Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Shop Till You Drop
Panama City is like the last grocery store on the edge of the desert for all those cruisers looking to cross the Pacific. It's brimming with cheap places to load up on food, and even though we aren't jumping any puddles any time soon we are certainly taking advantage of all the provisioning opportunities. In the past few days, we have gone on a shopping marathon in the attempt to fill up on all the staples we'll need to make it the next 2,000 miles to Puerto Vallarta and beyond.
If you'll recall about a year ago, we did a massive Costco run that ended in a cart so overflowing with food that I could barely push it. Well, we did it again at PriceSmart, the Central American big box store equivalent, loading up on cheese, meat, flour, nuts, sugar, coffee, soda, peanut butter, juice, canned goods, olive oil, pasta, beans, lentils and ten cases of beer. This year, due to the beer, we had to get two carts, and that doesn't even count the smaller trips to Foodie, a little gourmet store where you can buy sushi making materials; Riba Smiths, a regular grocery store; and my personal favorite, Abastos, the outdoor fruit and vegetable market, crammed with stall after stall of onions, mangos, tomatoes, fresh basil, cilantro, ginger, lettuce, peppers, etc. And somehow I still forgot to buy popcorn.
Even though our lockers are stuffed, we still think maybe we should get more while the getting is good because there are decidedly not grocery stores everywhere, at least not with olive oil or decent hot sauce or peanut butter or canned tomatoes or curry powder or my beloved popcorn. In fact, plenty of the places we like to go don't have anything to buy at all, and if we don't have a decent amount of food Vlad starts saying things like "You're trying to kill me," or "I'm slowly starving to death," or "You know what would make this tropical paradise better? A cheeseburger." So, yeah, we like to stock up while we can.
Here's a link to the Panama City Cruisers' Guide, which lists a ton of shopping possibilities. Oh, and one more plug for our BFF Roger (6717-6745). He drove us around Panama City, stopping at each store so we didn't have to make multiple trips or buy a PriceSmart card. Not a bad deal for $10 an hour. We are pretty sure that Panama City would fall off into the ocean if Roger weren't there to make it all stick together.