After a wonderful month in Ecuador we made our way to Panama. When checking in at the airport in Quito though we found out that we absolutely HAD to have proof of a airplane tickets back out of Panama before they would even let us onto the plane – whoa! We will in fact be over-landing to Costa Rica after our two week stay here, but Panamanian immigration wasn’t going to accept that. So we just bought refundable tickets to get through that little hurdle. Silly (actually quite stupid) rule, but things like that all part of the adventure!
After a few days of hanging out on a beach just outside of Panama City we came back into the city to set up camp at our home exchange (Shelley will write more about it later!). As most of you already know, we absolutely LOVE doing home exchanges – saves us a ton of money and it’s a great way to live more like a local. We spent much of the first full day wandering the streets of Casco Viejo which is considered the ‘old part’ of Panama City, although it is actually second site for the city. It has tons of color and character, and they are working like crazy on getting the whole area revitalized in very tasteful and artistic ways. Lots of great restaurants and laid back bars to enjoy, and some fun little shops to explore as well.
After a bit of a work catch up kind of morning we made our way to the big fish market that’s actually kind of close to Casco Viejo. We were salivating as we walked by all the fresh and inexpensive seafood (lobster, tuna, squid, octopus, etc.) and really wished we had brought a cooler to take some home with us to cook later. We might stop back by there to do so in the next few days. We did eat some super cheap and super delicious ceviche that the locals were likewise devouring. If I were to ever live in Panama City I’d definitely be a regular at this market!
Tomorrow we’ll be going on a full day tour of the Panama Canal. Should be fascinating! We’ll definitely be taking pictures and videos to share with you guys later on.
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