Monday, March 5, 2012


I had an amazing time in Panama and I'm so thankful for the people who made it happen. Thanks to husband deployed unit who is "seeing the world" with the Navy, so I can see the world with triathlon. Mucho gracious to my "Panamanian" friend Brendan who told me about the race last year and who hosted me for a week! I had a great trip thanks to him. And thanks again to my coach Brian [triathlon lifestyle coaching] and ART guru Matt [CRAC San Diego] for getting me to the start line. The rest was up to me and getting to that finish line proved to be harder than I thought.

Congrats to [pro triathlete] Haley for a great race in almost all borrowed gear! Her bike made the trip, but her bag ended up lost [and found in San Jose, after the trip of course.] Brian also coaches her, and we hadn't met till Panama!

After the race I took a tour with Brendan's guide friend and 6 very unique tourists. We took the Panama Canal Train from the Pacific [southern, weird I know] side to the northern, Atlantic side. The train was gorgeous [albeit Freezing with AC blasting] and it weaved through the canal, lakes and jungle. We arrived and our tour guide Kevin picked us up in the van and we headed out into what was the increasingly common crazy Panamanian drivers and traffic.
pretty painting on the inside of the train
Arrived at our breakfast location.

And headed out for a snorkeling adventure. Sadness is the broken underwater camera. Greatness is the warm Atlantic waters and private beach and some beautiful fish and coral.

 Pictures from Portobelo.

2 cannons were stolen the week before we came. a) who steals a rusty old cannon? b) for what use? c) how did they manage to lift it out of this area?

Returned for another delicious meal and we were off to the old Spanish fort town Portobelo for our history lesson and black Jesus viewing. Growing up in Northern Minnesota, I've only ever thought of Jesus as the pale white guy on the cross. That is until my high school bf's dad designed and crafted the amazing "Living Christ" crucifix out of his medium of choice, Bronze. [see below] Back to Panama, every October 21st, people journey to this town. They take black Jesus out of his case, dress him in this amazing gown that one of the towns ladies works on the entire year [we saw her sewing when we were there; in Feb.] and crawl on their hands and knees and return black Jesus to his tomb in the church.
the living Christ, St. Joseph's Church, Grand Rapids, MN
El Cristo Negro
Saw some kids playing in the streets. Apparently practicing for Carnival. Really they were just whipping each other.

Saw a monkey on a chain too. At the mayer's house. I don't think it liked me taking the video. [as I run away from a chained monkey, lol]

After the tour we headed back down to the city. My fellow tourists were a very eclectic mix of people and made the trip much more enjoyable.  The following day Brendan took me to the old part of Panama which I'll save for another post.

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