Rather more active today. Breakfast first, of course, with all that that entails, what with fetching before, + washing up after, + then we resolved to at least make an effort to get out + see the Canal – after all, what else is there to Panama? We managed to get ourselves a little lost wandering thro’ the city, so that we were walking thro’ a more run-down – + hence more dangerous – area than we would have liked. One local woman who passed us even warned us to be careful of thieves… ho hum. However, we kept a wary eye about us, + when we encountered a policeman with “turistico” written on his chest, asked him where we would be able to get a halfway decent view from, + he directed us to a road leading up to a steep hill. It made for a pleasant walk, in contrast – very green, very peaceful… but quite hard work. At the top was laid out a small park, with a gift-shop + viewpoints over the city + canal. By chance, I happened to overhear someone pointing out Miraflores locks, which I knew was one which had visitor facilities, so we were able to work out where it was. Fortunately, we were able to find a bus going out there from quite close to the bottom of the hill, so that was our next destination.
It proved quite interesting, seeing really huge ships being directed into the locks, but stupidly we’d brought our camera out with only one shot left, + no replacement film, so we were hardly able to make an adequate record. Got a lift partway back into town with a guy who opens the lock gates, so he was able to tell us about some of the things that go wrong.
Once back at our hotel, at about 4, we did very little. We read for a while, then cooked up some soup, then went out to stock up on some beer, + then whiled away what was left of the evening playing cards… we do that quite a lot. We had one of our regular little tournaments of all (or at any rate most) of the games for 2 – with cards! – that we can think of. I won 5-2. And then to bed. A double bed this time, which takes some getting used to again, since recently we’ve mostly had singles. We’ve even joked about having single mattresses when we get back!
We very rarely found ourselves in a dangerous situation while we were away – or at least from danger of theft, assault, etc – but I suspect this was very largely because we were both lucky and innocent. As with our wander through a relatively dangerous area, oblivious to potential threat. Still, we did have the sense to consult a policeman.
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