THE PANAMA CANAL!
Man, this thing is impressive up close. It’s no wonder that it still brings in a lot of tourists even while its competing with the gorgeous beaches and natural environments all around. We went with Gaby on her last full day before University, and it couldnt have been more perfect. Entrance fees are extremely cheap (for nationals, $3, everyone else $8…to see the canal, museum, and a video!) and once inside, you can see the entire process up close and right in front of your eyes.
This visit carried more significance too, because our Gaby is now enrolled in university to become a Canal pilot. Each ship that goes through the canals, changes drivers once they come up to the locks. A Panamanian, trained to drive through the trickier parts of the locks, gets behind the helm and drives the ship safely through to the other side…either the Atlantic or Pacific Ocean. And this my friends, is what Gaby aspires to do. If in the next couple years, you’re planning on doing overseas shipping, this woman will be the one driving your cargo safely through to the other side =]
There are three locks that funnel ships from Ocean to Ocean. Currently, there are plans to expand the canal and place extensions on each entrance to the Oceans. All in all, it takes about 8 hours to cross the whole thing.
After that, hungry from seeing so many feats of engineering, we went to a place called Amador, a new strip of reclaimed land that boasts ports for the rich and famous and restaurants, shops, and the like for the rest of the folk who just want a taste of something grand. We went to a restaurant called Lenos y Carbon and ordered the biggest platter of fried plantains (patacones), seafood (mariscos), octopus (pulpo), chicken (pollo), sausages (salchicas), and potatoes i’ve seen. QUE RICO!!