be foreigners.
We stayed at La Estancia, a B&B only several balboas (dollars) by taxi from anywhere you want to go in Panamá City. A wonderful place to stay for our 10 days!
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Sitting on the balcony and watching and listening to the wildlife was a major highlight.
A quick tropical rain soaked this monkey and the six others with him on this day.
Not only pretty to look at, but wonderful to listen to.
Several sloths entertained us during our 10 day stay.
More beautiful birds. We also saw large humingbirds and some other birds even smaller than the hummers.
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Every day we saw acoutis. They got fed plenty of breakfast fruit.
On another day, this fruit-eating squirrel gorged himself at the bird feeder. Notice his two-tone color scheme.
As a kid, we used the pods from these trees (crepe myrtle family) in our slingshots.
A cruise ship going thru during our visit to the Miraflores locks.
The famous altar that was painted over to avoid plundering by Henry Morgan, the pirate. Now located in the Casco Viejo which was founded in 1673.
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Another view in Casco Viejo.
An icy treat during the city tour. Our guide was Katia Solé. She also has her own tour company.
Molas are made by the Kuna Indians and are a very popular souvenir.
A policeman and an egret guarding the presidential palace. I was able to get inside when I was there in the '50s.
The hotel at Gamboa was spectacular. This is where we went to get the "aerial tram."
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Irv was our guide as we rode up to the top.
This plant is nicknamed the lipstick plant.
On another day we went to Barro Colorado, an island formed when water filled the canal after it was dug. Now run by the Smithsonian.
Elena, our guide, explains about the leaf-cutter ants.
Plenty of things to look at on Barro Colorado. Unforunately, it's easy to leave with ticks, even after using DEET and stuffing our pantlegs into our socks.
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Before our "Half-Day Canal Partial Transit," we were treated with ladies in the national costume, the pollera.
The Centennial Bridge, one of two major bridges crossing the canal.
The QE2 passses our boat. The QE2 goes thru the canal once a year.
A view of the locks. We got on the boat near Gamboa and were dropped off at Amador.
Linda & Katia get ready for the coyuca ride to the Emberá Indian village.
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The Indians make many handicrafts.
Village children.
Many of the turistas join the Indian dancing.
A conductor/attendant on the train to Colón.
Portobelo, Sir Francis Drake met his demise fighting the Spanish here, either in battle or by tropical illness.
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The back of the Washington Hotel in Colón where my mother and I stayed as she went looking for a job in '51.
On the way to El Valle de Antón, we stopped at the Chorro Macho falls.
At the petroglyphs with Ian Sanchez, guide/geologist and former surfer & lifeguard, who was our guide on the El Valle trip.
The El Valle Sunday market has a wide variety of everything.
At the Palmar beach on the way back to Panamá City.
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Avenida Central used to be full of shops with goods from all over the world. It is now only for walking and mainly catering to the local people. Except for Colón, almost everwhere was very clean in Panamá.
At the top of Ancon Hill. La Estancia is farther down. Ignacio "Nacho" Vigil, tour guide/cab driver took us wherever we wanted on one of our last days in Panamá City.
A view from the top of the hill. Balboa is straight ahead and Albrook to the right. The main buildings, clubhouse, theater, post office, etc. were all still there.
Nacho took us to what was the Diablo Heights Elementary School where I went to the 4th, 5th and 6th grades.
The famous cathedral tower at Panamá Viejo, the original Panamá City.
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A view from the tower. Henry Morgan burned this early Panamá City in 1671.
The modern Panamá City as seen from the tower.
Nacho and we had lunch at the place where he had proposed to his wife on the causeway to Amador. We all had shrimp in creole sauce.
Not the building where my mother and I lived in the '50s, but it's built on its slab. 2151 on 7th Street in Curundu. None of the old, wooden buildings remain and new, modern houses are being built.
Another dinner at Marbella, our second, and our last in Panamá. Lobster was $18. The iced tea, just as everywhere else, tasted like lemonade, and maybe other fruit juices, were used in making it.