Tuesday, 2/5/19- Goodbye Aruba, Hello Panama City!
We grabbed another Dutch Pancake from an old world restaurant in Aruba this morning before heading to the airport. One thing that really impressed us during our time on the island was the use of roundabouts to keep traffic moving. In one place they even had a 3 lane wide roundabout! They were a bit disconcerting at first but after a few days you really got the hang of them. We drove to the airport a couple hours early after being warned by numerous people to be there between 2-1/2 (if traveling to a non-US destination) and 4 hrs early (if returning to the US). We ended up getting to the airport a little less than 2 hrs early, and sitting in an airport lounge for a little less than 2 hrs! There was practically no wait anywhere. Probably was very sound advice for weekend travelers returning to the US. Hint, book your return trip on a Monday or Tuesday if possible!
We checked our bags to our final destination, so that when we arrived in Panama, our bags were not in our way. This was a long layover for us, and we wanted to see a few things before getting on our next flight. We dropped off a few carry ons at the local luggage storage just outside of immigration and then headed to the car rental counter. After chatting with them a bit, we decided it would be the same price to grab a cab. We headed to the stand and flagged one down. Originally, we planned on going to Casco Viejo, the famous old part of Panama City. Our cab driver thought we should go see the Panama Canal instead. After some exchanges in broken Spanish, we changed course and had lunch at the Mira Flores lock. It was perfect! He picked us back up after about 2 hours and brought us back to the airport where we still had time to enjoy the Copa lounge. What a great way to spend a layover. The Panama Canal is quite spectacular if you have never seen it. The only thing we didn’t do was get one of those fancy Panama Jack hats. Maybe next time. Off to Brazil!
Hike the Good Hike!
-Sherpa and Porter