Central America

First Impression of Panama City, and It Ain’t Pretty

It’s been a hectic trip so far and it is coming to an end. Major sad face.

I’m currently in Paraty, taking some time off from the others, perched on a high stool at a petite cafe waiting for my mate (type of drink) and cheese bread (the holy grail of Brazilian food). And I thought it was a good idea to start documenting the start of my trip before all the alcohol I’ve consumed kills the remaining brain cells.

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— 08 May 2014 —

After 3 flights, 4 airports and 30+ hour in air/transit, all I wanted was a shower. Or just to stand under one of those waterfall shower heads, you know the ones right? Instead, I was stuck in customs with officers working on Latin American time. Then as I passed through the exit doors with my non-English speaking driver, I was hit with humidity so thick I couldn’t breathe and to cap it off, he drove like a mad man to the hostel. The silver lining in all of this is, getting me to the hostel pronto for that said shower I craved.

As soon as I got to the hostel, I felt alive, no shower required. The place was buzzing. I got talking to an American lady straight away (*C), then a Colombian guy (*P) in my dorm (which turned out not to be my dorm), an American guy in my next dorm (which turned out to be the correct dorm) and a local tour guide who just likes to hang out at the hostel for no apparent reason. Everyone had a story to tell me and it was quite overwhelming.

I went for a quick stroll around the block to get some blood flow in my legs. The streets were well lit but being a Fri night, there were party people everywhere. Cars were honking like it was going out of fashion. The streets were littered with stray cats and dogs feeding off leftovers thrown on the street corners. The streets were cobble stoned and uneven, with really high side steps. There was a protest going on so it was rowdy, just what my head needed (not).

Despite all of this, the place was buzzing and it was a glimpse of what was to come over the following days.

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