13/06/2010 - Casco Viejo

Watch was mustered at 8 to be dismissed and we turned up to shouts of happy Birthday from the oncoming watch,.. it was Logan’s birthday and apparently he had promised to wear whatever he was given for his birthday,..appropriately he was presented with a pair of boxer shorts signed by everyone in the watch, a hat and a bowtie… he looked quite smart, and not a little silly!!!

Dan, Josh and myself decided to go and see the Casco Viejo in the daytime,..  it was quite different than traipsing through it at night and I was finally able to check out a map and realised how close everything was,.. on more than one occasion we were warned not to go down certain streets, it was nice that people seemed concerned about our safety, but a little disconcerting that so many areas were deemed “peligroso”.  The Casco Viejo is a fascinating environment and reminds me of Barcelona’s old town, about 20 years ago.  They are renovating all the buildings one by one and some are absolutely beautiful, whereas others are just façades or merely 4 walls! It will be quite the place to be in about 10 years assuming things are renovated rapidly, if not, the undergrowth could overtake all the infrastructure and destroy it completely, there were trees at least a few metres tall growing out of the side of some buildings!  However, we are talking about an administration that owes millions to the company that makes the car licence plates (the reason that so many cars in Panama have no licence plates!) so whether they have money to redevelop this area is doubtful!

That afternoon (after another brief visit to the mall) I decided to rent a hotel room, I was surprised at myself for this, but I had decided that after sleeping on the hatch for the last few nights I deserved to be able to sleep in an air conditioned comfy bed, shower myself clean and enjoy uninterrupted internet without having to hack into someone else’s network.  I booked myself into the Bahia Suites hotel in town under the recommendation of our incredibly friendly taxi driver from the first day,¡ Jaime.  A fairly basic room for 69$, but there was a shower and reliable, albeit slow, internet, as I turned on the telly to have a brief kip before finding out the plans for the evening I was surprised to find the majority of the films on the channels to be in English and Master & Commander in full flow on one of them,.. perfect!  I had been wanting to watch it again, now that I understand a little more what being on a tall ship is like!  I settled in for a relaxing evening before heading out for dinner with the waitress from the previous night.

I was woken from my daze a little while later by a huge noise from outside and was greeted with a procession outside my room window, with full brass band,.. I was later informed that this was practising for the Independence day parade… wish we could have been here for that, looked like it was going to be a huge celebration!

At 8pm I headed out to a 24 hour restaurant with Lucimar and we had a lovely mixed fish grill and talked continuously for a good few hours before she had to go to work, I walked her home and got a cab back to my hotel,.. showered again!  Hot water and an air conditioned room,… absolute luxury!

1 Response
  1. Sounds a fantastically charming location m'boy.
    Abandon ship!