We disembarked from the cruise ship Symphony in Panama to more wonderful local music.
We could see plenty of ships getting ready to enter the canal.
We had rented a car to drive to the other side of the country for our standby flights out of Panama City. Although there is a train that goes across, it was not going at the right time for us. But it gave us a chance to see some of the sights better along the way.
Here is the airport, which has a nice restaurant upstairs.
And we were off! It’s always nice when those standby seats are available for two of us at once!
Our next stop in Jamaica was on a beach where we awaited our boat to go snorkeling. It was certainly a beautiful area, and this is Paul sitting with our wonderful driver, Ainsworth. We booked him and all our excursions each day–snorkeling, touring the Blue Hole, etc.–on our own, not through the cruise packages. It was much cheaper this way and provided more variety. It really isn’t terribly expensive to hire a driver or boat for the day or half a day if you prefer.
Our boat arrived and off we went for another fun snorkeling adventure!
Then Ainsworth took us to a special place for the best Jamaican lunch ever–jerk chicken, pak festival (similar to a hush puppy), fried plantains. Delicious!
We also had an opportunity to sample various flavors of Jamaican rum.
This was my favorite. They call it “BTB” — “Better Than Bailey’s.”
We also wandered about town a little and saw the colors of Jamaica.
We arrived at the beautiful “Blue Hole” high in the hills of Jamaica and were eager to explore it.
When you arrive a guide is assigned to help you navigate the rocks, pathways and waterfalls. Ours was Morgan, and we had a lot of fun with him.
He pointed out some of the activities we would be enjoying shortly, like working our way down this rope. I wasn’t so sure about trying that.
But Paul did.
I did follow Paul through this tunnel that comes out in the middle of the waterfall. It was crazy!
And I took hold of the rope to swing out over the water, but I think I let go so quickly that they weren’t able to get a photo (after all these years of piano playing, my arms still aren’t very strong).
Over all it was really fun, and we were glad we got to see this beautiful area that few tourists see.