07 November 2023 Panama City
In search of community
“Adventure before dementia”Susie (71) and Ric (73)
“Travel is my therapy”Anonymous
“Travelling simply to simply travel”VJC
Naturally awake at 6:30 am. My room at Hotel Casa Miller has a kitchenette so a perfect opportunity to use some of those sachets of coffee I have collected along the way (along with mini soap bars and shower caps). I would prefer ‘real’ coffee but I am happy to work with what I have, and not suffer for what I don’t have.
One might say that coffee in bed with my laptop is wasting time. Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn’t. Sometimes it is, consciously or not, avoiding engaging with the world; and sometimes it is an act of self-care.
I picked up a pastry and donut from a nearby shop which worked well as a late breakfast.
I have nothing planned for today, I did, but not now. I originally thought that I would take the train from Panama Canal station on the Pacific coast to Colón station on the Caribbean coast but for various reasons this service is not running now. My understanding is that it was once a commuter service with one or two trains in the morning returning in the evening. Now, when the service runs, it is a tourist service with tickets starting at US$22 each way. As I am writing this blog (a little behind on November 14) I have just read a review of the Canal train that is far from complementary. I am glad that I didn’t waste my money on another seemingly disappointing train ride.
I took to the hotel roof garden to catch up on digital demands like emails and paying bills remotely… and to do a little fantasy travel planning… which is how I got here in the first place!
It is Tuesday so that means two things. Firstly, there will be a new episode of the competitive ‘Bake Off’ cooking TV show later; and secondly – and no less importantly – there is a Zoom ‘meet & meditate’ with my fellow students of the secular dharma course (taught by Stephen and Martine Batchelor, and Bernat Font) I sat over the course of a year, a little while ago.
This regular online community meeting, along with ‘Sit-and-Share’ meetings (when I can make them), and a Bodhi College study group are very interesting and supportive. I am only just starting to appreciate how beneficial it is for my mental well-being; they help combat loneliness and aloneness. Also, in attending these different sessions, I am not just turning up for myself but I am turning up for the other attendees too… it’s a two-way street.
It rained in the afternoon, providing another opportunity to do nothing.
When the rain stopped, I took a walk towards the seaside, as it were, with the intention of treating myself to a fish supper at a seemingly well-to-do restaurant. Along the way, I found myself at the Mercado de Mariscos; a collection of a couple of dozen seafood restaurants all under one roof. There was no need for me to walk any further! It was a difficult choice to decide which restaurant to eat at and what to eat. I ended up at ‘La Promesa’ and ordered a big bowl of Fish Soup which was quite enough for me.
Back at the Hotel Casa Miller it was time to catch up with the latest episode of ‘Bake off’ and an early night.
- Pastry & Donut € 2
- Fish Soup + Soda € 11
- Hotel Casa Miller booked through Booking.com € 42 per night no breakfast