Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Ready to transit

On Saturday, the day was mostly dedicated to have the agent do most of the formalities. Sunday was supposed to be shopping day. But "Dracula" (our taxi driver/guide) had to go to Balboa to take there mooring lines for a cat about to transit from the Pacific side. So we decided to go along with him and do a little tourism. In the same time, this would allow us to have a look at the Flamenco marina, our destination on the Pacific side.
One thing that strikes me is that here, like in most hispanic countries, people don't seem to mind ugliness and dirty stuff. Buildings are not painted, or the paint is peeling away, and junk is allowed to pile up almost anywhere.
Also, the surprise comes fr
om the huge difference in standards between the Colon area and the Balboa/Panama area. Over there, it looks like a lot of other tourist resorts in many other places in the world
. The Flamenco marina has a number of nice restaurants and well supplied shops, and everything looks, at first sight anyway, 
nicely maintained and freshly painted.
On the way back, as we were crossing the rain forest, we got caught in heavy and long lasting rain, to the point where we could hardly see the road.
On Monday, Dracula was back in the morning to take us shopping to the nearest supermarket which is well supplied and where we coul
d find almost everything that we would need. Later in the evening, Dracula came back to provide us with the 125 feet mooring lines and the tires (fenders) to protect us against 
the aggressive walls of th
e locks.
This morning, all we can do is wait for the final instructions to go to the flats and wait for the "advisor" (panama canal pilot) and the line handlers. We have prot
ected with cushions and comforter all the sensitive parts of Papy Jovial (solar panels, hatches) against a misguided monkey fist.
We are all very excited abou
t this transit.

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