Sunday, July 17, 2011

Panama Canal, June 26

At the start of my trip to South America, I had a five hour layover in Panama City, Panama. What else was I going to do with my time but take an excursion to the world's most famous canal?

Downtown Panama City, seen from the taxi

The abundance of high-rises was somewhat surprising

The cab ride took about 30 minutes (good thing it was a traffic-free Sunday)

Billions of gallons of water keep this bad boy operating

Not surprisingly for a weekend, it was rather busy at the Miraflores Locks (the principal viewing site for the Canal)

An overview of the complex

There are actually two boats in this picture, one in each lane

The heat and humidity didn't deter the crowds

Or me for that matter

The canal will be 100 years old in a couple of years (they're thinking of expanding it, too)

Some of the boats are rather narrow for the lanes, but they're guided through by the train-like cars seen here. Also, the captain position is taken over by a specialist to go through the locks.

Notice the height...

The water level dramatically changes in each lock

This boat is getting ready to head to the Pacific

I assume it was as interesting for them as it was for me

The rain and window makes this shot blurry, but hopefully this gives an indication as to the water level difference between the locks

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