Panama: Practically.

  • 04:24:42 pm on April 3, 2010 | 3
    Tags: , ,

    Ferry: $11 roundtrip
    Umbrella Rental: $5
    Lunch: $12


    Even though I didn’t make it home until 5AM this morning, my new friend (and fellow FAMU Alum) Natalie and I got up this morning and caught the 10:30 ferry from Amador to Isla Taboga.  The ferry cost $11 roundtrip and operates daily. But since it’s holy week, the ferry was operating on a modified schedule when I went to Isla Taboga.  The trip takes  about an hour each way.

    Read more about my trip after the jump.

    First let me just say that the ferry ride over was really cool. There were probably about 30 huge ships anchored in the Pacific.  My guess is that they were waiting to enter the canal.  So as we were chugging through the waters we’d encounter ships, some closer to our ferry than others. 

    As we approached the island I was amazed as the coastline was not what I expected.  What the homes and other buildings lacked in design and size they made up in color.

    When we got off the boat we walked to the left and quickly encountered the flowers that I read so much about. They were beautiful and fragrant which was refreshing as there were some other odors out that weren’t as appealling.  My favorite w as this hot pink combination that I have decided would make me extremely happy to see everyday.

    We also came across the modest church that i read about in Lonely Planet.

    It was beaming with activity as the parishioners were preparing for Easter. The church didn’t seem too modest to me, but I guess in comparison to the HUGE churches in Casco Viejo this church was modest.

    Here’s a pic of the altar . . .

    Its supposed to be the second oldest church in the Western hemisphere.

    We continued on the trail . . .meeting people sitting on their porches or walking around the neighborhood.

    We stopped and had lunch at Turistico Mundi.  Lunch was cool. it felt great to sit on the second floor which was covered but not enclosed.  The thing I am most proud about was my ability to convey a “highly-technical” order to the waitress as she did not speak any English.   Basically, I told her what i wanted which was grilled red snapper in creole sauce.  I was sooooo proud of myself. One of the things my Panama  trip has brought is a greater appreciation for the movement to establish Spanish as a second language in the United States.  Seriously hats off to the immigrants in the US that don’t speak English and maintain their composure while carrying out daily activities.  Seriously, it is so overwhelming. The first week is cool, but after week one . . .Lord have mercy.

    Overall, Isla Taboga had a cool vibe.  There were alot of Panamanian families at the beach hanging out under umbrellas, grilling food, in and out of the water.   I did not see too many tourists though which was interesting.  We rented an umbrella from one of the guys peddling umbrellas.  He also offered to rent us chairs for $5.  Most people were sitting under umbrellas.  Quite frankly it was just too hot not to be seated under an umbrella.   I noticed a boat pulling a cute banana boat and figured that they were giving rides on the banana boat. Turns out they were, the cost was $2 for a 10 minute ride with about 9 other people.

    Other than the beach and the small eateries  I don’t know what else there is to do on the island.  But I am still upset that I waited this long to go out there.

    Good Times. . .



  • oldsalt1942 9:10 AM on April 5, 2010 | # | Reply

    On my first trip to Panama I, too, went out to Taboga. I found it interesting, as well, that the majority of the people on the boat were NOT tourists, but Panamanians going out for a day at the beach. You certainly wouldn’t want to swim in Panama Bay. The locals outnumbered the tourists probably 5:1 the day I went out. Fortunately I opted for the early ride back to the mainland, because if you’re not going to spend the day at the beach, once you’ve walked as far as the church and back to the landing you’ve about done what there is to do there.

    • Koren's Kacophony . . . 9:40 AM on April 5, 2010 | # | Reply

      you’re right . . .the water was not exactly what I’d call beautiful. I did get in the water for a bit, but I wasn’t inclined to stay. It was a great day at the beach for me though!

  • meandmypassport 12:27 PM on April 8, 2010 | # | Reply

    LOVE this post!! Isla Taboga was so much fun and definitely an economical choice for a day trip. Ditto on your thoughts about immigrants in the US. I feel the same way…not being able to communicate really brings a stress that you can´t imagine until you are in that position.

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