-----For those who love cruising, whether on their own boats, on boats belonging to friends, or with commercial trips, there are perhaps a few cruising experiences that are the equivalent of listing a bucket list.
Well, last summer, swinging on a hook for the evening and watching the sunset, we reminisced about our list and realized we have been fortunate enough to complete most of the ‘dreamed about’ list for the future. But, we thought, what about the Panama Canal?
Too far and gas-consumptive to take our small boat along the coasts, we quickly calculated. But, our favorite small travel club, with a limited number of people on each trip, was planning a passage before Christmas. On further examination, it looked perfect. Three days through the Canal (cruise ships do it in eight hours) with nights anchored in coves ringing Gatun Lake – and with nature walks guided by local ‘experts’ to view the birds, plants, and animals of the tropical rain forest. Also with walking experiences (and overnights) up in the Panamanian highlands, and along both the Caribbean and Pacific coasts. There was even an extension to Cartagena and the Caribbean coast of Columbia. On a previous trip, we shared many days with Columbian families in the highlands of Bogota and the cane fields of Cali – now we could visit the tropical Caribbean coast.
One more candidate for a shared lifetime experience and another Holy Grail for cruisers – the Panama Canal (and environs).
So, on a snowy December day, we boarded our flight and flew off to the south and east, bound (ultimately) for Panama City. Denver International Airport on a snowy December morning We set our watches forward to Eastern Time Zone, flew to Florida, and then south on a connecting flight to Panama. Almost before we knew it, we were in Panama. Welcome to Panama – “Have a Balboa Beer?
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