Panama and Papayas

If there are three quick takeaways from my trip to Panama it’s this:

1.  Vehicles have the right of way.
2.  The archtiecture is beautiful.
3.  The papayas are freaking delicious.



It was my second trip to Central America.  Last year I had the opportunity to visit Puerto Vallerta and I didn’t’ think I would have the opportunity to return to the Central America Region so soon.

I didn’t know what I expected of Panama.  The visit Panama commercials gave me preconceived notions of white sandy beaches and crystal blue ocean waters, but there was more to that.  It was the wet season and it  had been raining for four days straight prior to my arrival.  The weather remained sunny and humid until the day I left, which was raining gerbils.  I learned very quickly that pedestrians do not have the right of way.

There seems to be a new building being constructed around every corner, it’s apparent that Panama city is undergoing aggressive growth and expansion.  Some portions of the city reminded me of Hong Kong.  The skyline is already beautiful in its current state, and soon it is going to rival that of the largest cities around the world.  I recommend it to anyone who is interested in architecture to visit.

A ginormous sized drill bit.

A visit to Panama wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Panama Canal.  I toured the Miraflores Locks area where the super-sized cargo ships pass through.  It was definitely a priceless experience.Panama-6936
The last chamber before opening to the Pacific.

Two ships passing through the Canal.

One of the lock locomotives that pull the ships through the Canal.

One of the locks closing up.

After a trip to the Canal, we went to the Causeway, but before we arrived, we saw a large number of painted school buses called Red Devils.  They serve as public transportation but are being phased out by the more dull city run metro buses.


Red Devil Bus

At the causeway, the sun was starting to set and I got to take in some amazing views of the city from afar.
A beautiful scene driving down the causeway.

Al Capone’s boat.

At the harbor, enjoying the view of the skyline.

This may sound crazy, my favorite experience in Panama wasn’t spending time enjoying the sights or sounds of the city, it was the Panamanian Papayas.  Even I found it surprising because I hate eating papaya.  The Panamanian papayas aren’t the typical ones my parents used to buy from American supermarkets.  I just could never stomach them.  When I saw the Panamanian variety at a fruit bar in the hotel, I was intrigued by the deep orange color and decided to give it a try.  I’m glad I did because these papayas are nothing like the ones my parents used to eat.  The fruit was perfectly balanced in sweetness and texture.  The soft flesh just melts in your mouth, begging you for more.  The more I write about them, the more I crave and miss them.

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