A Woman, A Plan, A Canal, Panamowa

After transiting through the world's worst international airport (seriously, the only food option was mixed alligator), we raced off the plane in Panama as we had just under 6 hours until our next international flight departed and we wanted desperately to see the Panama Canal- no matter how brief a visit.

We got to Customs as the first customers of the day, even beating the flight crew, but the lady at the counter was on her phone watching a video and appeared as if she did not want to work. Another officer waved us over to her counter. She looked at our documents and in Spanish tried to tell us we did not have enough time to get to the canal and back. We tried asking if we were not allowed to leave with that short a time or if it was more of a recommendation. The manager came over and we understood enough Spanish to know he told her that it was our problem if we miss our flight. She hastily stamped us into the country. We got in an Uber and headed for the city, ahead of schedule as our flight was early and we exited the airport so quickly, so we decided we had enough time to see the canal AND have a look around town.

We arrived at Cinta Costera which was a looped road over the ocean. It was a 7km loop so we had to move quickly… that’s when Dory spotted the e-scooters. Off we went, doubling on the scooter with the 360 camera out the side. Sand flies were smashing us and you couldn’t open your mouth or you would cop a mouthful. At one point, we were overtaken by a man who had a single wheeled device between his feet and a dog in his backpack :D

We later arrived at the Panama Canal information centre just a few minutes before it opened at 8:00 am. Tour buses with pre-purchased tickets came through and were given priority. We eventually made it inside and raced straight up to the viewing platform. There were only two ships coming through that day; 07:45 and 14:20. It was luck that we happened to see a ship come through the lock.

After watching the ship pass through the first lock, we raced back to the airport, cleared security and had more than 2.5hrs until our flight. Clearly the customs lady underestimated the mad Aussies' sense of adventure.

Next stop... Dougo!