This morning’s adventure in Panama was a trip to the Amador Causeway to see the Pacific Ocean up close and also view the traffic on the Panama Canal. After a cab ride out to the general area (note: speaking better Spanish really would have helped on this trip, even though the majority of the folks we’ve met speak some English) we wandered around for a bit before happening upon a bicycle rental facility. Since walking was hot and tiring we decided that maybe biking would be better. We were right.
The Amador Causeway runs for five kilometers from the mainland out into the Pacific, connecting a few small islands together. It also offers a flat, easy path for cyclists and pedestrians. There is a Smithsonian museum on one of the islands and marinas, restaurants, hotels and shops all along the way. Between those, however, is a serene, beautiful ride out into the ocean.
We made it out to the end of the causeway and stopped for some lunch and then made our way back in, enjoying the views of the fishermen at work:
The causeway also marks the Pacific Ocean entrance to the canal, so there were many, many ships about, waiting their turn to enter the canal. For a facility that is so busy I was surprised at how slowly it seemed the ships passed through. We only saw one actually moving through the canal in the couple hours we were out there.
Also visible from the Causeway is the Bridge of the Americas, built in the 60s to connect North and South America across the canal. It is ridiculously high to accommodate the ships that pass under it, and if this afternoon is any indication, it is always jam packed with traffic.
In a strange and outright baffling display of geography, the bridge is actually backwards, sortof. A person driving from North America to South America would actually be headed vaguely North when they pass over it. So the crossing from North to South actually requires going north. Don’t believe me? Check out the map (North America is on the left and South America is on the right). It really is baffling and completely worth seeing in person.
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