Yat's Big Trip travel blog

View of the new banking district across the bay

View of the old town Casco Antiguo

Close up of Casco Antiguo

Heron looking for fish

Colourful mosiac wall along the Pacific Ocean

Run down street with chicken bus passing through... somewhat charming!

Slightly crumbly building with balcony in Casco Antiguo

Lovely house, but not encouraged for tourist visits...

Local residents of Casco Antiguo

The standing and the crumbling...

Ruins in Casco Antiguo

Church (San Francisco?), Casco Antiguo

Peeping through Casco Antiguo to banking district

View of the Bridge of the Americas, from Casco Antiguo

Viewing platform of Pacific Ocean, Casco Antiguo

Looking at the Bridge of the Americas, from the Causeway

Sunset at Bridge of the Americas

Lots and lots of walking for me today!

Walked along the Pacific Ocean (not seen since leaving Tárcoles a week and a half ago), taking in the view of the new banking district "El Cangrejo" to the East, and the old colonial town "Casco Antiguo" to the West. As I have newly lost my watch (last seen last night), I cant tell you how long it took me to walk there, but I really enjoyed it.

Although Casco Antiguo is small, it can provide many hours of exploration - that is, if you can resist going into all the bargain shops on the Av Central! There were streets and streets of charming old colonial buildings, almost as if you were transported to Spain. Although badly maintained, crumbling and faded, they still retained an air of beauty about them, especially when the residents leaned casually on the rusty balconies, against the backdrop of colourful clothings flapping in the wind. I was so enchanted by these streets, and the occasional sightings of the oceans beyond, the cycling tourist police had to keep rescuing me out of the bad neighbourhoods. Well, nothing bad happened really, they were just doing their job in preventing bad things happening to tourists! Strange to think somewhere so beautiful and charming could also be so dangerous!

My time in Casco Antiguo drew to a close when I reached my desired goal of looking at the "Puente de las Americas", the huge steel bridge arching across the Pacific entrance to the Panama Canal. It was an awesome sight, and all through the day, it was almost always in my sight.

The next item on my "to see" list was the Causeway. I was attracted to the idea of walking 2km over the Pacific, passing through four small islands, before reaching the huge shopping centre on Isla Flamenco. Ok, so I wanted to go to the shopping mall because I need a compression clothes sack (backpacks getting slightly full now...), and none of the bargain shops seem to sell it. Somehow I thought that this new shopping centre - which would obviously be in the American mall style would have some camping shops stocking all the travelling stuff I would possibly need.

So imagine by disapointment when my taxi pulled up at Flamenco, and it was a little more than a food court - well, various resturant bars aligning the side of the "plaza"... Normally I would be happily bribed by the idea of lots of different food to sample, but since I realised I was running dangerously low on funds, and had all my hopes on buying the compression sack, I was quite miffed.

Determined not to take a taxi again, I walked all the way back, which by the way, feels a lot longer than the 2km described in my Lonely Planet. Still, the late afternoon sun was not strong, but casted some nice lighting on the ocean and the Bridge of the Americas in the distance. There were also lots of people walking, cycling and in-line skating - enjoying the peace and quiet away from the city, but still within sights of it.

So after all this walking, think I deserve a night of cable TV in my hotel (yes, am getting very spoilt!) and waking up fresh for my flight into South America tomorrow! Will have the nice company of Iris in Ecuador for three weeks, and she is eagerly waiting to testify the fluency of my Spanish (though I can tell you right now, it is only mas o menos)...

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