Being in a big city finally affords the luxury of shops, but every time we head out shopping we realize more and more how lucky we were in Bermuda.  The grocery stores all had fresh meat and while you had to pick the vegetables carefully there were always good ones to be found.  Phil has come to realize even the boat stores and hardware stores have been vastly better stocked than the ones here in a huge city. It might be that all of the parts are here, just spread out, or they might really not have the selection. In any case, we have been running all over town trying to get all of the things we need for the next leg of the trip. 

Marcelle and I had a fabulous adventure to the Mercado Amados (a fruit and vegetable market).  After standing on the side of the road for an hour waiting for the bus, the American’s we were with decided to catch a taxi. Really I would have been happy to get in for $4.00 but after the first 2 drove away I would have gladly paid $5.00.  But they were having none of it, so we stood and waited for another 30 minutes to save a dollar.  The market was impressive, lots of fruit and veg, we got the tourist prices of course but it wasn’t too bad, and the produce was worlds better than what you can find in a grocery store.  Laden with bags (including Marcelle’s best buy of the day 4 tiny pineapples for a dollar) we headed to a lunch stall and had our $2.50 for chicken, rice, beans and strangely spaghetti!  Neither of us speak much Spanish but we still managed to have a good conversation with the lady who ran the shop (originally from Dominica).  The next day Phil and I did our big store shopping, we went to MegaDepo, Panama’s answer to Costco without a membership, it was wonderful!  We have eaten through our cashews that Hilary brought us in Bermuda and have finally restocked the supply, found a solar garden light that is our new energy efficient anchor light, went to a hardware store and bought all of the pieces to make a rain water collector and stopped at the nice grocery store for chocolate muffins, nice meat and a few delicious treats for our passage. Met another lady coming back to the boats who refused to pay 8.00 instead of 6 to get home with her $400.00 worth of groceries, I find it hard to understand.  Especially when after we eventually got into a taxi, they charged us $ 10 and we were completely laden (including bags on laps and at feet).  Anyway, I am glad that Phil and I are together and don’t mind spending on taxis if we really need them, and equally don’t mind walking or taking the bus.  Especially in a country where although there is that level of always being pressured to spend, they are also trying to earn a living, costs aren’t so cheap here and gas is expensive.  That is my rant for the day.  A few more trips to shops close by and hopefully we’ll be able to do some fishing now (Phil has been loving his fishing book), found our bbq gas supplies and a few other odds and ends.  We have two more trips planned into the city, one to go to the mall (such a treat to buy everything we need in one place) and hopefully back to the fish market for another chill afternoon. 
I finally feel like you are caught up on this place! Sorry for all of the writing, will try not to get so behind again.  Hugs to everyone!


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