Panama

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Panama

After a easy journey to Heathrow from Lincoln we arrived at our hotel. The Hilton Garden Inn Heathrow. The Hilton chain has a really good app that allows you to download a digital key to your room. Great. You avoid the queues at reception. So up to the fourth floor we went to find our room, number 441, only to discover that the room numbers only went up to 430 “Mmmm” So back down to reception, where we were told we were in the wrong hotel. The friendly chap at the desk told us we were at the wrong hotel, with a slight one sided grin. He said you want the other Hilton Garden Inn. Really. Two hotels with the same name at Heathrow airport. So back on the tube one stop to arrive at the right hotel.

Next day we boarded our flight, first leg to Amsterdam, “we flew with KLM” to get our connecting flight to Panama. Surprisingly the plane was quite empty. “Covid I suppose“. Our journey time was 10:50 minutes which went quite quick really. After watching a couple of films, some sporadic naps, and eating some remarkably good aircraft food we arrived. On leaving the plane the heat hit you. Wow it was humid. Went through immigration easily, then onto collect our luggage. This is where the panic set in. We waited an absolute age for our cases. We were sort of assured they would turn up as there were many other people waiting as well. Panic over they arrived. So with luggage collected it was off to meet our waiting taxi and the nice driver Luis.

Our accommodation Hotel Marbella, which is a no frills hotel, very clean. With some really friendly staff and a good price,£135 for four nights. Bargain.

We hit the ground running on our first day with a visit to the Parque Natural Metroplitano. Located on the outskirts of the city. The park is a wildlife refuge. The park was first proposed in 1974 and opened in 1988. The park has various walking trails throughout the hardest being a climb to a viewpoint which affords great views over the city. So with mad dogs and Englishmen in mind we set off on the hard one, perhaps after the event we should have thought twice, especially as it was 32 degrees with a real feel of 42, but we did it and although it was a hard slog “for me at least” we got to the top. Although quite hazy the views across Panama and the boats lining up to go through the canal were great. Also we saw some amazing wildlife on the way. Some of which we had never seen before on our previous trips. A small pond absolutely packed with terrapins, from babies to quite large adults. Some Toucans “only seen before on Guinness ads”. A family of white nosed Coati’s, going about their business. Also on the path coming back were some incredible leaf cutter ants going about the business. Could have watched them for hours. Although tiring a brilliant first day. Another 69 to go.

Our friendly Deer

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