Tuesday, February 12, 2013

My Dad's in Town!

My dad looking pretty pleased with the train ride.

We have sure had some visitors aboard Bettie. But because my dad isn't super crazy about boats and more importantly likes looking at animals, we decided to play his visit a little differently. That's right, we are rocking the land-based travel. Hence the reason why I am at this very moment sitting on the balcony of the La Estancia Bed & Breakfast watching parrots fly past.

With the boat all squared away, the canal paperwork sorted and the tires and lines delivered, we have now scampered off to Panama City to be, of all things, tourists. So far, we have shuttled my dad to the Miraflores Locks and the Parque Natural Metropolitano and took a peek at some abandoned American military instillations that looked like something out of Indiana Jones complete with bats and howler monkeys. We also took him for a ride on the famed Panama Canal Railroad, a clacking jaunt through jungle and alongside the canal and GatĂșn Lake in a regal looking observation car.

Unfortunately, though, we did have a man down. On my dad's first night here, we were walking back from dinner, and Vlad stepped on a manhole cover. It literally shot out from under him, and he almost fell all the way in to a Panamanian sewer, catching himself at his waist at the last moment. A passerby rushed over to help, who happened to work at the Indian consulate. We asked him if there was anyone we could call to report the loose (and dangerous!) manhole cover - the police or maybe city maintenance - and he just laughed. There's no one you can call, he said, and his main advice was to not step on manhole covers.


Thankfully, Vlad didn't suffer any major damage, but he did get a pretty nasty cut on his leg and was bruised up enough that walking around has been difficult. Panama City is dangerous but in unexpected ways.


  1. I'm so jealous you got to ride the train!!! We tried several times but always missed it (durn locks at Gatun always held us up!). It looks amazing!

    But, we do have yet another thing in common: D fell in a similar hole in Casco Viejo. It was definitely grump-inducing although not life-threatening :)

    Glad you're having fun!

  2. Excellent practice for Mexican sidewalks, which I swear are lethal! Some places worse than others (La Paz... ugh) but man, you have to watch wher eyou step. Glad he wasn't hurt more badly.

  3. Yeah, Ditto Behan's comment. I guess the idea of reporting it to anyone is just, well, so American. That's too bad. Glad it wasn't worse and looking forward to sloths!

  4. Glad Vlad is okay especially since it could have been a much grosser and painful experience! His leg looks sore. Certainly a lesson learned the hard way and completely validates my refusal to stand on any kind of drain cover, they're not to be trusted.

  5. Hug Fred for me! Sorry to hear about Vlad's barking dog!

  6. Oh man OUCH! Thank goodness he didn't break anything. I'll have to put that on my list of things to avoid, manhole covers in dangerous Panama City.

    Tate and I are both slowly geared up for sloth watch.

  7. This was a great vacation! Parque Natural Metropolitano and Miraflores Locks are just some of good the places in Panama, and by the looks of your dad in his picture, I can sense that he was quite happy about your trip. Anyway, falling to a manhole is really dangerous but it's good to know that Vlad only get a minor cut and not a broken bone.

    Donna Parsley