2019 Winter December 22 Sunday

79 degrees this morning feels like 86 degrees , 94% humidity  (Panama City, Panama)

Yesterday was a great day, 88 degrees, a short rain mid afternoon.  A little muggy, but what the heck!

I am amazed that anyone would encourage a non-resident to rent a car here and drive.  I think it would be impossible.  There are few traffic signals, numerous one-way narrow streets.  

Driving appears to be a matter of being experienced in driving here, not to mention the motorcycle delivery riders that take impossible risks to get their food , etc., delivered.  I mean flat death defying risks!

It appears to be “drive by honk,” kind of like in China.  One honk means “go ahead,” another honk means “watch out I’m here”.  

It works because all the drivers seem to know what to expect.  

We had lunch on the ocean and it was wonderful, probably one of the longest lunches we have ever had!  We watched as the sun was out and then a brief rain storm, and then the sun.

We also actually watched the tide go out, I did’t realize it was that fast.  

Then we rode all over Panama City, seeing the very old, (1650, now ruins), the “new” (1870) and the modern.  A very interesting city.  We were tired when it was done!

We went “shopping” along one of the narrow streets of the city the hotel is located in after we got back, mainly numerous souvenir shops.

I was going to buy a Panama hat (by the way, all Panama hats are made in Ecuador.  I’m sure that drives Ecuador nuts!)  There are a lot of reasons for that, as early as 1835, although Teddy Roosevelt did increase the popularity of the hat and name, he didn’t start the term “Panama hat”.

To be honest, I couldn’t find one that fit well (I wear about an 8 14 or a “65 or 66, although some hats fit me just due to size differences.  

Also, the cost was much more than I expected, $35 for one and $90 for the “quality hat”.  Frankly it was way too much  for me.  I settled for a $6.00 baseball cap that says ‘Panama”.  

Actually I found the price for the Panama hats was very negotiable when I told them I didn’t want it, but who cares what it cost if it doesn’t fit?  They started to drastically some down, but I just wasn’t interested.  Maybe I’ll find one that fits and is reasonably priced. 

I got some Panama coins today when I paid cash for something.  I guess they will go into my collection of Canadian, Spain, Mexico and Chinese money I keep.  Not worth anything I’m sure, except for the memories.  I also got a very old Roosevelt dime.  (American and Panamanian money are interchangeable.)

Going on the Panama Canal today, a “partial cruise” of the canal.  It promise to be very interesting.  We will actually be on the canal at the same time as the “big ships”  The smaller ones go through at night.  We have our ponchos and umbrella in case it rains.  Fortunately the rains here are short.

That’s it for now, Sunday, December 22, 2019.  

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