These are eight, random "Daily Photographs" from my personal Flickr collection.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Panama: The Miraflores Locks

Day 5 - Panama

Day 5 - Earlier this summer, we had seriously considered booking a cruise from Vancouver to Florida. At the end of the Alaskan cruise season, Holland America always has a few ships to transition to a Caribbean winter schedule. They travel through the Panama Canal; however, after scrutinizing the itineraries, we found they do not make a port of call here. We figured we could, instead, squeeze in an entire week's stay in Panama in October. Hence, I'm typing this from Panama City right now.

We have already had the chance to see the amazing urban environment. The first set of locks for the canal are really close to the city itself, so today we went to the Miraflores Visitors' Center.

Day 5 - Panama

We got going about an hour earlier than has been the norm. Apparently, the ships generally enter or exit here early in the mornings or late afternoons. We didn't make it for the 6 o'clock cruise ship. Actually, we took the subway out to Albrook but couldn't find where the exact bus left. So, we paid $10 for a taxi to take us at around 9:30 AM.

Day 5 - Panama
Day 5 - Panama

After looking around on the decks, watching the intro movie in both Spanish and later in English, and looking through the museum, we found that a ship at 3 PM might be a little too late. I guess we'd already gotten our value for the $20 each for the tickets. It was enough to see the location and get a feeling for where Panama City lies in proximity to the beginning of the canal. Perhaps the next time, we can see all the locks as well as the lake, and both oceans from onboard a cruise ship.

We did wait just a few minutes for the Metro bus which brought us back to Albrook Mall for lunch. In the evening, we just walked around close to our section of Vía España.


Monday, October 15, 2018

Panama: Bahá'í Temple and Cinta Costera

Day 4 - Panama
Day 4 - Panama
Day 4 - Panama

Day 4 - We first entered a Bahá'í House of Faith in the 1990's. There are seven or eight major temples around the world and we entered the Lotus-shaped Temple in New Delhi, India. Today, we visited another. We'd read that the one commerated in 1972 in Panama was a pleasant place to view Panama City. Getting there was really easy as it is the exact last stop on Line 1 of the Metro system. We arrived at the hill about about 10:30 AM. There was a sign about a free shuttle service at that time, but we started walking, thinking it couldn't be too much of a hill. Fortunately, the shuttle did come and ask if we wanted a lift up the hill and we took it. What a restful place! After a time or two, we walked down the 1.5 or 2 kilometer road. We'd noticed a huge shopping center near one of the stations near the end of the line. That was where we ate lunch.

After our nap, we headed down to the coastal park and Balboa Avenue. The land reclamation area was completed in 2009, or so Wikipedia says. It is a perfect place to jog, bike, or simple stroll. We strolled as the evening turned to dusk. The huge apartments looking at the bay sure looked inviting. Panama actively tries to attract retirees. I don't think we have enough cash for one of the prime 60-storey towers. However, if we had big bucks ...

Day 4 - Panama
Day 4 - Panama
Day 4 - Panama


Sunday, October 14, 2018

Panama: Back to Casco Antiguo

Day 3 - Panama
Day 3 - Panama

Day 3 - As we have a whole week in Panama City, we decided to retrace a few steps. The weather looked if-y and it played out by raining a bit, then the sun came out, repeat.

We again took the subway to Station 15 de Mayo and struck out for the Old Town. Yesterday, we'd only gotten to the edge of it. We stopped at the famous spots such as Plaza Simon Bolivar, Plaza de Francia and the Plaza Catedral.

I liked the late 15th Century, La Iglesia de la Merced, for all the icons and original wooden poles supporting the roof.

Day 3 - Panama
Day 3 - Panama

We walked backed to the subway by El Chorrillo and Santa Ana. If you're a seasoned traveller, you can easily ignore the advice about staying away from the area due to it being dangerous. We were fine and saw a bit of life not visible from the comfort of the shopping mega-malls.

Day 3 - Panama


Saturday, October 13, 2018

Panama: Figuring Out Directions

Day 2 - I couldn't believe it was time to get up this morning. Jay said it was after 8 o'clock and hinted that I should get my ass out of bed. The request (demand) didn't seem time sensitive though as the Holiday Inn Express buffet breakfast runs from 6 to 10 AM. We got downstairs by quarter to nine and filled up.

My phone showed which way we should walk, on the road out front, to find the closest station on the subway. The 'Station Iglisia del Carmen' is a ten-minute walk. The system has just one line open at present but we noticed the above-ground elevated tracks near the airport as Line 2 will run out in that direction.

Day 2 Panama

Day 2 - Panama

We wanted to head from the Financial District towards the water and the old town. So, we bought a single $2 card and added funds to it. The staff showed that it is perfectly acceptable to share a card and just pass back across the turnstiles for additional passengers to enter and exit.

