Friday 8 February 2103
Highlights: Crossing the Panama Canal, Not getting lost travelling solo.
Today I left the tour group in order to get to Panama City and get a full day to tour the city and the famous Panama Canal before my scheduled flight and return home.
The wonderful Lisa detailed how I could get to Panama City by myself and organised additional accommodation and my Panama City and Canal tour for tomorrow. Considering I’m officially off the tour today and won’t be rejoining until tomorrow night this is above and beyond service.
So the day started with meeting Lisa in the hotel restaurant in Santa Catalina, we then crossed the waterway and met up with the hotel owners son who Lisa organised to take me to the local bus station. The local bus to Sona cost $4.65 (I paid $5 and didn’t bother with any change) and took an hour and 40 minutes with multiple pickups of locals and standing room for quite a few but not myself.
From Sona I managed to locate the direct bus to Panama City that Lisa said should be leaving at 10.20 am which I found. The total journey only took 4.5 hours and cost $9.85 so very cheap. Plus not many people travelled on the buses so it was easy to spread out today. Then from the Central Bus Terminal it was an easy 12 minutes taxi drive to my hotel. Very happy everything worked out, given strong USA presence in Panama meaning English was used extensively I wasn’t too worried if I got lost.
During the bus trip into Panama City I crossed the Panama Canal, it was enormous and there were lots of ships around.
I ventured out of my final hotel in Central America and not more than two blocks out I was offered girls ‘for comfort’ just as predicted and warned by our Tour Leader. There appears to be some big event on today as some of the roads are closed. Tomorrow is my final activity of this world trip and then my tour group catch up and I say goodbye for the last time while they stay for an additional day.