I really enjoyed Playa Venao, but it was now time to ride to the big city of Panama City. But first I would stop at another beach I circled as a highlight – Playa Blanca.
Leaving Playa Venao
I said goodbye to my bat twitching on the floor of my hostel and started into the country roads of Panama. Country roads are the best to ride on for me. Quiet, pavement, small little towns, all very nice. Once I got to Chitre then it was back onto the highways again until Playa Blanca.
Once again I booked a hostel. This time Hostal Acuarela at Playa Blanca.
It was a small hostel owned by a young beautiful Venezuelan women. It just so happened that her father was visiting her from Venezuela. I took advantage of their expertise to see if I could ride into Venezuela. They advised that the border from Colombia was closed to vehicles right now and that it would be very dangerous to be riding through the country. I asked about flying into Caracas. They said that should be OK.
After settling in, I walked over to the Restaurante Pipas.
A very cool restaurant and entertainment venue right on the beach. A great place to just sit and enjoy the sun and beach.
Walking back to my hostel along the sand road, I encountered some kids riding their horses and just fooling around.
The next day I took off for Panama City. Panama City is like nothing I have encountered in Central America. The place was huge with towering thin skyscrapers.
While most of the building with simply thin towers. There were a couple architectural marvels.
One of the buildings has now become the iconic building for the city – the F&F Tower.
It is really hard to take your eyes off of it as you walk around the city. It just captures your attention.
Here is some info on it I got from the Alluring World website:
The F&F Tower, previously was known as the Revolutionary Tower, is an office building located in the capital city of Panama, Panama City. The initial concept of the tower has been only a theoretical idea based on rotating geometry and a prism.
However, this experiment was undertaken in the studio, and has been observed by the prospective client who wished to appropriate the design for their own office tower. The tower is located on a prominent commercial street in the capital, which is know as the bank district.
One of the major problems for the designers to ensure the iconic status and success for the tower has been the budget of only $50 million, there were also underground wells that have been troubling the designers.
Nevertheless, it got its iconic appearance. It has a concrete structure, where the upper 39 floors rotate around a central axis, representing something like helis, and as it allows each floor to rotate nine degrees from the floor below it creates four small balconies for each office floor. The first 13 floors are actually a parking garages.
The architects are Pinzón Lozano & Asociados, who had an excellent idea how to make something to function in a reality. The official start of the construction began in 2008 and it was completed in 2011. The tower is 243 meters tall (797 feet), with total area space of 60,759 square meters (653,939 square foot), allocated on 52 floors (plus 4 floors underground).
There are many complaints lately that the tower is leaning, it is going to fall down…
I sure hope not!
Hostal Entre 2 Aguas
For the first part of my stay in Panama City I stayed at the Hostal Entre 2 Aguas.
The next two days would be busy taking a tour of the Panama Canal and San Blas islands. Stay tuned.