April 24th, 2011, 10:44am (ship time GMT-5)
Docked in Colon
Unfortunately my plans to go see the Panama Canal today have fallen through. My party of fellow adventurers are all too hung over to come and bailed on me this morning, and so I am back at the Cafe Lebanese grabbing some internet before the transatlantic crossing. Ah well, I guess I'll have to check it out next time I am in Panama. The real visitor's center seems to be at the Miraflores locks anyway, on the other side of the isthmus, and that's farther from the ship than I am comfortable with being (not to mention that it is an expensive cab ride).
I thought about going anyway without my companions . . . the taxicabs buzzed around the terminal like flies as I disembarked. I was tempted. However, I've been warned multiple times about traveling in Colon by myself (or at all) and so I decided to play it safe. According to several different travelers' reports (and conversations with friends of mine from Panama (thanks Andre!)), Colon is dangerous even to locals in broad daylight. Not a place that I want to get lost and potentially left behind by the ship.
I will try and make up for this with some pictures tonight of the roadstead outside of Colon. This will probably be more interesting anyway, with the smaller ships anchored nearly stem to stern behind the breakwater and the lights of bigger ships stretching out to the horizon in every direction.
And I can console myself with the fact that I am headed towards the Colosseum. I've heard that it used to be plated with white marble held in place with brass, but the church stripped it later for the stone and all that's left now is the skeleton.
I did my roommate a favor last night. He came home about 4am, and gently shaking me awake explained a certain situation to me. I had the sudden inexplicable urge to take a walk around the ship for about an hour. He was very appreciative; there was an extra pair of shoes in the cabin when I returned, and I doubt Daniel has taken to wearing heels all of a sudden.
The interesting bit of the situation was this morning, though. The phone rang at about 9am; I picked it up (“Christ! For the love of – hello?”) (which reminds me of a joke . . . I'll get to that in a second). There was a woman's voice on the other end. “Is Daniel there?” I handed the phone up to my roommate, who responded in much the same fashion (“Ugh, seriously – hello?”). He then handed it to the woman in his bunk (“Oh, bloody hell – hello?”). After a brief conversation, she handed the phone back to my roommate, who handed it back to me, and I returned it to the hook! I felt like we were in a Marx Brothers movie.