Saturday, October 12, 2013

Sweating our A**es Off In Some Big Cities

We do not do well with big cities. Even the beautiful city of Sydney, Australia chased us away after a year of trying to make a go of it. For us, cities mean traffic, crowds, noise, air pollution, and expense. I start to feel claustrophobic in big cities and it quite literally becomes hard to take a deep breath. Nevertheless, we had to spend time in both Panama City, Panama and Cartagena, Colombia (both with pop. 1.2 million) in order to get El Tigre over to South America. We tried to make the best of it.

We couldn't leave Panama City without checking out the nearby Miraflores Locks on the Panama Canal. We hopped on one of the ubiquitous "diablos rojos" (red devil) buses that took us about 20 minutes outside the city.

An old American school bus taken to the next level - un diablo rojo
Giant container ship sailing through the Miraflores Locks

After 4 days in Panama City, we bought 2 (really expensive) one-way plane tickets to Cartagena, Columbia. We ended up staying 5 nights in a hotel in Cartagena while waiting for El Tigre to arrive (our  page about shipping your vehicle across the DariĆ©n). We tried very hard not to hide in our air-conditioned room all day. For each 1-2 hour errand in the city, we spent that amount of time cooling off in our room. The first night we arrived, we treated ourselves to pizza, and before we could pay the bill, Scott almost fainted. He got dizzy and sweaty and spent 10 minutes in the restaurant with his head between his legs before he was able to stand up and walk back to the hotel. See? We really don't do well in cities.

Nevertheless, we did get some good pictures during our short excursions in Cartagena.

Dog bathroom ("Bano Canino")
We walked by here later in the day and there were plastic bags of dog poo thrown in the grass.

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