Panama November 2017: Old Panama and New

Minga was torn after her dialysis on Saturday. Her granddaughter Janelys was willing to pick her up at the hospital and drive her out to Rio Hato, then bring her back on Sunday evening. I was leaving early on Sunday morning. Going to the village for just Sunday hardly makes sense; it’s a two hour drive from the city center where the hospital is, and longer on the way back to go all the way out beyond the airport to Filipio. I knew how much Minga wanted to have her two days at home, but she also wanted to see me off at the airport. I said I thought she should go with Janelys and have her time in Rio Hato. They left around 4pm, when her treatment was done.

That gave David, Lily and me a chance to tour Panama City a bit, on an expectedly sunny Saturday late afternoon. We hoped to go up to Cerro Ancon, where you get beautiful views of the city on one side and the canal on the other, but with all the rain the steep road had washed out in spots and it wasn’t safe. So we drove around the city, seeing old and new Panama — which exist practically side by side –. and then went out to Amador Causeway. That used to be Fort Amador during the time of the Canal Zone. Now it has hotels, a marina, gorgeous views of the city and of the big ships waiting to pass through the canal, plus several restaurants and bars. We had great gelato, sat and talked, and generally decompressed.

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