Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Panamá: Self-discovery in a solo trip..

View from my room
I had a long weekend for MLK day. I decided to pay a quick visit to Panamá since it gives visa-free entry for those who have a USA visa (conditions apply). There is also a direct flight from Atlanta to Panamá city with Delta, which was good. The flight goes direct south, from Atlanta, flying above the beautiful Carribean sea.

I already checked the surroundings of the airport before my trip. When I arrived, everything looked familiar. I had my lunch at the small cafe-restaurant named "Chicken port restaurant" near the Panamá Tocumen airport.

While there is public transport, getting the public transport card from the airport seemed impossible. I decided to go with Uber. As a pleasant surprise, the Uber drivers were very friendly and helpful. I did not get a SIM card. I used the Airport wifi to order the Uber. After that, wherever I went, I just connected to the destination's Wifi to call Uber. Interestingly, almost all the tourist sites in the city had a decent public Internet.

I stayed in Radisson Hotel Panama Canal. My room had a lovely view of the Panama Canal, which looked great during the sunrise, sunset, and every other time. I visited the Miraflores Locks: Centro de Visitantes de Miraflores the morning, and then Biomuseu. I saved some money by buying the combination ticket for the Miraflores Locks and Biomuseu.

From the Biomuseu, I walked to Centro Natural Punta Culebra, where I saw a slowly moving sloth on a tree and an iguana couple having sex on the tree (the female iguana fell from the top of the tree, by the end of the act). I also saw an anteater minding its business in the bush. Then I walked to the Balboa neighborhood. It was very sunny and hot. But the walk near the bay was lovely. I had a late lunch: Prawns in passion fruit sauce in Bucaneros restaurant in Flamenco island.

The trip felt like a self-discovery. I also felt very welcomed, and it became my most favorite trip after Portugal/2012. Of course, thanks to the wonderful people of Panamá. Hopefully, I will be back in the future.

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