Friday, April 24, 2009


Shopping in Panama City

Panama City is a favored shopping destination for cruisers. Here, we can find all sorts of manufactured goods that we've done without, sometimes for years as in our case!

A typical trip to the market, marine supply store, or even a mall, begins with a dinghy ride into the little harbor from where our boat is anchored. Then, depending on tide - which can be as much as 18 feet - there may be a steep climb up to the plaza. Here I am making the trek at low tide. At high tide, this ramp is almost horizontal.

Next, comes a short walk out to the main street to pick up a bus (25 cents) or a taxi ($4) for a ride to the nearest stores. Along the way we may even spot a sloth up in a tree. Here's a photo of a mommy sloth with her baby dangling from her like a limp teddy bear. Look closely...that appendage is a head and a arm of the baby. Yep. These guys move really s-l-o-w-l-y if at all. I can't belive how slowly they move each limb.

Once at the stores, you have to be careful about what you buy. Like SIP. Would you name a washing detergent "sip"? Especially when it comes in lime flavor/scent?
But for the most part, we actually recognize the brand names because they are the same as back in the states. What fun! It sure makes it easier to shop too. This was not the case in the other Central American countries - it as mostly local brands.

Over at the giant Albrook Mall we can walk all day and still not see it all. On a Saturday, the place is packed with families. The sounds of the carousel, which runs continuously, fills the halls of the mall. The cleanliness, bright lights and colors are a stark contrast to the grimy concrete apartment buildings of the city.

Here, you can buy a tee-shirt with your favorite hero - Bob Marley or Obama? Yep, Obama is much admired throughout Panama and is one of the favorite topics of discussion from the taxi drivers or other local folks we meet.

Huh? What is up with the female mannequins? Really, these buxom babes are all over the mall. I just don't get it. These are used in the windows to display even conservative clothing. Some of the stores cover up the pointy areas. Maybe they were on sale at the mannequin store or something?

After a long day of being consumers again, we limp back to the little harbor and the dinghy dock. At the plaza above the dock there are often other cruisers hanging out and sometimes playing music. But, soon we need to find our dinghy, scramble over all

the other dinghys, toss packages in and zoom out to the Niki Wiki.'s knitting time....

That mannequin is sooo funny. She looks almost ready to topple over.
Great post, one question... who watches your boat while you are on land?
Gee, never saw a dingy pile up. The mannequin is just too funny. It had to be a clearance sale fur sure
Too Sexy... ha ha.. ooh.. don't sip the soap. A new slogan for tourists... :) Great post.
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