Adventures in Panama of all kinds this week :) We went diving, surfing, boating, biking, to the beach, to the arcade, to the casino, to the mall, to the Panama Canal and more ♥ We had such as great time.
After finishing our diving certification in Bocas Del Toro, we decided to move on to Panama City. Just before we left, Mathieu wanted to try out surfing once again (we took a one hour class in El Salvador 2 years ago) since the surf is reknown to be good in Bocas Del Toro. We read about the surf school Escuela Del Mar from the Lonely Planet which recommended it for beginners. The school is located on a smaller island called Isla Caranero which can be reached by water taxi in about 5 minutes. We grabbed a water taxi and he enrolled for a 3 hours class. In the mean time, I stayed quietly on the beach with my latest read : The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown (I've finished it now and it was awesome). I didn't go through with the class since I'm afraid of waves, but Mathieu told me the class was great. He was able to stand up at least 8 times! Impressive =D
On the day of our departure, we rented bikes and decided to go for a ride to one of the beach nearby. The playa Bluff beach, a fairly isolated beach is located about 10 km from our hostel. We rode with our bikes for about 30 minutes to get there. The first half was easy, on a fairly leveled road, but after a while, the road stopped and we ended up riding on the beach for a while. After that the road turned into a very bumpy sand and gravel path which lasted about 3 km before we finally reached our destination. The beach, apart from another couple somewhere further the coast, was completely deserted. It was gorgeous. The sand was soft and warm and the sea was slightly agitated which was a beautiful sight.
On our way back to town, things got a little more complicated, my bike suddenly got a flat, about midway. Fortunately, taxi pick up trucks are fairly common on isla colon so we hailed one, hauled our bikes in the back and rode back to town for only 2$. Overall, the experience was worth the effort and time. It was a nice little adventure ^^
That evening, we took the night bus to Panama City and booked an hostel for our stay in the city. On the first day we went to the shopping mall and spent an entertaining day of urban fun. First we went to the casino and played slots and well as some 2$ black jack. Then, we went to the arcade for a couple games of Pump it up (a dance arcade game similar to Dance Dance Revolution). After that, we went for a couple drinks at the Hard Rock café and caught a movie in the evening (The latest X-men). We ended the day by sharing a plate of spicy chicken wings with blue cheese dip and a three cheeses burger at the Hard Rock Café.
Yesterday, we went to see the Panama Canal in the morning. We got to witness the passing of a large boat through the canal, it was very impressive! We then visited the museum and went back to another shopping mall to finish up the day. We got chair massage, got some ice cream cones from the Hagen Daaz store and spent the afternoon window shopping. We had a great time in Panama City.
Today we left for the quiet town of Boquete, a 9 hour ride from the capital. We got a really inexpensive hostel (the cheapest we have had so far by a large margin) and intend on doing some hiking nearby, perhaps a canopy tour and even maybe a little white water rafting (if I can muster up the courage!) this is our last chance to experience tons of adventures in Panama. We will be moving on to Costa Rica soon after.