Panama City

Eddie picks me up for a tour of Panama City.

But first, his jungle rig

And this being Central America, his gun under the dash

It’s a 40 magnum Glock 23. He says when shooting someone in a car, a 9mm will maybe only break the glass whereas a .44 will not only hit the target but the person behind him/her too, which won’t do, so .40 is perfect. He also said it’s OK to post this as this is normal stuff.

The day’s track, this time in a car. I’m not sure I like cars much anymore.
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So off we went up Ancon Hill, up past the Panama Canal administration building. As you may know the Americans handed the canal back to the Panamanians in 2000.

The proportions, colour and roofline are very representative of Panamanian architecture, as you’ll see.

A view of the downtown core from the hill. Surprised? Yeh, me too. Very impressive. The city population is about the same as Vancouver but total metro is much smaller. Corrupt, dangerous, but impressive

A view the other way to a container dock before the canal. Impressive again

Lots of money. Here they’re building a ring road over the water around a slum

Then off, of course, to the locks. We’re here to see the Miraflores Lock. Eddie’s been here for 32 years and has a thousand great anecdotes

There’s no point in a long story here but basically the French started work on the Canal in 1882, failed primarily because the environment unexpectedly fought back, and the American Army Corp of Engineers took over and succeeded. No surprise in any part of that.

Click on this for bigger, then click again for huger, for Canal details
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Each lock is run as an independent operation. Miraflores is one.

Looking east to towards the Lake. Hey, here comes a boat!

In it comes. This happens pretty quickly. No doddling. Here it’s being pulled along by ‘mules’ which are little locomotives. 4 at the front and 4 at the back


Now the boat’s dropping as the lock is drained as another boat comes in

Then off it goes, to the Pacific (yay Pacific, boo Atlantic)

And the other boat is lowered

This isn’t rocket science but fun to watch.

Then we had chores to do. Check out the bike dealer and get them ready for Lucinda, go meet the guy who’s going to service the shocks and get the lay of the land for all the lessor jobs to be done.


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