"A LADY TRIP" Sailing around the world and avoidind the recession, ( presently in Flemingo Marina , Panama)

A Lady
Stephen Hyde
Mon 1 Feb 2010 02:42
SATURDAY 30th January 2010
07.00hrs, Aileen shot out of bed and went for a walk, mind you, shops and offices tend to open very early here,
Some interesting things about " Panama" :-
At each corner on the Marina, and each Street corner in the city and environ's , there is a large SKIP.
The result is very little rubbish thrown around , and the general public dont use the road side as a common dump. 
07.45 hrs the rest of us slowely crawled out of the scratchers and shook ourselves down,
" Thurah"  was on the marina and we paid the man for the great work he did yesterday . $110 for the topsides and cleaning the hull
underwater, thats less than half the money for twice the work than we paid in Rodney Bay..The Skipper was delighted with himself.
10.30hrs  We all took off on a tour organised by " Grattan" of Panama City, starting with the " Old Colonial Spanish City,
This was very run down with lots of Getto's and plenty of rough diamond's walking around, so we were warned to be carefull.
The first place we stopped was " San Jose " church which has a solid gold Alter. ( or so they say)
The story is that when " Black Beard " the pirate attacked the city in around 1700 AD , the locals painted the Alter black so
Black Beard wouldent notice the Gold, It must have worked as the alter is still there in place and looks good too.
We then went to the new City, It looked more like Singapore or Shanghai than our impression of what we were anticipating.
Other things about here :-
Almost NO one ever heard of " Ireland " and we found this strange and funny
Almost everyone thought that english originated in America , and not England, in fact they only knew England as a country in Europe.
Almost No one spoke english..... Typical bleedin Spaniards.
The local currency is the mighty U.S.$
13.00 hrs  We stopped and had a super lunch in a restaurant called " Napoli ", This was after our invasion of some of the luxury
residential tower blocks on the edge of the Sea, ( reminds me of Ireland a few years ago)
Mind you, a 5000sq.foot 5 bed appt on top of a tower block would cost a mere $ 1,000,000 and annual service charges of approx $1800.
these blocks, by the way include manned security desks and 24hr supervision.and all the usual swimming pools, gym's, car parks, etc.
NEED  I  SAY  ANYMORE.................?
15.00hrs We then paid a visit to the old ruined town, which was the original Spanish settlement,
Kevin and Stephen found the energy to climb all the way to the top of the ruined Cathedral, and take some good snap shots of " Panama "
The history of the place was facinating and it was almost totally sacked by " Black Beard"  ( Henry Morgan, the Pirate and of english extraction ?)
Its easy to see why they are loved so much by everyone....xxxxxx
16.30hrs Back to the Boat,
17.00hrs, We went to a breifing at Bennigan's , given by the World Cruising Club, ( Andrew Bishop & Co.)
later the Skipper opened the mail to find an email from " Marilyn" This was very nice and the Skip was delighted she ignored
the instructions from " Fats" suggesting no emails, load of bollux,
WE  LOVE  TO  GET  EMAILS,   so long as they do not have photo's or attachments comming with them...
19.30hrs  Free drinks at the marina for the World Arc Crowd.
21.00hrs  The BUS  PARTY.    ohhhhhhh, this was a party with a difference, A Party on wheels,
The BUS, certainly from the first world war, ( If not before) had no windows, ( not unusual here) and had a silver pole in the center
of the bus, for the adventerous , and ropes strapped along the roof for hanging onto when dancing while the BUS is travelling along.
Of course the whole scene was fuelled with copious quantities of free rum & cokes being served while the disc jockey
rattled our ears with disco type music.
The Bus never exceeded 10mph and drove around Panama for 3 hours , with a short stop for photo's of the newely arranged lovers.
Sex never seemed far away, But the Skipper had put Chastity belts on the crew before leaving, and dumped the keys overboard for goob measure.
It was a friggin great and different party and  will be remembered for a long time. even those who had to be carried off and stuffed into their sleeping bags.
There were lots of funny things about it, one being the driver,,
HE was so small , he could barely see over the steering wheel, which was so big that his arms could hardle reach across the thing,
then add a friggin hat and you get the picture, ! oh and of course it was dark and we had
millions of coloured flashing lights, inside and out............WOW
There were going to be lots of sick heads tomorrow.. SERVES  THEM  RIGHT,   right Marilyn !