Diary Of Panama 2016

Here’s a diary of all the things we did on our trip to Panama. I wanted to write this to keep track of the days.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Got up really early and caught an Uber to Jeff’s place in Silver Spring. Picked Jeff up and took the same Uber to Dulles airport. The plane ride was one of the worst I’ve ever had. We had tv’s on the backs of our seats which was awesome however the dude in front of me kept putting his hand on the back of his seat (on my screen) which obstructed my view of the movies I was watching. Also the kid who sat in the back of my seat kept kicking my seat. We did have a meal on the plane (I got eggs). Once in Panama City, we took a taxi to our hotel. We checked in and walked across the street for sushi for dinner and drinks. Awesome drinks! Walked around to explore. We had drinks and watched some of the playoffs at this cool bar that had great drinks. The lady at our hotel marked the wrong place as our hotel so we were getting drunk walking around (being careful where we walked) and got lost trying to find our hotel.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Got up really early again to get the Jeep ride to San Blas. The Jeep ride was very crowded and the driver didn’t speak English. Had a great conversation with a French woman while traveling in the Jeep though. The Jeep ride was rough as we were all squished and the roads were very rugged in parts. Our Jeep sucked. Once we got to the place they dropped us off and we waited around for our boat. We got a water taxi to our catamaran. We kept on the table like waiting. Captain Franco told us what to do, showed us our stay rooms, etc. Then we traveled to a place where there was great snorkeling. Bri and I learned how to snorkel. Bri’s snorkel wasn’t good so he held his breath to do it. It was great snorkeling in the reefs. Afterward, we were all starving since we didn’t eat all day, we had lunch. Then we sailed to Jose’s island and docked there for the night. Had an awesome dinner with wine (I think lobster). Played cards and drank the rum we brought.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Had breakfast. Snorkeled at the island where we stayed. Took boat to the island where we met local people and met “crab dog.” Walked along the beach with “crab dog” following. Awesome food for lunch and dinner. Went to another island and kayaked around the other island. Explored it a bit. Another awesome dinner, drinks, and cards in the night.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Awoke to the engines rumbling. We were leaving the island to go back to the other island since the water was rough. Didn’t get much sleep. We should have left this day however we did snorkeling and visited the beach for lunch (a real dead fish for lunch with salad and rice). Excellent food. Swam and snorkeled. We headed to another island when I realized that it was Tuesday and we needed to be in Panama City to go to Bocas the next day. Scrambled around, trying to contact airline to reschedule since we couldn’t make it. Turned on my phone and used data. Went to the island and had a good dinner and a beer. Cool island place. Captain Franco made arrangements for us to be picked up in the morning. Couldn’t sleep that night. Tried to sleep in the hamack, got rained on. Boat was rocking and it was hot. My lip swelled. It was an awful night.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Got some pictures of the sun raise since I was up all night anyway. Waited for everyone else to awake and get ready. Got ready. Waited for water taxi. Had bowl of cereal. Water taxi came, loaded our stuff and we went back to San Blas reserve. Once there we waited a long time for another Jeep to take us back to Panama City. The driver kept drinking water and stopping to go to the bathroom. We arrived at the Panama City domestic airport and talked to AirPanama. They weren’t that helpful but we were able to get on standby for our plane. They also informed us since we missed our earlier flight, they canceled our flight back to Panama City a few days later. The airport had WiFi and we stayed there around 3 hours. All three of us were able to get on the plane to Bocas del Toro. Sat next to a dude who owned a dive shop there. Once there, got our luggage and a crowded van to the hotel. Got checked in. Very nice rooms! Washed my hair like three times. Went to a nice restaurant and had wine with dinner. Drank at some bars but I wasn’t feeling well so I called it an early night. Bri and Jeff stayed out.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Had lunch/breakfast at a Chinese place. Good food. All the restaurants we ate were on the water. Walked around and got information about activities to do. Got a taxi to Starfish beach. Walked to Starfish beach. Were worried about people and the path so someone was always watching our stuff. Saw lots of starfish and swam around. Afterward we did a beer crawl through the various beer stands located around the place and walked back for our taxi. We had a few drinks at a bar near where our taxi picked us up. There was a lizard in the bathroom. When we got back to the hotel we took showers and did dinner at a sushi place. The sushi was pretty expensive and not that good but we had a good time. Jeff and Bri wanted to do a snorkeling/beach tour the next day so we had to get up early for that.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Got up early and walked to a breakfast place. The breakfast sandwiches Bri and I got weren’t that good. Walked back to the hotel and got ready for the trip. Met up with some other folks in our hotel doing the same tour. There was this dude there trying to use his credit card when it was cash only. Also we put down phony passport numbers and faked our ages on their sign in sheet. When the tour was underway in the water taxi, we first went to Dolphin Bay where we were supposed to see some dolphins. We saw a few. I tried to get a picture but they were too fast. We then went to this restaurant/dock place to place our orders for lunch. We then went to a beach. It was crazy getting there as the boat wasn’t doing so well landing on the beach. Walked like a half a mile to a nice but dirty beach. The beach had a lot of debris. Snorkeling wasn’t happening as the water was very cloudy. We stayed there way past the time when we wanted to leave as there wasn’t much to do. We swam and skipped stones. The boat tried to pick us up there but the tide was too rough. Bri hopped on the boat though and then the boat went back to the original place where we docked. Jeff and I helped people and walked back to the boat. After the boat we we dropped people off to eat and went snorkeling. The snorkeling wasn’t great and the current was pretty harsh. After snorkeling we ate and met an awesome girl backpacking from Ireleand. We kinda hit it off with her. Her name is Ann Marie. After lunch we went to a few islands via the water taxi. The islands weren’t that good. Sloth Island we didn’t see any sloths. But we did see starfish by a place we stopped by. We also went to Bird Island but didn’t see any birds. When the trip was over we invited Ann Marie to dinner with us at 7. We took showers and met downstairs at our hotel at 7 and walked to a nice seafood restaurant. After dinner we had drinks. It was really hot but the drinks cooled us down. Bri and I decided to go back to the hotel since we had to get up early to leave to go back to Panama City the next morning.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

