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Uncle Markie out and about.

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Mon
5
Apr '10

Day One Of The Panama Trip.

Most of day one was spent in the air getting to Panama. No real problems in the air, but a very short layover in Miami so it was basically go from one gate to the next where they were already boarding. Not the way that I like to do it.

My seat mate for some reason reminded me of Robert Vesco — a well-dressed older Hispanic man who looked like he was on the run with a suitcase full of money. Needless to say, no conversation.

The Caravan folks were their to meet me outside departure. I was the first of our group of four people off this plane. One other single (guy) traveller from Key Largo, and a couple that looked close to death. Hopefully this won’t be a sign for what the age of the total group of 44 people is like.

Weather: 95 degrees, 80 percent humidity.

Today (and tomorrow’s) hotel: Courtyard by Marriott. Nicely appointed rooms, free Internet, free bottled water (one a day — though the tap water is safe throughout the country), and buffet style dinner and breakfast.

Checked in by 3:15, and by 4 I was settled, on the internet, and on the way to explore the mall next door hoping for a grocery/liquor store somewhere inside. As it turns out with my limited Spanish — Mercado (market) luckily one of the words I know — found a full-size full-service market on the second floor in the back.

What did I buy to go with my Coca-cola Light?

Now I’m not sure how you can make a whiskey in Panama with a name like Kentucky Cream, but for $5.20 it seemed like something to take a flier on. The Senior Colonel’s (from Kentucky) question in email? How does it taste? The answer is like whiskey tainted rum. Perfectly suitable for mixing.

The “all-hands” meeting as at 6pm in one of the ballrooms (which later had a flamenco contest, though not for us, but I did see some of the costumed dancers in the hallway).  I’m definitely at the younger end of the scale for the 44 people on this tour, but not as bad as I was expecting from the airport this afternoon.

Dinner buffet style was good. Went back for two helpings of the salad — need my greens. I went for the steak (having had fish for the last couple of meals) which was a little tough in places, but I actually got her to cook it medium-rare, and it was almost an inch thick in places — a rarity for steaks in most other countries.

Headed back to the room to finish “Rough Justice” and go to bed early. Tomorrow is in the lobby at 9am (which isn’t bad for a tour).

One little dram of Kentucky Cream before bed.

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