As the keen among you will have noticed, we were in Mexico for one week, but it was so action packed and I just loved it so much and had so much to say that it took me 3 whole blogs! But the week came and went, and we had to move on, but it was a definite ‘hasta luego’ and not ‘adios’ to Mexico!
And we’re off to Panama! Some of my friends have been living here for 3 years now. It’s one for those things where we were all 17 together, talking about how we want to learn Spanish, and travel Latin America, and pre-pandemic (and pre-Konrad!) I was spending quite a bit of time in Costa Rica, they had gotten married and were in Nicaragua and we were able to start living out our dream. So it super nice to have come full circle now, and be able to do the same with my husband too.
So anyways, they are now living in Panama, and so we thought we’d come hang out with them for a while!
Our first flight was to Bogota, Colombia (and after seeing Encanto, I’m definitely feeling the need to come spend some time in Colombia!). I was working during the layover, but the airport annoyingly only had 30 minutes of free wifi at a time .. however, travel hack alert, you could keep signing in with the same email address for another 30 minutes, so check that out before paying!
The day we arrived was actually International Women’s Day, and in Panama City, there always seem to be promotions, freebies, for any excuse! So my friends had done the research and found places where we would be able to get some freebies.
We started off by grabbing some food. I tried to keep it ‘light’ since we would be having dinner out later … but when you see a Cinnabon, you don’t say no! They’re not easy to come by in the UK (there is one opening up in Ipswich, but sadly it wasn’t open for business before we left!) So, a Cinnabon it was, before travelling into ‘Casco Viejo’, the old part of town.
As is often the case with countries that were colonialised, the old part of the city is so beautiful. The buildings look like you’re in Europe, but the tropical heat says otherwise – it’s a mix that I love!
One place we went was called ‘Blue Moon’, where they were doing some kind of deal of cocktails for the ladies. These were interesting because it’s a brewery, so all of the cocktails actually had beer in! Paired with my favourite flavours – pineapple and coconut – and coming in these adorable pineapple glasses (need to get me some of these!), what’s not to love?
My friends’ mum was visiting, and it was our first proper day in Panama, so we had been booked into a ‘traditional’ Panamanian restaurant for dinner. Not traditional like ‘local’, like the places on the side of the streets where locals go, although we’ll do plenty of that too, but this place was clearly about showcasing the best of Panama, and its heritage. Some of the things we tried were ‘patacones’ (plantain smashed and then deep fried), ‘ropa vieja’ (a traditional beef stew) and I had a Caribbean-style octopus. This was all washed down with free mimosas for women’s day! There was music, and these dancers portraying a traditional dance – you might wanna Google this too … there’s a lot of yodelling!
Where we’re staying is about an hour and a half from the city, so we got in late. But the next morning, I was very happy to be up and working out in the sun on my porch with a coffee!
More on Panama next week!