A Travellerspoint blog

Panama and out.

sunny 30 °C
View South America - out of Sorts on lidster's travel map.

So that was Central America. Looking back over the blog pages I have posted in the last 2 months and a bit I don't really get the impression that I conveyed a great deal of information, been to that many places or provided any real useful advice should you ever visit these countries yourself. I suppose if you want the definitive version buy a book on it. The only advice I would give is that you should get here at some point, if you want my highlights then send em an email.

That said I will try to get a few more facts into the mix for South America. Just to finish Paman off.

Panama City is a bit of a shithole. If you stay in the fancy hotels in the banking area then I am sure it is quite nice but if you are looking in the 7-12 USD bracket you get asked if you want the room by the hour or the night. I went out to find something to eat and was accosted by this old bloke who informed me that demons walk the earth and that Oliver Cromwell was Jewish and that so is Gordon Brown and probably Bush too. Weirdo. Tried to leave politely a few times but he was starting to look like Mel Gibson after a few drinks and you have to be careful who you associate with so I walked off. The second person - only 20 yards later - was apparently a semi professional boxer (and he looked like it) who had a very large scar on his neck that gave the impression someone had attempted to remove his head with a machete. He advised me that the streets I was walking were dangerous and could he have 5 bucks for the doctor to remove the stitches and for the cash he would also walk me home safe. Being within site of my hotel I gave him the money and had an early night listening to furious love making. Panama City during the day is ok - but my advice is to skip it.

Back to the big picture. Central America was really cool. Didn't like Costa Rica (although we had fun there) but the rest was great. Guatemala and Honduras both stunningly beautiful, incredibly cheap and a lot less dangerous than I was led to believe. We only stayed a few days in Nicaragua but had a very positive impression of it. The people are in the main really friendly (might have mentioned that) - although its also that they also have a strong sense of community as they have to rely upon their family, neighbours and strangers in the street far more than we would. And skip the capitals. Hit the road.

It is hard to describe quite how much is crammed into such a small space. Distances would normally be inconsequential but 40 km can mean 4 hours on a rollercoaster with no seatbelts. Mountains, volcanoes, sea on both sides, more wildlife than you can shake a stick at (believed me I tried), food is occasionally a bit heavy (not sure what the life expectancy is in the carib but a lot of fried chicken and plantain gets tucked away). All in I had a lot of fun. Met some very cool people, some complete freaks of course but mostly refreshingly cool. So as I leave this strip of land and move to a significantly larger one I wish them all the best. If they were holidaying, living, working or just passing through may all their problems be small and all their beverages be correctly chilled.

South America here I come. Wish me luck.

(pictures whenever - I only had a couple of lines of boats in the distance coming out of the canal anyway)

Posted by lidster 10:29 Archived in Panama

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