Panama Canal and Plans to go Exploring Panama

Panama Canal

and Plans to go Exploring Panama

Getting to the Panama Canal

Panama Canal is something I learned about at school, so we want to head there today. But Explorason is not well and he hasn’t been well since last night. I feel for him, but we are leaving this area of Panama soon, and it is the only free day we have to go to the Panama Canal. We have learned the importance of grabbing the opportunity when we have it available or risk losing that opportunity on our single parent travel. This kind of expertise is turning us into reputable luxury travel experts among those on a family travel.

Enjoying some luxury travel, we can get a ride there with folks from the mission we are staying at as it is in the area.

Arriving at the Panama Canal

When first arriving at the Panama Canal area, it feels like an anticlimax.  When we drive in it is just a big carpark and there is nothing to view in the distance from there.

One needs to enter in through the ticket area by foot first.  We arrive at Panama Canal just to see a ship leave the area and have to wait for the next one which could be 2-3 hours.

Panama Canal
©Exploramum and Explorason – small ship passes through the Panama Canal entrance first

Panama Canal Observatory

Paying for the Panama Canal Observatory is recommended. We then discover it is indeed nearly 3 hours until 2 more ships will sail through. (I want to go to the old city in Panama and am concerned we will be out of time today).

But my son, despite my prompting, and his ill health, decides wants to stay. He says this is a once in a lifetime thing to learn. I feel honored that he takes his ‘world schooling’ so seriously.

Panama Canal
©Exploramum and Explorason – the Observatory Deck

Panama Canal Museum at the Canal

We head through to the Panama Canal Museum and here we learn so much. This picks Explorason up a bit as he uses the interactive displays. 

Be aware that there is also a beautifully restored building in Panama City that is also a Panama Canal Museum but it isn’t the same place.

Panama Canal
©Exploramum and Explorason – an interactive museum

History Lesson

One of the great things about visiting here is that history and geography come alive.  As a result, it makes us want to go and visit the Corinth Canal (also known as the Isthmus Canal) in Greece.

Panama Canal
©Exploramum and Explorason – learning how the dug the canal

Fun with Fake Water

There are 3 or 4 levels, and one of the great exhibits has fake water that moves as you tread on it. Fun for young and old!

Panama Canal
©Exploramum and Explorason – fun with fake water

Moving Exhibitions

This interactive ship desk is a winner with Explorason. We spend about an hour with him at the controls and I’m really glad we have this museum here or he would be a very bored kid waiting for the next vessel to pass through the Panama Canal.

Panama Canal
©Exploramum and Explorason – steering the ship through the canal

Steering the Vessel Through the Locks

This exhibition actually feels just like you are sailing through a lock inside a ship, and you hopefully will love this. If you go to Panama, don’t miss this particular exhibition, as it is a bit hidden in the museum.

Panama Canal
©Exploramum and Explorason – at the controls

Waiting with a sick child

As the hour’s pass, my son won’t eat or drink and he is looking so ill. He is burning up and needs to go home to bed. We have sat patiently in a spot right at the front of the balcony to get a good view waiting for the next vessel. Suddenly we are pushed out of the way by a tour group that enters the building.  Explorason is nearly trampled and it is quite scary.

Panama Canal
©Exploramum and Explorason – a beautiful day at the canal

A Cruise liner Passes Through Panama Canal

We finally after the long wait we get to see a small cruise liner come through the first locks.  It is a slow and arduous event and by now people are shoving and pushing us out of the way.

Panama Canal
©Exploramum and Explorason – an interactive museum

Cargo Ship

Shortly after we see a cargo ship head into the second locks. We watch as they are pulled through.

Panama Canal
©Exploramum and Explorason – ship passes through the canal

Waving at the passengers

It is great to see it go through. We wave madly back at everyone on deck. I know where I would rather be!

Panama Canal
©Exploramum and Explorason – the small cruise ship has passed through the locks

Time to Go

About halfway the passing of this vessel through the locks, Explorason becomes quite ill and has had enough.

Panama Canal
©Exploramum and Explorason – Explorason is unwell and I need to get him to bed

Time For A Cab

We head out to the reception area and get a cab and our friends call. They are in town, and if we head to the shopping center we went to on the weekend we will find them and they can take us back.

We walk in to find a giant Kangaroo and feel like this is a sign from back in Australia.

Our friends take us back to the mission base where I can put Explorason to bed to recover from his illness.  Thankfully this is gone within 24-hours.

Panama Canal
©Exploramum and Explorason – we find a kangaroo at the shopping centre that cheers Explorason up a bit

Preparing For Our Journey

The next days sees me re-packing and planning our sight-seeing around Panama countryside for the coming weeks.

Minimal luggage

When traveling around Panama I recommend to just take the bare minimum.  I want to take only our cabin trolley backpacks and day packs. We store our big bags at the mission which we really appreciate.

Setting Off to Explore Panama

Our German friend at the mission base will help us to get on the bus as she has a camp to go to. I cannot believe how much we leave in storage. We are so grateful for all the love, new friends, and help we have had.

We do feel like family, and it has made such a difference. We feel confident to go out and explore Central America. Look out – here we come 🙂

Questions and Comments

  • Ever been to the Panama Canal?
  • Would you advocate for other families to tour the place?
  • Do share your comments with us below.

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