So this is the beginning of my third week in Panama. I'll try to give a short update, day one, I arrive at Panama airport and get outside around 21.oo, I got a taxi to Luna's Castle Hostel, which is a massive hostel in Casco Viejo (Old Town) Panama City, although they didn't have a bed for me, I paid $10 to sleep in the cinema room, I had wash, put earplugs in and had a good sleep.
After a short burst of worrying I went out down Casco Viejos main road and bought some flip-flops and some cigarettes (I dunno why - I always buy them when I am abroad!!). Callum and Esther's Panamanian mobile wasn't working so I waited and checked my FB to see IF they would reply...they did and we went for something to eat and then took my bag to their hotel.
The carnival was on that evening so we went there.....one of the traditions is to throw small white paper confetti (mainly circles of paper you get from a hole punch) and water over or at each other.....not everyone does it, mainly the younger kids to young adults and them some adults. We bought some of the confetti and joined in a bit, although it was a bit annoying to have water thrown right in my face!! We had to show our passports to get in and have a weapons search to try and keep the carnival a bit safer I suppose....alas glass bottles are still for sale inside, and, loads of tasty food, chicken and rice, sausage on a stick, empenadas etc etc. Music varied from folky salsa music to reggaeton which is a bit like dancehall.
Monday came quickly and we mulled around Panama City in the morning, looking for breakfast (I had beef liver with corncakes and something else...) and an internet cafe, we then started making our way to Gamboa which is were I rented the apartment. Buses to Gamboa are rickety old buses, also known as soccar buses and red devil buses...they are full to the brim, drive fast, and like other Panamanian drivers seem to beep for no reason. Fun, cheap ride. The bus took about 45 minutes and initially we got a bit lost (where sent the wrong directions!!) but finally found the apartment.
It is beautiful and directly opposite the national park Soberania (I can see it now!!). There are hummingbirds, monkeys, falcons, eagles, pelicans, racoons, and many many more....
Since arriving here I have mainly studied Spanish with a local Spanish teacher (she's Panamanian) who lives ten minutes away, cooked rice and beans with chicken or tuna for myself and settled in rather nicely. I thought I wouldn't be able to survive without Callum and Esther, but even I have surprised myself! The week after they left I visited a small Isla Taboga....which is a beautiful island with loads of flowers and wildlife, been to Playa Blanca on the south coast.
I have even been on a frog collection trip! We went to the