We got up early and met Jeff downstairs. We took a taxi ($2 a person!) to the AirPanama airport. Bri and Jeff were able to get on the same flight as me. Their scanning machine was broken so they were checking all the bags by hand. We had to wait a long time and our flight was probably late. When we got back to Panama City we checked into the hotel. Our room wasn’t ready but we put our stuff in Jeff’s room which was ready. We ate breakfast at this nice restaurant that had an “American” breakfast. After breakfast we walked around looking for souvenirs. Jeff couldn’t find a Panama t-shirt he liked. We then went to the pool since it was really hot. After the pool, we played cards and Jeff got a notification that our flight had been cancelled. We rushed to our rooms to call Copa Airlines. A half hour later we got through. They told us to go to their place at some mall the next day. I was sooo ready to go home and kinda freaking out about the whole thing. We got some booze and drank and watched CNN’s coverage of the blizzard hitting DC.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

We got up kinda early and walked to the Panama City metro. The thing only took bills smaller than $10 so I had to go and seek change. The Subway and McDonald’s claimed not to have change. I bought a McMuffin and all of a sudden they gave me change back! Took that back to the metro. Bought our tickets and went to the “mall”. The “mall” wasn’t open yet so we had to wait around. When it did open we asked a few people where the Copa Airlines was. We chilled out in the food court until they opened and tried to find them. Once we found them we rescheduled our flights for Thursday, the earliest we could fly out. I wanted to see about Planes, Trains, And Automobiling it back but it would have been extra cost and I wouldn’t be sure when I could get back. We decided to stay in Panama until Thursday. We all got ice cream at one of their food courts and walked around. We walked around Panama City some more then went back to the hotel. Bri and I tried to find a place to do our laundry so we tried to pull it up on google maps. We tried to walk there but got lost since we didn’t have WiFi except at the hotel. The hotel wanted to charge $5 a shirt for our laundry. Later we had dinner at the place we went drinking our night in Panama a week earlier. We decided to tour the Panama Canal the next day. Probably drinks and cards and pool (billiards).

Monday, January 25, 2016

Bri tried to venture out again to do laundry and find a place. No one knew of one around there. We were desperate so we did our laundry in the shower with shampoo and soap. We met up with Jeff later and got a ride to the canal. Our driver was also with us. We toured the Panama Canal’s museum first, looked at the history. I was pretty underwhelmed with the museum. They had a few interesting things there but nothing about the real history. We did get to see a simulation of what a ship sees when going through the canal which was pretty cool. We then got to see an actual ship pass through one of the locks. Afterward we saw both the Spanish and English version of their Panama Canal movie. They are very proud that they acquired the canal from the United States. After the canal we probably did the pool.¬†We also arranged what we’d do the next day. I think we ate at the pizza place up the street. Jeff was thinking about doing some of the Panama late night. Bri wasn’t feeling well so we played some cards, drank some rum and he went to bed. Jeff and I went across the street for a few drinks.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

We got up early and got a ride to the ferry to go to Tobago Island. There were a bunch of seagulls that followed the ferry all the way to the island. There we got breakfast at a nice little place. I got pancakes. We then walked to the beach. The water was pretty cold and we didn’t feel comfortable leaving our stuff alone. We rented an umbrella for $5 for the whole day. Bri and Jeff mostly got in the water. There wasn’t much to do. The other beach on the other side was very dirty and no one was over there. There were a lot of rocks. Bri and Jeff had a little adventure while I watched the stuff and took a nap on the beach. Once they were back, I got in the water again with Bri. After that we decided to find drinks. I also had to cancel the maids for the next day so I needed WiFi in order to send an email to Bri’s parents. We found a little place and I was able to use Jeff’s phone to send an email. The place was nice (a bit hot though). We had many drinks and ice cream there. The fish kite they had kept smacking Jeff in the face. We also played some hearts until it was time to catch the ferry back to Panama City. Our driver was there almost when we arrived back. When we got back we went out to dinner at one of the places up a ways from the hotel. We ate at a place that made their own beer. They gave us a free flight. We stayed out pretty late doing a mini bar crawl.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

We asked the hotel where good breakfast was and they pointed us to a cafe. Once there, we weren’t impressed since it was a cafeteria kind of cafe. We decided to go to the good breakfast place on another street where we ordered the American’s before. The waitress was nice and showed us what they were having for lunch. We contemplated going back for lunch. We then went to the Old Panama. They had a museum. We went through the museum… there wasn’t much there but it was interesting to learn the history of the first Panama City. My camera started to run out of memory so I had to go through pictures and delete them. We then took their golf cart thing to the actual ruins. We walked up the old church, learned roughly how it looked like back then. It was pretty fascinating. Captain Henry Morgan destroyed their city in 1671. Pirates would come by and steal their stuff including rocks. We walked around the ruins and walked midway back and took their golfcart the rest of the way. Our driver was waiting for us. We then did the pool at the hotel. We got dinner later at a place up the street. Jeff’s food wasn’t sufficient due to his allergies so we went to another place afterward and got drinks and Jeff got better food. After drinks Bri and I decided to call it an early night and pack and watch the democratic debate we missed from Monday.

We caught the flight home the next morning. An uneventful flight (just the way I like them). We got home to a lot of snow! We got Bri’s car out and I picked up Wiki.

Pictures can be found here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/niles38/albums/72157663972045221

It was an awesome trip!

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