Saturday, December 11, 2010

Back in Panama...City, That Is

And feeling very crabby about it all.

This morning, we had breakfast on the beach at Las Lajas. Then we spent the rest of the day (well, most of it) driving, driving and more driving, Husband cheerfully waving to the cop in Divisa who nearly gave him a ticket (the cop was STILL out there, this time yelling at another tourist) and the umpteey-eleven chickens and dogs who came out to say goodbye.
    After a quick stop in Sora, another mountain town, we ended up at the Miraflores locks of the Panama Canal, just in time to watch a cruiser and a cargo ship go through, veiled in rain and wisps of cloud. (You can see it too, thanks to this live cam.) I have wanted to see this since I was a kid, but found myself thinking just as much of the Soo Locks we used to watch at Michigan's Upper Peninsula. That one came first in my memory.  (Although these were great -- and the rain and fog made them even more interesting.)

Then we got lost. BOY, did we get lost. It was raining...and somehow Husband turned off on a highway we couldn't get off...I couldn't figure out where the heck we were on the map...and to make things double-extra stressful, we were running low on gas. A huge fight ensued. We were both tired, and hungry, and sick of driving. Even after we finally packed up our emotions and made a pact to start working together again, we were STILL lost. Though headed in the right direction.

    Then we hit the traffic heading to Panama City.
    It took us nearly THREE HOURS to drive 60-some kilometers. Yep, you read that right. We had people sliding into our lane, cutting us off, nearly rear-ending us, and so on -- busses, taxis, and just for fun, regular cars. I was a basket case by the time we got to the hotel. Husband, who views this all as sort of a game, albeit a serious one, was reasonably fresh. He got to watch me burst into tears and swear I would never go to Panama City again. (Poor guy.)

Oh, and they don't believe too much in street signs. Why in the world would you need street signs, Senor? You should know where you are going!

So...a great vacation, with a hellish last night. These people may be some of the nicest, most polite, kindest individuals I've met -- but they are HOMICIDAL MANIACS on the road. MANIACS!!!

Anyhow, I took a long, hot brooding shower, and am going to rest up for the ordeal tomorrow, when we attempt to return the rental car. That is, without smashing into, scratching up or otherwise damaging ourselves, the car or half the population of Panama City. With beeping. Lots of beeping.

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