The fare for local travel is 35 cents. We only went a few stops to 'Station 5 de Mayo'. Of course, by accident, we initially walked in the direction opposite to the water. We looked at the street life and all the outside markets. I stopped in one of the many phone stores to buy a USB cord, not for my phone as it uses USB-c but my camera. I brought a wonky cord to Panama and managed only a few photos before my battery died completely. Many of today's pics are from my phone.

The rather odd, highway bridge around old town was closed to traffic as there was some sort of charity race going on. We walked to one point to snap a few photos of the city skyline and then walked just to the edge of Old Town. We figured that deserved a complete day of its own for exploration.

Day 2 - Panama

There was just one stop more in the subway direction and so we went to see the enormous bus station near one really huge maga-mall. Jay just read that it's one of the largest in Latin America. We ate Chinese in the food court there. We do the things that locals do. As it was Saturday, it seems like everybody in town was in this mall.

Day 2 - Panama

It's only 5:30 and we had a short nap already. My MiBand says we've already walked 10.4 kilometers. My Keen sandals seem to be losing their arch support, and maybe before we go away for the winter, I'll need to get another pair.

I think I like Panama City, although a little work could be done on the sidewalks. I said the same thing about George Town, Penang, Malaysia once, and we ended up spending most of last winter there. Hum? A harbinger, he wonders.


Friday, October 12, 2018

Panama: First Glimpse

Day 1 - Panama

Day 1 - At midnight we were probably over Washington State but by 7:00 AM Central, we were in the airport in Mexico City. We did have to enter the country to make our connecting flight. There was quite a queue but the process was easy. Our initial flight was full but the flight to Panama City was less crowded. It left on time and got here at 1:30 PM, about fifteen minutes early.

Day 1 - Panama

Day 1 - PanamaWe had planned on trying to take a municipal bus from the airport rather than spending the big bucks on an airport taxi. Our hotel wanted to charge $25 each. We had looked up some info online and found the way to go. Weirdly, the bus passes are not for sale at the airport, so people generally ask someone waiting to swipe them through and give cash to the helpful stranger. We were going to and did get way out to the road. From along the bus stop, a taxi guy promised to take us right to the Holiday Inn Express in the Financial District for $9 each. It sounded easier and we took him up on his offer. It was about 45 minutes as traffic was slow once we hit the city.

The hotel is great and much more than we'd get for our money at a similar hotel in the US. We were really tired and so after checking in, we unpacked and had a little nap.

The only sights we've taken in are around our hotel. We actually ate at a Subway down the street. It gets dark pretty early and is completely dark at 6:45 PM.


Thursday, October 11, 2018

Flights AM 673 / 624

There's an entire tagged category on this blog entitled, flying. Often when we're crossing the Pacific, in part due to the International Date Line, we spend an entire day aboard an aircraft. This afternoon, I really didn't need to use the same category, for we don't head towards YVR until 8:00 tonight.

Aeromexico

We had time for a relaxing day puttering around. Our first flight leaves for Mexico City at around 11:30. We then have to wait a couple of hours to get on our Panama flight. We don't get into Tocumen until Saturday afternoon. We've never flown through Mexico before but it makes a whole lot of sense. Flying through the US nowadays is a real chore and quite a hassle.


Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Dusting Off a Photo After Seven Years

A day or two before we headed to Cuba last month, I remember looking for personal photos which may have been taken geographically closest to that point. For Cuba, the nearest came from a trip to Florida.

Now, we have a few upcoming flights on Aeroméxico. In fact, I found my backpack and spent a few minutes filling it this afternoon. We leave tomorrow night for a week in Panama City, Panama. So, I tried doing the same and believe I found one. This was taken in San José, Costa Rica in 2011. That was the year we did a bit of a backpacker-type bus tour around Central America. Having skipped Panama at the time, it is now time for a view of that country.

San Jose, Costa Rica

This is why I would have been very sad if I had lost my Flickr account in a recent scare. Being able to do a quick search of personal photos seems invaluable.


Tuesday, October 09, 2018

Personal Quote #134

"Scroll way up in this thread to see my views."
Dennis Sylvester Hurd (1959- )

Thread

Sometimes I hear the stuff I say, or read things I write, and I stop. I realize my college-aged self wouldn't have a clue. Perhaps I should start capturing some of these.


Monday, October 08, 2018

Not Your Dad's Hot Rod


It is a wonder that internal combustion engines have stayed around so long. They've had more than a century of evolution and refinement. Still, as a means of propulsion, they are complex, expensive, and dirty. I look forward to giving up outdated technology in the spring with the purchase of an EV!


Sunday, October 07, 2018

Giving Thanks

Richmond

The Bird

Having Canadian Thanksgiving with friends in Richmond is a tradition for us.

This evening we went to the land of feral bunnies and had another great big turkey. This year Jiwan was back in Nepal but we did our best to eat his portion as well. The bubbly was especially bubbly this evening.

Thanks, gentlemen for filling us with a great feast.

