We wanted to get to the airport early today so that could Lynn could buy some earrings she had seen during our six hour layover in the Santiago airport over a month ago. We woke up early, ate breakfast, showered and headed to the airport with our now familiar subway to bus method. Along the way we found a pair of subway employees who clearly had Found Love on the Metro Line (it’s a future hit song we are currently writing). We checked in without issue and went through security to find the earring store but alas, at the early hour of 9.30 in the morning they were not yet open.
We walked around to pass the time, already familiar with the route and most of the stores on it from our last time here. At 10.00 the store promptly opened and we checked out the merchandise. The earrings were neither as nice nor as cheap as Lynn remembered and we left empty handed.
We first flew to Panama City where we would have a four and a half layover and then a connection to Cartagena. The first leg was over six hours long and we were surprised that Santiago was that far away from Panama. We spent the time watching a few older movies on our seat back screens. Lynn convinced me to watch The Goonies, which I had never seen, and I turned it off half way through because it was so terrible (it’s just four terrible child actors yelling at each other for an hour and a half). Other, better movies, we watched included Space Jam; Me, Earl, and the Dying Girl; Fractured; and About Schmidt.
In Panama City the weather was warm and welcoming as we stepped onto the jetway and it immediately felt like the Carribean, though not at all like winter which now is again for us, having crossed back to the Northern Hemisphere. We walked through the airport, eating a nectarine we had brought as a snack, and dribbling bits of juice down our hands and on to the tile floors. Lynn had read some reviews the night before on Skytrax about the Panama City airport and we were both very amused by the some of the bad reviews including things like “…the free Wi-Fi doesn’t even work that well…”, “…the air-conditioning is either too hot or too cold…”, and “…the whole place is filthy and they don’t even speak English…” We were delighted to find that these people are even more obnoxious than their reviews suggest because we found the airport clean and sufficiently air conditioned. Though we must admit they do speak Spanish (how dare they!) and we never tried the Wi-Fi.
We ate at Margaritaville for dinner, partly to spite one of the bad reviews, partly because it was the only place with sit down service and we had a while to kill, but mostly because I had had Cheeseburger in Paradise stuck in my head since Lynn read the word Margaritaville last night. We had a few beers, a “volcano” of nachos, and of course, a cheeseburger in paradise. During dinner we discussed all manner of things, including once again, the unfolding political sideshow back in the U.S. Doug, who is currently reading The Book Thief, could not escape noticing some similarities between Donald Trump and Hitler. It might be a bit extreme of a comparison, but a platform built on racism, hate, and appealing to people’s fears is certainly ringing a few bells.
After dinner we waited around reading at our gate before boarding our flight to Cartagena. The flight, of only an hour, was shorter than the custom’s line we subsequently waited in but by 11.30 we were getting in a taxi to head to our hotel. The city has a very thick wall encircling it (with wonderful exterior lighting) and we were excited to go exploring in the morning. For now though we just checked in to our hotel and quickly fell asleep.
Daily Walking Mileage : 4 miles
Fun Facts :
- We were initially worried about the size of our plane for a six hour flight, it was only a 3 and 3 737. But it seemed to be brand spanking new and featured all of the comforts we could ask for.
- A lot of people actually wear Panamanian hats in the Panama City airport.
- Despite trying really hard, we did not see the Panama Canal. We did see more cargo ships than I have ever seen at once though, all anchored off shore.