Friday, September 17, 2010

panama :: casco viejo

we landed in panama city on the afternoon of monday 9/30, day 1.

65 liter matching red backpacks and a lonely planet guidebook in tow, our mouths were fully loaded with broken spanish. we decided to take a bus to our hostel, knowing that we'd undoubtedly get ripped off for a cab ride from the airport. we made a friend along the way, who was in panama for a 12hr layover.

we arrived at hospedaje casco viejo, to check into our 6-person dorm room, and head out almost immediately to go grab some food & drink with that new friend who was still with us. we picked the most expensive spot to eat overpriced fried cheese & fried potatoes (i.e. french fries) and drink overpriced beer. (score!)

a little wandering here and there lands us back to our hostel for a short nap before we got picked up by bob & mary of wycliffe. they've been living in panama for most of their adult lives, so we got to hear a lot of adventure stories like the time when mary gave birth to their first child and two weeks later, headed to jungle camp! (what the heck?!) they are amazing people! and, while having dinner with them, we had by far the best pineapple drink that we weren't able to find anywhere else in panama. o piña, o piña.

on day 2, we discovered one of nat's new obsessions: fried bread. she literally couldn't stop talking about it all day until the next morning when we satiated the craving. this is something i learned about her -- when she wants something, she can't stop thinking or talking about it until she gets it. it was hilarious.

we walked around a lot today, taking pictures, trying a strange fibrous fruit, eating something vinegarily-delightful that a stranger on the street offered...

nat bought a $1 watch that broke two days later during a 4 hour trail run in the mountains. (story to come.)

cab to canal, oops, "can you take us to the causeway instead?" broken spanish conversation with the cab driver, canal to causeway, illegal eats at restaurant, ceviche served up by an adorable waiter, intro to pescado frito con papas fritas - yikes!

we also heard about VIP movies that day, where you get to sit in really plush leather seats, sip on cocktails and order food! we put on dresses and went to see what the hype was about. $10 was completely worth it. the chairs even reclined back so far, you might as well be laying down. all that was missing? a blankie.

later that night, an opinionated english guy (new dorm mate) offended us in every way over a nice cold beer, and i ended up having a very sleepy pillow talk with my bunk mate from germany. (he was quite the chatty! haha)

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