The Table

Peps


Saturday, October 06, 2018

The Canadian Thanksgiving Long Weekend

2018_10_6

Saturday mornings are usually reserved for grocery shopping, and today was no different. Yet, the fact that today was the beginning of the long weekend made it special. The place was crowded with people still clinging to paper shopping lists. It seems not everybody does everything on their phones! I guess to replicate grandma's favourite recipe, we need to buy a lot of things which aren't already in the house.

I do love the placement of all those seasonal items at this time of year. The big bins of late produce from the Okanagan region help make is seem like celebrating the harvest is truly necessary.

Our tradition is to pig out with friends in Richmond. Shinji and Ed always put on one hell of a feast. That'll take place tomorrow. I think I'll skip tonight's dinner ...

Pre-jackolantern


Friday, October 05, 2018

The Devil's in the Details

There's a dearth of information about the vehicle I'm hoping to drive away from the dealership in mid-April. A Hyundai Kona EV is a sweet, little, front-wheel drive, compact-SUV capable of 415 kilometers on a single charge.

I've been promised that one will be produced with my name on it, as my Canadian deposit was accepted during July. More accurately, I've been told, they'll assign a VIN to me during the manufacturing process. They should make mine around the end of the year.

Kona EV Owner's Manual

A lot of things can be uncovered for those with the patience and Internet skills to look. For example, by clicking on the thumbnail above, you will see a copy of the Hyundai EV owner's manual which is safe in my Dropbox. Hyundai remains rather tightlipped about the production numbers of the new, well-received vehicle. It's pretty obvious they cannot keep up with the demand shown in foreign markets.

I feel rather safe as I've left the original plus an additional hefty deposit. We won't be back from winter in SE Asia until April 2019. So, if things slip a bit, I should still be sitting pretty in the spring. I feel like I've had a tiny head start with my Kona EV because I've been able to read the manual. That is a bit more useful than the official Hyundai websites.


Thursday, October 04, 2018

From the Roof of the Royal City Centre

Uptown New Westminster

It was cold last night, very cold. It probably didn't get to the freezing point, but it was about 2°C when we got up.

However, the temperature seemed like a small price to pay for the chance to see our blue, September sky. Just going to the mall turned into a pleasant experience, especially if one parks on the roof of the Royal City Centre. If it stays this nice over the next few days, I will have to take out the Nikon to show our lovely city in its autumn attire.

Uptown New Westminster


Wednesday, October 03, 2018

Precious Memory and Memories

When I grew up, computer memory was a precious resource. I bought a Radio Shack TRS-80 during the summer between high school and college. It came with 4KB of DRAM.

So now, each time I buy memory storage, I'm a bit amazed by the increasing amount and continually falling price.

2018_10_03

I'm serious about backing up many of my key, Flickr albums locally. It is taking a while to have the service create ZIP files. Then I have to download, rename, and copy them. However, doing so will give peace of mind which seems worth the effort.


Tuesday, October 02, 2018

A Photo with Words is Worth Much More

Now that my photos are back online as mentioned yesterday, I am making efforts to get the important albums copied to a local storage.

However, pictures alone seldom tell a very good story. That is why I've been blogging for about the same number of years as digital photography has been in general use. I do find that my most riveting entries occur when on vacations. Perhaps it is because I have something to say and the images add to the story. In fact, that type of entry is usually more interesting than when I'm at home simply expressing my views about something.

Just an Ordinary Tuesday

So, although today included nothing special, I shall simply recount a trip uptown this morning. People generally take photos of celebrations and events; however, that means no attention is given to our normal realities. This posting will be a fun to look back on some day in the distant future. It was just a normal Tuesday.

Lately, Jay has been going to the gym only on Mondays, Wednesday, and Fridays. Therefore, we usually do small, local errands on the other weekdays. This morning was pretty mundane but here are some pictures and text explaining it.

We started by going down to the parking levels of the apartments and brought along the recycling to drop off as we exit our condo complex. My tired, old truck has had the same spot for the 20 years we've been here.

Just an Ordinary Tuesday

Just an Ordinary Tuesday

We had to stop at our bank first. We wanted to take some $US dollars out of an account to take to Panama next week because it's the legal currency. The weather was blustery this morning and it felt like fall. As we drove the leaves danced across the roads attempting to avoid being crushed. A promised storm never arrived, in fact, the afternoon turned very pleasant.

Just an Ordinary Tuesday

Just an Ordinary Tuesday

Our only other errand was to pick up a few things at the Walmart. I always park on the roof of the shopping centre and generally find it almost empty. There's an elevator which takes one right to the grocery area of the store. Surprisingly a new Winners store officially opened in the mall today. They've been getting the space ready for forever. The generally rather sleepy place was full of folks checking out the new branch of the Canadian retailer.

Just an Ordinary Tuesday

After walking the length of the mall, we returned to the Walmart, picked up a few groceries, and drove back downtown to our apartment.

Just an Ordinary Tuesday

Just an Ordinary Tuesday

Just an Ordinary Tuesday

Just an Ordinary Tuesday


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