Panama: Where old and new worlds collide

Panama City has some really sweet neighbours.  I mean, Costa Rica and Colombia have to be at the top of any  must visit list.  Therefore, there is little surprise that Panama is so often overlooked.  Before I got to the entirely shady and equally frustrating border on the Caribbean coast, I figured a few days in Bocas Del Toro should cover it.  From there I’d sail straight off Colombia.  Things didn’t go as planned as the days turned into weeks.  The Panamanian culture is as vibrant as any.  Loud music blasts through the corridors and doorways of colonial era homes.  The scent of grilling meats wafts through the narrow streets in the early morning hours af the weekend.  There  is simply too much to love.

I’d been in touch with people back home from time to time.  Travelling alone has its challenges.  There are times one can go days without having a single conversation with another human being.  So as luck would have it, I was craving some good company.  Convincing an ex is to do anything can always be tough, but inviting someone to Panama is an easy sell.  Laura and I go way back.  Something like fifteen years. We lived together, worked together, travelled to Japan for a year and raised the coolest dog that ever lived, and there was this engagement thing that happened once.

So the following Thursday I made my way to the arrivals gate to meet laura.  That commute from Casco Viejo by bus is a mindfuck, but I digress.  We managed to meet up and skip the hassles and hailed a taxi.  $30 later and were back at home base Hostel Panamericana.  The next seven days went by in a blur.  We spent days strolling through old Panama, sharing a straw bungalow on a pristine San Blas island no larger than half a football field. She even humored me and went to a matinee of Transformers, getting caught in some monster rainstorms both ways.  Everyday, there were jokes, and little fights, and more jokes and lots of reminiscing.  Making new memories abroad, this time as friends was priceless leg along along the journey.