Just as we were about to leave yesterday morning, the sky decided to open up and there was a downpour. So, we waited it out with a maca chocolate experiment concoction, which tasted delicious and remarkaby like caramel .. & then shortly, as usual, it cleared up.. and off we went.
..against a warning not to go to this part of town. Now there are definitely parts of Panama that you do not want to go into looking lke a gringo and not speaking Spanish, and these parts can be quite close to the safe areas, so you really have to be careful. But we decided to go to Central Ave anyway.. just stay off the side streets.
One thing thats good to know when driving there is that it is wise to give someone money to watch your car for you. Parking is free everywhere in Panama, but somtimes you have to pay a local guy off to watch your car for you. We gave this guy, its clear to know who he is, 1$ after we got out & locked up.. and another dollar, which was not really necessary but much appreciated, when we came back. (however, the locals would not be happy with us upping the usual cost and we probably could have given him 50 cents and been fine, maybe.)
It's seriously high security around here - even the condo I am staying in has a 24 hour guy at front who unlocks the door for you & on our door, on the 10th floor, there are 2 doors, both with locks.. several ones on the inside door and a surveillance camera peep hole.
But.. this is Central Ave.. (btw, I am loving speaking the very little bit of Spanish I know, and am really inspired to learn the language now!! - It is very helpful to know, many people here do not know English)
This area we were esp. told to be very careful in.. a long long row of side by side vendors running through several blocks..
I barely dared take my camera out - except asked these people where I bought some Aloe Vera..
This was across the alley, at the end of the row of vendors.. and I really wanted a picture of the voodoo-santeria-occult shop next door, which they said No to. It was incredible - the biggest esoteric shop I have seen, 4 times as big as any in Toronto, and very interesting things, and accessories, candles, potions, oils and sprays for every spell imaginable!! I bought a great gift from here - I know how to buy souvenirs!! lol