Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Good morning everyone, this is the Crew. We have commandeered the blog for the day. We woke up bright and early prepared to swab the decks, do the laundry and peel the potatoes. And all of that got done – just our way. We had the guys (our most adorable “cabin boys”) swab the deck, we dropped the laundry off at the lavandaria and by the end of the day managed to get to the market to buy pre-peeled garlic. How did we accomplish this? Debi met a wonderful taxi driver at the hotel on Monday morning who offered to show us the “real” Panama. We arranged for Emilio to pick up Judy, Jan, Debi, Reuben and Adam for our trip to town. (Dan stayed with Quest to meet with the Panama Canal Authority and the Panamanian Department of Agriculture for inspection and measurement of the boat.


First stop was the lavandaria. After dropping off the laundry, Emelio took us to a “hand craft” marketplace. We spent what seemed like hours admiring all the beautiful handmade items. After we were done there, we were ready to go the mercado (the grocery store). Emelio, however, insisted on showing us some the Panamanian treasures. First stop, took us up the long and windy road to see the view. Although not initially very excited about this little trek, thank goodness we relied on Emelio’s advice. From the top of this hill we the most incredible 360 degree view of Panama. We could see the locks, the old part of Panama, and the new part with all the gigantic skyscrapers (somewhat similar to Miami).

 Emelio gave us the history of Panama and the canal. Very interesting. From there it was off to lunch. He took us to the fish market where all the fisherman bring their daily catch. We had an amazing lunch of ceviche, shrimp and fish at the restaurant on the second floor of the fish market. It was truly delicious.


OK, now we really need to get to the market. Once again, Emelio insisted that he had more things to show us. He took us through the old part of town that was very reminiscent of New Orleans. The buildings all had balconies with ornate wrought iron. One block it looked like a barrio then immediately turned into beautiful homes, back to barrios then at the end of the road was the Capitol building. The streets were extremely narrow, barely enough room for one car. Heading towards the market (again) he stopped at another hand craft store. We spent a long time looking at all the handmade molas. Molas are 3 to 5 layer fabric panels embellished with reversed appliqué and embroidery. After making our selections we made our purchases. Emelio had found a parking place 3 or 4 blocks away so we walked with him through the town square. Street vendors lined the walks. Most of them were Kuna Indians. They were dressed in traditional handmade attire. Shirts made out of the molas with a sarong wrapped around for a skirt. At first we thought they had on long socks and gloves and then realized their legs and arms were wrapped with strands of beads. Now, finally off to the market.


The market looked like something from home. Very Americanized. Three shopping carts later, we were done and headed back to Quest.

Quest passed all the inspections and will be given our travelling orders tomorrow.

After all the groceries were stowed away, we enjoyed a nice glass of wine in the salon, then walked down the boulevard to a Columbian restaurant.

1 comment:

  1. im jealous! Panama sounds amazing! I hope y'all are having an awesome time and that tomorrows orders are timely :-)