Monday, September 12, 2005

Sep/05 - The Mighty Panama

Our cruise started from Vancouver and we touched on San Francisco and the following ports.  SF was a hoot. Of course we did the cable car, walkabout, and then stuffed ourselves with seafood at Fisherman's Wharf.  We had to buy warmer coats for the day, as Sf was as cold as Vancouver.  

Click on this link to view Vancouver photo album;
Click on this link to view San Francisco photo album:
Click on this link to view Cabo San Lucas photo album:
Click on this link to view Acapulco photo album:
Click on this link to view Huatulco photo album:
Click on this link to view Puntarenas photo album:
Click on this link to view Panama Canal photo album:
Click on this link to view  Aruba photo album:
Click on this link to view Cristobal photo album:
Click on this link to view ship photo album:

Cabo San Lucas - was thrilling as our early am arrival coincided with the sport fishing fleet heading out for the day.  It was very hot and sticky - something to do with storms down South bringing up wet air.  We stopped at a cafe - downed beer and had terrific seafood again.  We hopped on a glass bottom boat and traversed the area around Lands End. A photographers paradise.


Acapulco was another early day and we walked all along the beach to the middle of the town.  

A local restaurant on the beach drew us off the white sands. The service and food was amazing with lots of cold, inexpensive beer, incredible Ceviche, fiery hot salsa and seafood salad. A brief tour of the shopping district where Amanda found some amazing locally designer clothes that came in useful for the rest of the trip.

Huatulco, in the Oaxaca Province, is still our favorite place in Mexico - no hassling, with an ecology designation.  The catamaran trip to the nine beautiful, pristine bays was a treat. We swam amongst little stingrays leaping through the air in the warmest of water.  

Puntarenas, Costa Rica - we took a trip into the forest for a zip line tour in the treetops. It was a BC company running the facility.  Aside from a few folks who froze when they were up there - it was a really exhilarating experience.


Off to the Canal (& Cristobal) - which is a wonder that you need to see, despite it being a make work project for the locals! Of course it is hot - really hot so deck time is limited by your capacity to stand it. The on board talks were great as was the reams of information available on the canal. What engineer could not really be enthralled?

Bridge of the Americas

At Cristobal we were not allowed to visit the city due to the existing high crime rate, instead the Pier was converted into a tourist shopping mall.


Aruba was a stop we enjoyed - very small but we found a bar with killer Mohitos.  It is a pretty little place and the state park (donated by a resident) was very informative about the impact of introduced species (like pythons) to a sensitive ecology. 

Downtown Aruba

Baby Beach
State Park

Fort Lauderdale was our landing port, and we hit it a day before the Miami Super Bowl.  We stayed at Venice Beach, which we found was inundated with Quebecois. We found a great bar on the beach, parked ourselves on their patio and watched the Super Bowl with a dozen very large chicken drumsticks (I swear these chickens were on steroids!), a bucket of beer and watched the big game in style. 

Home to Vancouver the next day to a blast of frigid winter air.

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