Panama City, Panama (1) – The Canal and Miraflores Locks
The decision to visit Panama City was due to our childhood fascination of the Panama Canal. Naturally, it is the first post of our adventure in this Central American city.
Stretching about 80 KM in a north/south direction, Panama City sits on the Pacific side on the south. The Miraflores Locks is located about 15 kms north of the city by Camino de Cruces National Park. On planning this trip, it looked like the only way to get to the Locks was by Uber, Taxi or Tour Group. However, with Rod’s smart planning, we were able to use the public system ($1.60 return each) and got there with no issues.
I don’t know why, but I thought there would be a line-up of ships waiting to go through the locks. However, it was about a two hour wait before we were to witness the slow procedure. Good thing there was an excellent museum and restaurant that allowed us to pass the time in comfort and out of the +35C degree heat.
Looking to the north
Looking at the center of the Locks. You can see the different heights of the water.
Looking south. Panama City is located to the left of this photo.
Eastern coastline. The Locks are located to the left of this photo.
A huge neo-Panamax ship passes through a third wider lock. This expanded canal was created to allow transit of larger ships that carry more cargo.
We finally get to see the procedure of a ship passing through.
You’ll notice the change in water level from the previous photo.
The captain does not navigate through this. It was run by two railed vehicles on both sides. You can see the tethered ropes guiding it through.
The precious cargo
Heading south. Who knows where the destination would be.
It was about 30 minutes from the first photo to the last photo