Reaching Panama was a milestone in the journey. Undoubtedly the most difficult point of the tour. While we waited in Panama City from the heights of the house of Fede and Maria, Catire was still overcoming obstacles. He traveled in a Colombian low cost who did not want to let him board because he had no return ticket. Although he gave all the papers that showed the kombi was going by boat, there was no case. He had to make a fake reservation. Which of course he did not pay. At noon on Friday, when we went down after a dip to placate the Panamanian hit on the 51st floor (!) where the vertigo pool was he appeared tired but triumphant. The kombi would arrive the next day but we had to wait till Monday could to go and get it. A bit later. Tata and Juan Dodero, Catire fellow faculty who he did not see since 20 years ago, picked us up to go and visit the Panama channel. We also went with Juan’s parents and his brother Quique who were visiting and their three children. We invaded the facilities of this impressive feat of engineering linking the two oceans. The work was began by the French who could not find the way, after the Americans designed the system of locks that pushes the boats up and down through water stairs. Its been a short while that Panama is the owner and manager and there are still many traces of the years when the United States operated. We saw huge cargo ships passing paying fortunes for using this path of just over 80 km. The museum tells you the story and let you become a boat captain. The kids learned a lot. Sigue leyendo
Bogota received us with a very fresh weather. Colombian people say that their country is divided in cold and hot areas. Seasons do not exist. In any case there are rainy seasons alternating with dry seasons, although it seems that the phenomenon of El niño was somehow upsetting everything. We arrived by night but quite well thanks to the explanations of Manu and indications of several people that were leading us down the road. As a wonderful welcome we were received with an splendid meal: ajiaco bogotano, a chicken soup with various types of potatoes, cream and capers. The Perrota-Mazzinni family has been living in Bogotá for almost two years. Three boys for Dimas’ joy, paper boards on the walls, “atrapasueños” … a creative and cheerful home. We did not know them personally but we were friends instantly and we expect to meet them again. With a splendid pic-nic we visited the Botanical Garden full of roses, sweet magnolias, tropical trees, huge palm trees, lakes and bridges. We discovered the monumental Salt Cathedral in Zipaquira, a church and a Via Crucis sculpted 200 mt underground in a huge salt mine.