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Panama City

Written on: Sunday July 22nd, 2007

A journal entry from: Post-Grad Central America Trip

Our dive trip on Bocas was lots of fun although the weather was far from ideal.  We left just after 10am in a semi covered motorboat and it was pouring rain.  There were 6 of us on the trip including the dive leader.  The water was nice and warm compared to the air temperature and everyone was relieved to finally be submerged. Visibility wasn't great but I hadn't dived in nearly 2 years so it was good to get reacquainted with the experience.  After the first dive the boat took us to a restaurant that was on stilts over the water of a nearby island.  I saw it on a number of postcards and was glad to get the chance to see it in person, it was a really unique location.  All they had on the menu was fish so I just had rice, salad, and patacones which are fried, flattened plantains.  After lunch we returned closer to the main island for our second dive.  We dived along the side of a coral wall and saw a lot of interesting fish, a lobster, and a morey eel.  I'm hoping we'll get the chance to do another dive before the trip is through.

    Our exit from Bocas turned into the longest travel day of the trip.  We took a speedboat back to Almirante in the rain, getting there around 1130am.  Originally we had planned to go to a town in the mountains called Boquette but decided that the weather would make outdoor activities less than optimal so we opted to take the bus to Panama City after our 4.5 hour bus ride from Almirante to David.  We wanted to take the express bus so we had a 6 hour wait in David.  It was not a very nice place to visit.  I had a pizza at this fastfood trailer called Mr. Burger and then sat in the bus terminal watching LatinAmerican Idol. 

We got into our hotel at 530am and slept half the day.  The last two days have been spent shopping at their fantastically modern malls.  The Albrook Mall that we visited on Friday was bigger than anything in BC and brand new.  There is a certain type of department store that is quite popular here which sells cheap clothes and accessories.  There were about 5 or 6 of these huge stores in the mall and all essentially sold the same thing.  The same goes for the food courts here, there might be 10 places in a row all selling chicken and rice, I guess there's no use changing a good thing.  We went to their Playdium and saw Harry Potter and Oceans 13.  We are going to the Canal tomorrow so this leg of the journey won't be completely lacking in cultural experience.  But I am seriously missing the beaches of Costa Rica so I think the 15 hour bus ride back to San Jose will be more bearable.