Day 64 - October 5th

Mitch's last day so we better make the most of it! Mitch recognized that he hadn't really explored the downtown yet, so we went in search of big buildings. After the classic pancake breakfast at the hostel (which is getting less appealing by the day), we headed out to the Hard Rock Hotel as our first destination. We explored around and made our way to the infinity pool and saw the sites of a fancy place we can't afford.  The 62nd floor of the Hard Rock has a rooftop bar, but it doesn't open til 7. Maybe we'll be back later.  We went down to the mall attached to the hotel and found a casino. In classic Dave and Mitch fashion, we had to go down to the blackjack tables - can't really afford not to when it's $2.  We both left up 15 or 20 bucks so we splurged on hot dogs in the food court. What a life we lead.  We walked over toward the waterfront in hopes of going to the top of a tall building for a view. Unsuccessful, we went to the Hilton beside it. Again, we explored its rooftop pool and even the fanciest hotel suite which was on the 27th floor overlooking the city - must be like $2000 per night or something...it was massive! It's always kinda cool to see things rich people can afford even if you're a stinky backpacker. Below was another casino, so again we played a couple hands - not so lucky this time, but at least we got free beer. Next, we took a cab to the Trump tower...the tallest building in the city. We must be able to get to the top of that one, right? Wrong!  But the Trump definitely had the nicest infinity pool of them all. 10/10, would definitely swim there. No railings or anything, just open to the edge of the building 20 floors up. Unfortunately, they wouldn't let us have a beer and sit poolside without being guests. Too bad. Our next destination was the fish market which we heard was really cool - we didn't realize it was closed until we were already out of the taxi though, so that one was kind of a bust. Looked like it would have been neat whenever it's normally open. Took another taxi back to the hostel and got there around 5:00pm to meet up with Estelle to go for a picnic like we'd planned. We were getting pretty good at taking taxis in Panama City now - the most we paid for any cab was $3 anywhere in the city. Not too shabby compared to the $20-30 cab rides it would have cost in any North American city. Once back we chilled out for a bit and headed out with the 4 of us (Mitch, Trevor, Dave and Estelle) in search of food and booze and a nice picnic spot.  We didn't make it too far before hopping on an unmarked bus playing super loud music with LED lights and  tons of people - we had no idea where it was headed, so we just had a blast and stood up dancing in this bus like idiots. when we got off, I don't even think we paid - so funny! We found a grocery store where we picked up the essentials: bread, cheese, meat and wine. Perfecto. By this time it was already dark, but oh well. We walked along and the neighbourhood got increasingly sketchy as we were trying to find out way to the boardwalk along the waterfront. At one point, a lady pulled Estelle aside and said in Spanish to "get out of this area, you might get killed"....so we hopped in a cab. It didn't really seem dangerous, but when a local tell you to take caution we listen. The cab driver assured us that was the right move - guess we really were in a bad neighbourhood. Oops - stupid gringos! The cab driver was awesome and drove us to a safe spot along the water where we had out little picnic while everyone around us was fit and running and biking - I guess it's too hot during the day to really do activity so everyone waits until the sun goes down. After an hour or so, we finished out food and 2 bottles of white wine and walked over to the rooftop bar at the Hard Rock we'd tried to visit earlier in the day. It was awesome. The views were spectacular and there was crazy lightening in the distance which made for an epic looking cityscape. It was a good time. The only caveat was the drink prices so we eventually headed out to Luna's Castle hostel back in old town Casco Viejo where we'd been for Mitch's first night in the city. It was good time - not nearly as bumpin' as it was on Thursday, but we got to chat and hang out and have what was realistically one too many beers before getting kicked out at 1:00am when we were forced to leave with our beers in plastic cups to find another place to drink. We found a nice little open-air restaurant that was closed and went in - it was overlooking the ocean and the city. Not a bad view at all....it's been a good day for that. We got a cab and were back at the hostel by 2:00 where we all pounded some waters into us and called it a night.  I'm sure Mitch will have a fun morning to catch his early flight haha.






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