Fun in Panama   1 comment

  Fun in Panama

Nov. 25 – Dec. 2, 2009

Jim & Kellee, Jim & Marilyn, Mark & Karen



Map picture




Since Kellee & Jim, our daughter and son-in-law, live in Panama City, we Kansas folks (Mark & Karen and Jim & Marilyn) went to visit the kids over Thanksgiving.  They had a fun packed itinerary planned for us, and we got to see and experience a lot of Panama over the period of a week. 

Our first experience  was our trip to the Puru Embera Village.  We drove over an hour from Panama City then rode in a dug out motorized canoe down the Chagres River for another hour.  We spent the day and the night in the remote Indian village.  They danced their tribal dances for us, showed us how they weave the beautiful baskets, took us for a hike up into the jungle, and fed us chicken, fish and rice.  We slept on a bamboo floor, in an open-air thatched hut high in the air on stilts.  And I will tell you right here and now….that was a very long night.  This certainly is the most unique Thanksgiving that any of us have ever spent. 

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The Puru Indian Children 

View Embera Children





Colonial Panama City is a pretty part of the city.  From that area we could see the skyline of Panama City, we walked all around and saw the sites, and had time for Jim to try on a Panama hat, and also had a nice dinner.  To top off the evening we went to a Boxing Match, with the feature match being the feather-weight championship. 

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Jim & Kellee drove us to Gamboa where we boarded a boat and did a partial transit of the Panama Canal.  We entered the canal and traveled about eight miles to the Pedro Miguel Locks, which is one of the two sets of locks on the pacific side.  The vessels are lowered 30 feet and then enter Miraflores lake, which is a small artificial body of fresh water that separates Pedro Miguel from the Mirafores Locks, the latter being the final set of locks before reaching the Pacific ocean.  At Miraflores Locks the vessels are lowered 60 feet in two distinct steps.  From there we went through the Bay of Panama where we could see the skyline of Panama City and got off the boat at the Flamenco Marina. 

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Next on the agenda was an afternoon and night at Captain Carl’s Houseboat.  We were picked up by a young man in a boat and we made our way along the river and through the jungle to our destination.  On the way we saw crocodiles, birds, and monkeys.  We arrived in time for lunch, enjoyed the wildlife around the houseboat, played cards and even went for a venture in two-man kayaks.  It was really fun paddling around through the jungle area. 

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We drove north to the Caribbean side of Panama, driving through Colon, then passing over the Panama Canal by car, and arrived at Fort San Lorenzo.  It was built by the Spanish about 1570, high up on cliffs that overlook both the Atlantic Ocean and the entrance to the River Chagres.  In the centuries before the Panama Canal was built the Rio Charges was a very important river because it was the starting point from which pirates like Drake and Morgan would cross the Isthmus of Panama from the Atlantic to the Pacific. 

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  After a pretty drive along the sea we arrived at a little motel along the sea near Portobelo.  It had a dock that went quite a ways out into the water, complete with hammocks, chairs and a table so we could play pitch.  It was a fun time, topped off by a good dinner at the colorful restaurant above the motel. 

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The next morning we drove on to Portobelo and toured Fort San Geronimo.  Columbus landed here in 1502 and gave its name “beautiful port.”  In 1597 it was built as a way of protecting the inlet of San Juan from any sea vessels that might try to attack it.  The Customs House was built in 1630 and a third of the worlds known gold passed through it.   

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Family, Friends and Memories…..What more could we ask?


Posted January 24, 2010 by marilynfarmer in Travel

One response to “Fun in Panama

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  1. Wow, you really did your homework! this is great!kellee

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