Saturday, January 19, 2019


I don't know how, but I managed to avoid hearing the Van Halen song from the time we first considered going on the trip until we were back stateside. I find that interesting because the first thing everyone mentioned when I said I was going to Panama was the song. I almost expected it to be blaring when we boarded the plane or maybe when we landed but it wasn't. Instead, our soundtrack for the trip was Bob Marley and Van Morrison as we drove around the country.

We landed in Panama City late on Christmas Eve and drove to the small beach town of Santa Clara on Christmas Day. It turns out there isn't much of a town to Santa Clara and the beach is very popular with Panamanians on Christmas. It was absolute insanity with people everywhere and gave us a good taste of their culture. 




From there we took a fun day trip to the mountain town of El Valle where we got in some good exploring after our phone GPS sent us way out of our way on the way there through the steepest mountain roads I have ever seen.





After another day in Santa Clara, it was another epic drive across the country and through Panama City with our phones' once again failing us to the quaint port village of Portobello. We stopped at a little beach on the way and once again saw how the natives actually live and recreate. 

Portobello was a great little town and we made friends with our waiter and got in some good exploring once again. We took a water taxi to a little-hidden beach where I snorkeled and then we rented kayaks and paddled around the port checking out the shipwrecks and looking for sloths. 





With our flight home not departing until 3am we had a full last day where we made the obligatory stop at the Panama Canal before returning the rental car and taking a uber to Casco Viejo, the historic old center of Panama  Center, which was a nice mingling of Panamanians out celebrating the new year and fellow tourists looking at souveniers.  A fitting end to a fun journey.


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