We landed in Panama and took a local bus into Panama City, which drove all the way from the airport to the city with the door open! We overlooked the obvious health and safety hazard because we were quite glad of the cool breeze. It was so hot I nearly passed out! This was the closest I had been to the equator, and one day we were wandering around and I noticed that my fingers had swollen up like sausages!
We spent most days wandering through the town, soaking in the atmosphere, and stopping for drinks and ice creams. My love of guidebooks, coupled with my neurosis, had caused me to carefully read the section about crime and safety. The guidebook said “There are occasional reports of robbery near Panama Viejo. Don’t go after sunset… High-crime areas best avoided altogether include… Santa Ana” (amongst others which I won’t list here). “Blimey!” I thought, “we certainly will not be going there!”. So it was a bit unfortunate that the next day we accidentally wandered into that very same neighbourhood! Continue reading