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Uncle Markie out and about.

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Thu
8
Apr '10

Day Four: Show Me Your Canal!

For Caravan Tours this is an easy day:

  • No luggage to pack
  • Out the door at 9am

Today’s journey is to Gaton, where we wait to board an old (96 years old) rum rummer allegedly owned by Al Capone (for rum running) and Steve McQueen (for partying in the 60’s). I have yet to verify either claim, but I will continue to research that issue.

The odd bit in Gaton was pulling up in front of the church that had on their board: We Love Tourists — and the book by Pastor Wilbur who ministers to Manuel Noriega when he was housed down the road, who had an impromtu sales session to raise funds by selling autograhed books (yes, I bought one for $5 which I will read and pass to Pastor Colibra)

I should just include the scroller bar here because I shot a ton of stuff before the canal, during the canal, looking at the future canal, transiting the canal, hanging out on-board, the works:

The weather today was stunningly clear, with the rain coming as we started to pull into the Radisson Summit Hotel & Golf here in the rain-forest of Panama. After the rain let up, the golfers were out there whacking their balls. FYI — on-line rate is $150 a night — compared to $200 a night for the Panama City hotel… let’s see…. $300 for these two nights, $800 for the four nights (beginning and end) in Panama City, that leaves $200 a night for the Beach Stay — ASSUMING it cost nothing for all the buses, boats and entrance fees for the rest of the trip. Caravan rocks. And you know how frugal I am.

OK — I made some comments about “buffet” — but tonight’s had TOO many good items. Endive stuffed with smoked salmon, bay scallop salad, chicken salad, ensalada caprese, seafood soup (which would go well with the rice dish), beef stroganoff, scalloped potatoes (not enough cheese, too much egg, better for breakfast), there were too many dishes, I had to take samples (and that isn’t close to the whole list) just to see what I wanted more of. Avoid the chicken — always overcooked in a buffet line — no fault of the cooks, it just has an extremely small range of temperature between cooked and dead.

So, after dinner, another “extra treat” and we aren’t talking dessert (though I did have the flan last night, I heard the creme brulee wasn’t that good this evening — but I’m not a dessert guy)… Oh, that “extra treat”. FOLKLORICA!

I know that my commentary makes “lite” of this, but it is a staple of organized tour. You can look at it two ways (or more)”

  • Let’s get the locals to shimmy their junk in front of the tourists for a few shekels
  • Let’s empower locals to keep their culture alive and help them supplement their income
  • Or, my favorite — let’s make a win-win = skinny boys and girls schimying about in shimpy costumes.

Wow — that’s my jaded side!

And, with the cheers of the crowd, they MADE ME get up and pose with the dancers again. I think they are jealous — I get to wear their hats:

P1100259 - Share on Ovi

OK — I didn’t frame the photo — my seat mate Jesuaph did — and his lens is bigger than mine!

After all the hoopla I headed back to the room to pack (yes, it’s one of THOSE days). Bags out at 8, butt on bus at 9.

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1 Comment »

One Response to “Day Four: Show Me Your Canal!”

  1. Melba Toast Says:

    See, it’s really a compliment that they want you to pose with the dancers — because you can carry it off with aplomb, and they know they couldn’t!

    Viva Markie!