Panama City, Panama; Day 2

Our big plan to tour the Miraflores locks in the morning was thwarted at the gate by a guard who solemnly informed us that the visitors center was only open Tuesday through Sunday. So no school day for the kids.

Instead we went back downtown and visited the Amador Causeway which was quiet but had great panoramic views of the city and a pirate ship for the kids. They are all in that picture somewhere, can you find them?

Then we had lunch at the Panama City equivalent of a food court with what seemed like different family recipes coming out of a dozen mini kitchens.

We also bought fresh shrimp for tonight’s dinner from the famous Mercados de Mariscos fish market.

We got here after lunchtime so some stalls were empty but there were still great options available. The kids didn’t love the smell and weren’t anxious to hang around but Brian and Tiffany thought it was pretty cool. The market is located in the Chinatown region of Old Panama but was built with the help of a $7.8M investment by the Japan Technical Cooperation Agency in 1995.

The kids had been promised a pool trip after the morning ‘school day’ at the Visitors Center at the Miraflores Locks. Instead of a formal school day and a pool trip, the kids got to visit a smelly fish market and have an impromptu splash in a public fountain. It’s was pretty hot so who could blame them.

The kids did get to exercise some more of their Spanish knowledge by engaging with some of the local vendors. Shaved ice is done by hand just like in Costa Rica and the hot dog CreeperPuppy got was as long as his forearm.

The good thing about getting fresh shrimp from the market is that you get to eat fresh shrimp. The bad thing is that you have to peel it yourself. Somehow the kids weren’t interested so the parents put on some tunes and got to work. It was very worth it and we finally got rid of the last of our pasta.

Just before dinner we paused to have cotton swabs jabbed up our nose by some polite medical technicians. Two hours later, we learned that none of us have COVID-19. Other than the obvious Yay! no COVID, we also should be allowed on our flights Thursday. Remarkably, that was the first COVID test that Mom & Dad have had (so far!).

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