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More Panama

Friday, December 19th, 2008

I spent the rest of my days in Panama crossing things off the usual Panama to-do list. I’ve been to the Canal Museum in Casco Viejo, a couple of blocks from my hotel. I hiked around Cerro Ancon and the Parque Metropolitano. I took a cab to the other side of town and visited old old Panama, aka Panama Viejo. I’m staying in the area that was built after Captain Henry Morgan burned the city in 1671. There are a few stone ruins left from this first settlement, most noticably the cathedral tower which looks more like a lookout tower than a belltower.

Last night I went to a British pub in Calle Uraguay, then to a rock club that had a 311 cover band playing. Although she never made it out, one of Rachel’s friends was in the band. I noticed one of the singers from the first night I went to Indigo. They played songs from 311’s whole discography: Omaha Stylee, Don’t Stay Home, Transistor, Amber, Down, and more.

On my way to go out, I was almost mugged. I stopped at a food stand by Santa Ana Park, just outside Casco Viejo. As I’m ordering, this crazy guy stands next to me, only a few feet away, and flashes a knife under his jacket. It was rusty and jagged and looked homemade. I was a little confused that he would be mugging me in front of the attendent, the 3 guys eating and other random people about the street. I got the fight or flight adrenaline and took a few steps back, still trying to figure out the situation. Flashing a knife is a pretty clear signal of your intentions, but it seemed as if he wanted me to go into a dark alley, elsewhere, so he could rob me. He argued with the attendant for a while and then walked off. The attendant said, “He wanted to rob you. You better go that way.” Pointing towards the well-light and populated pedestrian Avenida Central. It was what I was going to do anyways. I walked down the street, eating my food, glancing back every so often. Then I got into a cab. On my cab ride home I made sure I was dropped off right in front of my hotel instead of a few blocks away like usual.

Crystal Blue Persuasion is scheduled to go through the canal tomorrow. I’m going back to the boat this evening. Gary said it may take two days depending on whether or not our pilot is late, as they are rumoured to be. Lynne, he told me in an email, is going to jump ship on the other side to make it home by Christmas, which means it’s just Gary, Larry and me to Majahual, the end of the line. I’m hoping to stop in Rio Dulce in Guatemala on the way. I hear it’s beautiful but it’s recently infamous for a fatal pirate attack.

I’ve finally uploaded some photos from the whole trip, instead of the spase ones amongst my rhetoric. Click “Photos” above or click here.

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