Quote Of The Day

"Victory goes to the player who makes the next-to-last mistake - Chessmaster Savielly Grigorievitch Tartakower (1887-1956)"

Saturday, March 04, 2023

Day 15 : Costa Rica and Panama…

Warning: canal geeking ahoy!

Panama is famous for a few things, right? Panama hats, Panama cigars, Panama Papers… But perhaps the most well-known thing, and the real reason we flew all this way, is the Panama Canal. 

I’ve always wanted to see the Panama Canal; to travel through it. So today we did just that. Well, much of it. 

First we were collected from our hotel and driven to the Flamenco Marina on the Pacific side of the canal. There we boarded our boat for the partial canal transit. 

I was as excited as an excited thing with a particular reason to be excited. 

Over 40 vessels a day, of all conceivable shapes and sizes, transit through the Panama Canal, making it one of the leading attractions for visitors to the country. It began as an idea by the French in 1881, but after years of trying the Americans took over the project and it was eventually completed in 1914. Without doubt it is a fascinating and incredible engineering marvel, awe-inspiring in scale, which passes through about 50 miles of beautiful countryside as it links the Pacific Ocean with the Caribbean Sea.

Our dramatic journey took us under the Bridge of the Americas and through the Miraflores and Pedro Miguel locks, passing huge tankers looming above us. 

At Miraflores Locks our boat ascended about 60 feet in two distinct steps before entering the Miraflores Lake, which is a small artificial body of fresh water that separates Pedro Miguel from Miraflores Locks. 

The vessel then entered the Pedro Miguel Locks, which is one of the two sets of locks on the Pacific side, and here the boat was raised the last 30 feet to proceed into Gatun Lake, which was formed by erecting the Gatun Dam across the Chagres River.

We ended in Gamboa Town were we boarded our coach back to Panama City. 

I was beaming ear to ear. A big tick in a big box. 

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