I am writing at 4:30 am in the beautiful beach community of Pedasi. For me this is the most beautiful and serene time of day to practice yoga. The roosters are crowing,with cattle mooing and horses are grazing.Many jungle and bird sounds filter through the big open air windows in our country vacation rental home close to the town and beach. I can hear howler monkeys in the distance, as they echo several miles away. You have to be listening from here, but they are near rivers close to our location. Writing the blog has been challenging with quickly moving travel plans, internet connection, and an illness that needed medical attention…more on that later.
Prior to the jungle adventure previously posted we journeyed through Casco Viejo.This historical part of Panama City was a short but fast and furious taxi ride away from our apartment. Although I vowed never to get into a taxi without a seatbelt after a harrowing near miss with a bus on a previous trip at a traffic circle,I found myself without a seatbelt once again.To distract myself,I opened and shut my eyes intermittently looking at the view,and practiced my meditation and breathing. There is no place for panic on a romantic outing! Chaos is a word, however here it seems the meaning takes on a whole new order. It is confusion that bounces and rattles in a vast melting pot of honking.
Entering the colonial part of the city was a sight that was astounding and impressive. Many buildings have been restored to their colonial glory. the presidential palace is there with many armed guards, and it feels like an extremely safe place to be.Foreign and Panamanian residents have moved into high priced apartments,shops and restaurants are prospering, and tourists are enjoying the beautiful city squares,churches and architecture.It offers a unique feeling of transition, as well as tradition, with old stone,three and four story buildings with red tile roofs,rough iron railings around balconies decorated with potted plants, surrounded by impressive squares and ruins.We stopped at a local square to have a refreshing local Panamanian beer.Close by was a church with an artist painting. Concerts of classical music opera, ballet are held here as well as jazz….there is a spectacular jazz festival each January.
The presidential palace(Palace of the Herons or Palacio de las Garzas) stands along the waterfront overlooking Panama Bay, with many armed guards, in elegant uniforms.My Palace picture will not download right now,but I will add it later.
Of course I had to take Glenn to traditional clothing shops. I had a loose pair of light cotton pants in mind, however the cotton was either really thick, or if it looked like it could work , a wrap around that was a science project as it was sewed together or the legs were extremely short. The Panamanian shop owner was of great assistance, and between my sign language and her intelligence, we understood each other. She was abrupt and then smiled and looked at me with amusement.
On the way home to the apartment we took a taxi to the local “Super”. I offered to go in while Glenn waited in the taxi. Now, what I had in mind was chickpeas, salad,the crackers we like and toothpaste ….keeping it nice and simple. The store appeared to be small from the outside, and I had visioned a quick shop. What looked small from the outside was a huge version of the smaller stores with a larger version of chaos.A quick trip can easily be a long one I realized, and focused on my list. As soon as I took my cart in the middle of it all and the wheel failed in the isle next to a stack of eggs that were not refrigerated next to the white bread isle, I knew I was in trouble. Getting a new cart took some time and I started a fresh expedition. Glenn found me studying labels and brought to my attention that I had been gone for an extremely long time.To my surprise after waiting in line our 50 dollar US bill was to be documented with a passport, name and we waited for the manager to come to the till for his signature and close study of the bill. A hummingbird, I quickly move to and from, and am now willing to finally slow down, take a poetic perspective, and go with the slower pace here. After all, it will get done. I have quickly learned to use the best non verbal communication of all;a joyful genuine smile.This is universal in all languages.
“Perfection is attained by slow degrees;it requires the hand of time” Voltaire
My next posts will be on Coronado,El Valle,Playa Veneo and Pedasi. I will catch up in a local bakery and cafe. Our adventure has just begun! After taking the bus and assessing the amount of time it will take,we are going to rent a car.