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2017 FEB - CASCO VIEJO - PANAMA CITY

Settling in, out for a walk.

sunny 30 °C

DAY 4 THURSDAY 9TH FEB

Sleep was good, if there was any noise outside it did not disturb us. I woke at about 7.30 and at 8 I could smell the aroma of the breakfast toast wafting down the hallway. Breakfast is included in our room rate here and although its nothing flash, coffee and toast to be exact, its nice not to have to go out looking for something to eat first up. No tea so lucky Lyn brought her own and we boiled our kettle for hot water for her, cause no one wants to start the day without the usual caffeine intake.

We headed out at after breakfast to explore the local area. It was only about 9am but already the sun was hot and we wandered through the streets of the old town looking for shade. There is a lot of building restoration going on here, and just as many buildings standing derelict and empty. Actually most were just facades, I guess there must be some kind of heritage rule about having to keep the facades original as the whole old town is World Heritage Listed. The buildings that have been brought back to life are absolutely beautiful, from the outside anyway. We are staying in one such, and although its not falling down inside, they have obviously spent more money on the outside that everyone sees rather than beautifying the inside.

We walked around for about an hour and half, not getting lost in the maze of narrow streets. At one stage we started to head up a street and a local told us not to go there as it was dangerous. At first the man looked like a bit of a hobo, but if he was nice enough to advise not to go down that way we decided we should probably take heed and headed back in the direction he advised. We had just walked up a street that had the very delightful smell of strong urine, so it was likely he was right in suggesting we probably don't go there.

On return to our room for another caffeine fix, and to escape the midday heat, I discovered that the photos (all 53) that I had taken during our little morning walk were all erased from my camera SD card. I had put in a new card this morning as the one I had in it did a funny thing last night of erasing a photo also. After further investigation it seems that all 3 of the 32gb cards that I bought along for this trip are no good. Bugger! Looks like we will be going for another little walk later in search of new cards.

We headed out again at about 2, it was still pretty hot. We ended up at the Café Coco Cola for a late lunch of sea bass with salad and chips which was pretty good and only US$6.50 each.

The Coca-Cola cafe is an old-school diner serving up hearty platefuls of rice, beans and the featured meat of the day. It boasts being the oldest cafe in Panama City (Est. 1875) and has fed famous visitors like Che Guevara.

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After lunch we had a walk down Ave Central the pedestrian shopping street. I managed to get a new camera SD card, so I was happy.

The lively pedestrian street of Avenida Central. Slammed with people, shops, ridiculously cheap goods, and the most authentic Panama vibe you can get. Note: Avenida Central is not for the faint of heart, as it butts up against some very rough areas. Only visit during the daytime and don't wander down the side streets.

While having a look around a huge supermarket Lyn found a hair salon and decided to have a hair cut which was a bargain at US$5.35.

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We returned back at the hostel at about 5pm and I had a quick nanny nap that startled me when I awoke at 7.15. Guess we are still catching up on lost sleep?

We grabbed a few coldies from the fridge that we had purchased earlier in the day and joined some others on the roof to compare notes for that day. Rum & Cola cans US$1.25.

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After our very late, big lunch and the couple of afternoon cocktails we were happy to have a cuppa soup and bread for dinner before taking cool showers and sleeping some more.

Posted by Cindy Bruin 20:51 Archived in Panama Tagged panama viejo casco Comments (4)

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