The Cinta Costera is Panama City’s new walkway/ bike path along the harbor, and it’s quite lovely — safe enough during the day, although I wouldn’t go there early in the morning or after dark. Our hotel is a ten minute walk from the Cinta Costera, and from there we had a straight shot to Casca Viejo. All along the walkway are children’s playgrounds, basketball courts, exercise stations — all things to encourage people to get outdoors and get moving. Like many countries Panama has an obesity problem. Back in the Peace Corps days there wasn’t enough food, but what poor people ate was nourishing — rice and beans, for example. Now there is an abundance of cheap snack food, to everyone’s detriment.
Gloria was trying to exercise in the village, but as rainy season came she stopped. It’s not only the mud along the many unpaved roads in the village, but the uptick in swarms of mosquitoes. I totally get that. Her walk with me was a beginning of getting back in the groove.
Our hotel is right in the midst of the business and financial district, so we saw some of the gorgeous high rise commercial architecture along the way. We also had beautiful views of the harbor and marina and residential high rise condo buildings in the tony neighborhood of Punta Paitilla.