Panama City, Panama(cont’d)-Part 3-Breakfast and off to the see the sights
Before we ventured out to see the sights, we ate a really good buffet breakfast at the Panama City, Panama, Marriott hotel. The continental buffet was $13.50 and the full buffet was $16.50.
We stuffed ourselves for breakfast–after all, it was a buffet! The plan on this day was to first visit the Panama Canal and then see different segments of the city as time permits. I had read on the internet, that if you ask the doorman the price of a taxi to anyplace, they will try to up-sell you a tour package, or charge you more than you would pay if you found your own taxi.
I asked the doorman for the price to the Canal and he said $20. BTW, the official currency in Panama is the U.S. Dollar which makes it easy. Anyway, I knew the $20 price was high based on my research. So, we went across the street and waited until a decent looking taxi stopped. He had a Jesus decal on his window so I figured he was safe. He introduced himself as Alberto and said $6 to the Canal. A good deal, so we took it.
Alberto did not speak English and spoke that fast Panama Spanish, which gave me some really good practice, and a really good headache. Good thing I had done some research before the trip because when he spoke of some places I was already familiar with, I was able to understand him.
Alberto wanted to up sell us on a couple of side trips, such as show us the view of the city from the mountain, etc, etc. for $20 for 2 hours including the ride to the Canal. At first, I said no, but Steph said, “for only $14 more, we can see some sights with Alberto that we might be paying extra for later”. So, we took him up on the offer and were really glad we did.
We ended up hiring him for 6 hours and saw sights we never would have been able to see. Otherwise, we would have been piece-mealing a bunch of little trips together, and would have wasted time. He turned out to be a great hire and a great use of our limited time.
Next-part 4-The skyline of Panama City