Panama – The End Of Central America

Panama is the last country in Central America and I’m feeling a bit sad! After this we’ll ship by boat to a brand new continent, South America. I always have a hard time letting things go, so we’re moving  through Panama as slow as we can.

We’ve been here a week and overall we love the country. It is absolutely beautiful and apparently under the radar as far as foreign travelers go. While everyone is cramming into Costa Rica spending a fortune on vacation, Panama rests peacefully just a couple hundred miles south.

This country is WAY WAY cheaper than Costa. Hotels are once again $20 instead of $60. A brick of cheese is $3 instead of $10. A hair cut is $5. A beer only 34 cents! The other night we enjoyed the best Filet Mignon we’ve had in 2 years. It came from an all natural grass fed panama cow. Price, $12. Yeah, we’re in no hurry to bust through this country.

So far there are two things that are no F’in joke in Panama. The hills and the wildlife. The Sprinter hates one while Stevie hates the other. I took the photo of the spider after Stevie came SCREAMING out of the bathroom. What’s the big deal, the thing is only like 7 inches big. Plus I heard if it bites you, you get spidy-powers…

Every one of these Central American countries have blown me away with beauty. Check out this breathtaking view we had while driving over the mountain pass from the Caribbean to the Pacific side of Panama…

Our first stop was the little mountain town of Boquete where we hung for a couple days…

Below Stevie enjoys a hike in the jungle followed by $1 gin and tonics at the local bar. We met some great people here. Harreson and Nevia, you guys rock! Unfortunately we didn’t get a single picture of you from our fun dinner/dance night. But I’ll be uploading videos of you salsa dancing to YouTube later.

We took an amazing hike through the jungle to find the famous Caldera hot springs just outside of Boquete. All natural and really hot, as clearly shown on Stevie’s face!

We need to note that the rainy season has officially started in Central America. There is serious rain down here. It pours hard, but at least I can still wear shorts. We are leaving the mountains now and heading for the beach. There is supposed to be great waves over on the Pacific. Can’t wait to surf. TREE

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Comments

  1. We are loving the GPS map, it really adds another dimension to the blog

  2. interesting, so would you recommend Panama as a place to visit over Costa Rica? I've got a week later this summer

  3. What happened to the front fender of the Sprinter?

  4. Diane – glad you are liking the GPS SPOT. We are loving it!

    Chris – yes, go to Panama. I'll send you more details via email later tonight

    John – Shut up.

  5. Did you say beer 34 cents? I'm there!

  6. scottie says:

    so glad to hear you two are loving panama. the photos tree posted look amazing! so luscious and green.

    I have been curious about it as a country since i was little – especially regarding US and Panamanian relations. My uncle lived there as a child (he was a military brat) and has told me stories of extreme violence and horrible treatment of the Panamanian people at the canal zone border. Apparently our military built huge barbwire containments and kept thousands of the Panamanian people in "camps" (much like the Jewish ghettos and the Japanese interment camps) near the boarder of the canal zone, and at least during certain points of time allowed no reporters or photography be taken of the people, essentially silencing the tragic and unfair imprisonment of the unfortunate Panamanian citizens who had the guts to stand up and try to reclaim their stolen land and canal. Because it was so successfully silenced (its amazing what a strong military can do in small lesser developed nations where we simply buy and sell the facade government) it is difficult even now to find out the whole truth about this dark history our military violently enforced. It, of course, connects to all of us because the whole thing was driven by a need to control the canal which in turn is directly connected to the shipment and trade of goods that each of us use every day. It's very humbling to acknowledge our part in such horrible violence no matter how indirect it is-but we Americans love our goods. what a wholly ironic term…funny i never realized the hypocrisy before (NAFTA being only one example of traded "goods" gone horribly wrong)

    So i am curious as to what Panamanians today think about what was (is? not sure if it is still there) referred to as the fence of shame, essentially their own version of the Berlin wall which separated the canal zone from the rest of Panama. The next time you are sipping on a gin and tonic with the locals ask what their thoughts are on this charged piece of history. Of course social and historical amnesia is a major downfall of humans. When i was living in Tokyo i asked a variety of different people of all ages how they felt about hailing from the only post apocalyptic country in the world, and surprisingly everyone i asked said they harbored no anger or resentment towards Americans and didn't seem to really mind we obliterated two metropolitan areas with nukes. Some of the younger ones i began to suspect had not even learned about the history much in school. i was amazed at this across the board response! As a relatively socially aware American visitor to Japan from the moment i stepped off the plane i was wholeheartedly and i believe rightfully humbled and deeply regretful for what my country so ignorantly, cruelly, and downright wrongfully did in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, yet it seemed the Japanese had no beef about it. how was this possible. It was weird. Stevie remember the German boys we met at Dicks Place in mendo who had never heard the term "iron curtain" and how astonished we were at that?

    anyway, i am also curious as to what typical Panamanian thinks about Martinelli? Apparently he was a rightwing supermarket chain owner before dabbling in US backed politics. That's perhaps not quite as bad as us having an actor for a president. or is it?

    i have been enjoying your political thoughts in the blog, thought i would toss you some fodder for more in depth reporting from the road.

    hugs kisses and puddles of lick

    scottie

  7. BreeKitty says:

    I watched this documentary on the Panama Canal not to long ago, it is great. Thought that I would share. Check it out:
    http://video.pbs.org/video/1747929120

    Bree

  8. Anonymous says:

    Here's an adventure opportunity you guys might like to check out… doing a passage through the Panama Canal by sailboat. All sailboats that transit the canal are required to have 4 “line handlers”, one for each corner of the boat. Skippers who don't have that many crew will be looking for other sailors or just ordinary people to do this. If you hang out at the Panama City Yacht club, or wherever the current yachty watering hole is, either in Panama City or at the Colon end of the canal, you'll likely find skippers who would love to have you join them for the transit. This might be a most memorable experience for you. Bueno suerte!

    John/ Helmsman

  9. Hey Scottie, awesome comment. We'll be writing a post on Panama, the country, before we leave. Hopefully we learn more while we're here and can add some insight. hope all is well with your ankle. TREE

  10. Sandoli says:

    very insightful words Scottie. I have some same curious but would have not to put it well written, Hope Sprinter can put some light on this questions

  11. Madena Bennett says:

    Hello darlin…I had a dream I was traveling with you…wish it were true!! I am looking to collect raptor fossils (bird, hawk, eagle, owl). Will you keep that in the back of your mind if you happen to pass by one of those shops to just grab a biz card or just their #, you are welcome to give my info to anyone as well. I know that is a weird request but I'm just trying to get connections that are more than the fossil store on the 3rd street promenade…if you get my drift 🙂 I love the pic of the spider 🙂 noe I can understand living on those rather than the dinky little ones here is the US that birds live off of 🙂

    Cheers

    Madena

  12. Eric and Tammy says:

    hey guys, let us know what you think of panama city. we thought about moving there years ago

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