Panama, the adventure begins…

It’s wedding central for The Brit and I. Last Monday we drove down to Wales (a 2 hour trip) for a friend of Arran’s wedding. Two days later we were flying to Panama for another wedding. Arran’s step mom is Panamanian and he’s extremely close to this side of his family. His cousin is getting married and the whole family flew in for the wedding (on different dates due to scheduling).

First off, The Brit and I are night owls as in stay awake all night owls. We drove to Wales the morning of the wedding and stayed the night but that meant, trying to get to bed at a decent hour (midnight) to get up for the wedding and then getting up at a decent hour to eat breakfast and check out. Then the next day we were flying out at 6am (wtf was I thinking? Oh yeah, cheaper flight!) so we might as well stay up all night since we were leaving for the airport at 3:30am. Right off the bat, my sleep schedule and body is a mess. Then we had a layover in Frankfurt before we flew to Panama! I hate flying to Europe before I fly west but the flights are a better price so it must be done. We left at 6am UK time and arrived at 5:30pm Panama time, which would be 10:30pm in the UK. That’s a long ass day of flying. The flight wasn’t too bad, we slept, watched movies and played trivia games to pass the time. I’ve gotten so used to flying discount airlines that having meals and drinks on a plane has become a luxury, lol. We still ate the leftover KFC we brought on the plane. No fried chicken will go to waste on my watch!

We met up with The Brit’s sister when we landed. She flew out of London so took a different flight. We needed to make a stop the market for her before we headed to the bus station. By the time we got there it was 8pm. We decided to take the express bus to David (we flew into Panama City) which leaves at 10pm vs the 8:30pm regular bus, it doesn’t save time on the trip but there were a lot less stops. I was pleasantly surprised by how comfortable the bus was. The seats were cushioned and they reclined a lot which was nice because I was exhausted. Now the bad news, it was a 6 hour bus ride, cold and extremely bumpy. A restful sleep was not in the cards but I did at least sleep. Arran’s Tio (uncle) picked us up at the bus stop and at 5am (10am UK) we were finally in bed!

I forgot to mention, at the bus stop they had a food court with all kinds of American fast food companies there. It’s a lot hotter in Panama than I was expecting, so I was thirsty and hot. I hit the Dairy Queen and got a soft serve ice cream. Yep, I went American as my first food in Panama, I’m disappointed in me.

Let’s talk about the weather here. Arran read me the average temps but I think he read them wrong. I was expecting weather in the 70s, well, that’s the lows. It’s been in the high 80s and low 90s. 70s was perfect! I was looking for a hot but not too hot vacation. We are in the too hot range. Did I mention that most homes don’t have a/c?

Due to the heat and trying to recover from our trip, we’ve been taking things at a slow pace, also because the purpose is to spend time with his family and the wedding so no sightseeing stuff so far. But we are here for almost 3 weeks so there’s no rush, which is just my pace.

David, Panama is the 2nd largest city in Panama but it feels like a small city. They currently have 4 stop lights. They used to have 5 but someone hit one with their car. The Brit and I have a deal, in coutnries where people drive on the correct side of the road, I drive and when they drive on the wrong side of the road, he drives. So now I find myself driving in Panama, a city with 4 stop lights! I don’t like driving, I consider it a necessary evil but at least the roads aren’t too busy here. The problems are the intersections and the lack of street lights. Usually it’s a 2 way stop, the problem is, sometimes the stop sign that should be there isn’t! And the one way streets aren’t marked, you just have to know. Needless to say I’m extremely cautious driving well, I’ve always been a grandma driver, now I’m looking both ways 10 times before going, lol.

Oh and there are dogs everywhere! Tio has 4 dogs which they keep in their yard but there are a lot of dogs roaming free and some like to just hang out on the road so that adds another layer of stress to the driving. The Brit says I should stop slowing down, that they’ll move out of the way but I don’t want to take that chance. I was turning my car around yesterday and the dog wasn’t moving. I had to roll down my window and yell and the dog to move, he must understand English because he moved.

Dog on road
This is the dog that wouldn’t move out of the way while I was trying to turn around. There were 2 other dogs right in the vicinity, the black blob on the left is another dog.

We have gotten a couple of meals in. Panama is surrounded by water, so it’s all about the seafood! You know I love to read reviews to try and find local places to eat and Boca Chica was right down the street from where we were at. I’ve been surprised by how not cheap food is in Panama. I think I’ve been spoiled by the cheapness in Vietnam. Seafood costs less than in the states but it’s not crazy cheap like the Nam. We will have to eat some meals in. I’m going to try and include costs of what we eat and where we eat because when I’m searching blogs for information on a place, knowing what things cost and where to get it helps.

The shrimp ceviche was good. It cost $6 but was all shrimp, no filler.
The langoustines in garlic was a little salty but still really delicious. Was served with patacones which are twice fried plantains. This cost $13 so not a steal but cheaper than in the US for what you get.
lobster thermidor
The real star of the meal was the lobster thermidor. It was small lobsters but had large chunks of lobster for us to enjoy. The sauce was creamy so it was like a lobster mac and cheese minus the mac. It was also very rich so it’s a good thing Arran and I always share our food, eating a whole one would have been too much. The cost was $11.50…SCORE!

 

I don’t know the name of the place I had this at but it was $10. The fried fish was a bit salty and overdone for my tastes. We prefer my fried fish and my yucca fries (these didn’t have much flavor, I cook mine in truffle oil).

It’s been awhile since I’ve vacationed blog but I’m going to try and document everything in Panama. I already have some fun quick posts planned. Talk with you soon!

Leiha

I like to eat, sleep and experience the world, one meal at a time.

10 thoughts on “Panama, the adventure begins…

  • February 23, 2019 at 4:29 pm
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    Have fun! Ken was down in Panama when we first started dating in early 96′ for a few weeks back when the army still did training down there. I hope someday to tack a cruise down the canal ?! Looking forward to reading more adventures from you all!!

    Reply
    • February 23, 2019 at 4:39 pm
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      I bet it was a lot cheaper when Ken was down here, lol. A Panama canal cruise would be awesome! I hope to see pics of your cruise one day. 🙂

      Reply
  • February 23, 2019 at 6:00 pm
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    Yea, FINALLY another adventure….your blogs are the ONLY traveling I do ??! Now about your food…ummmmm that lobster looked delicious, however not so much the whole fried fish!! If IT is looking at me I am not eating it.. LOL !!!!!

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    • February 25, 2019 at 2:52 am
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      LMAO, so what if I told you we scooped out the eyes……….so that Arran could eat them, lol.

      Reply
  • February 23, 2019 at 11:47 pm
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    Dog had the right of way. ?

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    • February 25, 2019 at 2:51 am
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      LMAO, of course YOU would say that!

      Reply
  • February 24, 2019 at 12:38 am
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    Awesome!! Sounds so fun and thank you for sharing. Now I am drooling all over the keyboard LOL!

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    • February 25, 2019 at 2:50 am
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      We’ve had a learning curve with the food, some things we thought were going to be one thing was something different but it’s still been fun to eat, you know us, nothing wrong with a culinary adventure.

      Reply
  • February 27, 2019 at 7:36 pm
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    Oh, but that lobster! I would eat about 3 plates of that. Sad about the fish. It looked good in the picture. Did they have anything that you hadn’t tried yet in your vast culinary experience?

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    • February 28, 2019 at 4:22 am
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      They aren’t really exotic eaters around here. The most weird thing I’ve had was pig trotters in a vinegar dressing with cucumbers. It was pretty good.

      Reply

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