Saturday, January 17, 2009

Panama City Indoctrination

The view of our condo from the ground - count down 6 floors from the top

As we plan to, on occasion, rent a car I was paying close attention to the roadways to the condo. This worked great on the toll way from the airport, then the south corridor highway along the Bay of Panama, and then…traffic got heavy so Enrique started using back streets to get to the condo. Uh oh, I could never repeat that part of the trip. I will have to concentrate on reading maps from now on, if we can ever actually find a city map. Well, that would really help if any of the streets actually had street names on them. I guess it will just have to be dead reckoning by north, south, east and west and have a lot of patience for when you become lost. If neither one of us knows where we are located, and where we are going, it will cut down on those navigation arguments. Now if I can just remember that Panama is laid out east-west rather north-south as you would expect we will be on the right track. It is a bit strange to get it straight that the canal actually crosses the country from north to south with the Caribbean on the north and the Pacific Ocean on the south. Panama City is located on the south end of the canal on the Pacific.

Enrique checked us out on the condo. It is so new, there seem to be very few people actually living in the building yet. There is a full time security guard, locked lobby doors, and the protective coverings have not even been removed from the elevator doors. The first five floors are parking garages and then residence floors going up to the 22nd floor with a swimming pool and meeting rooms on the roof. We are on the 16th floor with wonderful views in three directions. Our condo is located on the northeast corner so we are not getting the hot sun either in the morning or afternoon. There are four condos on each floor so everyone has a corner.

Unit 16A is about 1100 square feet with a combined dining room-living room, kitchen, a master bedroom with bath, a guest bedroom, and two additional bath rooms. There is a small emergency bathroom off the kitchen. I really don’t think Mary Ann the chef, needs this emergency location, but who knows? The condo is finished off with a small outside deck, just enough to check the weather (hot!) and maybe enough for one chair. You are probably wondering about the most important amenity. It is blissfully air conditioned! As all of our trip rentals must have, we are set up with high speed internet, both by cable and wi-fi but the wi-fi is a bit weak. There are two flat screen TV’s, so Mary Ann will not clobber me when I am flipping channels and watching sports. We have 120 channels which includes the NFL channel. How good can it get? We do not even have the NFL channel in Chelan.
We rented the condo through VRBO, an internet vacation rental website. You deal directly with the owner. It has an advantage as most properties post their rates and you can click on an availability calendar, so you do not waste time contacting people when it does not fit your schedule. You can view the listing for our unit and how the owner describes it at

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