Relaxing in the 80 degree weather in January was exactly what the doctor ordered for me. I splashed in the ocean with a glee usually reserved for a toddler running toward an ice cream cone covered in sprinkles and gummy bears.
And I'm really glad that I was able to spend time with other members of Nomadness.
Our adventures brought us to quite a few places in Panama, hosted by the great folks of AfroLatino Travel, and below are a few more pictures from my trip. Usually I would unpack each experience a little bit more, but I'm back in Atlanta now, and I've got to get back to work!
We popped into a fantastic jazz festival in Panama, which is saying something because Atlanta hosts a renown jazz festival every year, which usually spoils me rotten. But I absolutely loved the jazz fest in Panama.
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We made some frisky furry friends on Monkey Island who had penchants for plantains and Cheetos:
We strolled among local goods at a marketplace in Colon:
We visited Black Christ Church in Portobelo, at which people from all over come to worship.
We strolled along cobbled streets:
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Explored the bloody, storied history of Portobelo, Colón:
And saw a Congo dance, which represents a period of colonial slave trade in Panama.
I don't want to paraphrase it wrong, so click the link above if you want to learn more about the history behind Congo dancing. But please also take note of the Darth Vader mask pinned to the waistband of his costume.
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Riding through Colon was beautiful:
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And of course we visited the Panama Canal!
Here are some quick facts, courtesy of PanamaCanal.com:
- The Panama Canal serves more than 144 maritime routes, connecting 160 countries, and reaching some 1,700 ports worldwide.
- Ships from all parts of the world transit daily through the Panama Canal. Some 13,000 to 14,000 vessels use the Canal every year.
- The Panama Canal is approximately 80 kilometers long between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
- The Canal uses a system of locks - compartments with entrance and exit gates. The locks function as water lifts: they raise ships from sea level (the Pacific or the Atlantic) to the level of Gatun Lake (26 meters above sea level); ships then sail the channel through the Continental Divide.
- The water used to raise and lower vessels in each set of locks comes from Gatun Lake by gravity; it comes into the locks through a system of main culverts that extend under the lock chambers from the sidewalls and the center wall.
- The Canal has a work force of approximately 10 thousand employees and operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, providing transit service to vessels of all nations without discrimination.
It was a fantastic trip! Too many experiences to try to explain them all, and now that I'm back in Atlanta, it's business as usual.
But if there's one sight I still see in my dreams, it's the sunrise that we saw on the way to the airport:
I couldn't decide which was the prettiest picture, so I had to post them all. ♥