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  • gloria139

Out of sick bay I visit Panama City and then we do the Canal crossing

I am free! It really feels like this vacation is just starting ... after missing the Caribbean and Colombia. But the best part lies ahead!

My first day out of isolation was largely spent drinking Proseco on the pool deck and breathing the open air. I may have overdone the sparkly wine just a bit - but well deserved, I say.

We were anchored in the Caribbean and there was a bunch of other ships gathered in the same spot waiting to get through the Panama Canal.

The next day we docked in Colon which the Internet described as a dirty, crime-ridden hell hole. So the Windsor gals, an American woman named Judy, and I hired a cab to take us to Panama City.

The driver did not speak much English but he understood that we wanted to see a market ... so he took us to one ... a fish market. Which was not exactly what we were expecting. But it was colourful and nothing like anything we have back home.

Then we went for lunch at the fish restaurant next door. Ceviche was the specialty and I LOVE a good ceviche.... but I was just a bit worried that it could be hazardous to the innards in a place where cleanliness is not a top priority. So fried sea bass it was.

We stopped by the canal to see the locks.

Then we went to old Panama City and explored the area around the cathedral before returning to the ship.

The following day we did the canal passage. It was absolutely extraordinary.

Lots of folks were talking about this being a 'once in a lifetime adventure' - not the folks who are on their fourth and fifth world tour, but other folks. And that is how I viewed it.

We watched lush green jungle pass by on either side as we cruised the inland lakes. And we marvelled at the mechanisms that allow huge ships to make it through such a right squeeze in the locks.

I did my 8,000-step deck walk in super humid weather. One of the couples that is out there every day with me is Italian and they do the whole thing with his hand resting gently in her back. It is so sweet. Makes me a bit wistful for romance.

Emerging into the Pacific Ocean. We were greeted by a group of small rounded islands and blue sea stretching to the horizon. The trek up the west coast of North America has begun.

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