1. Nikita was offered the opportunity to fight in Panama City, Panama at Muay Thai Nights 7, a televised Muay Thai fighting event.
2. The fights were a mix of semi-professional and professional matches. The fighter in the photo was a victim of a kick to the head in one of the professional fights.
3. Harris Norwood celebrating his victory in the main event of the night. The fight was suspended due to a cut on the opponent’s head that would not stop bleeding.
4. It turns out the secret to winning the fight is in consuming 15+ packets of raw sugar before showtime.
5. Rag of shame or badge of glory? A fighter showcases the towel he held over the wounds on his face, after a knee to the head resulted in his knockout loss and broken nose.
6. Cigarette cartons in Panama are required by law to display graphic depictions of the consequences of smoking. In this case, a healthy uterus compared with a cancerous one, and the warning, “Smoking causes cancer of the uterus.”
7. Miraflores Locks at the Panama Canal. If you want to see a boat go through we recommend bringing a book and allowing at least 3-4 hours for this attraction.
8. Miraflores Locks also includes a 3-D movie (so necessary!) and a museum about the history of the Canal, technical operations, as well as the environment. If you’re a nerd you’ll dig it.
9. One unexpected part of the museum was an exhibit dedicated to the local wildlife. We’re wildlife nerds so this was by far our favorite part.
10. Graffiti around the Amador Causeway.
11. We rented bikes and rode up the length of the causeway. There are great views, but the attractions are catered to tourists and somewhat expensive.
12. Casco Viejo is the historic district in Panama City. After much neglect at the hands of its criminal residents, the area has been renovated in recent years and now attracts many tourists. Much of the renovation is still underway and provides a dichotomy of the old and the new.
13. One of the less renovated streets in Casco Viejo.
14. Food we ate in Panama tasted like the average Latin American food you can find in the United States. It was also much more expensive than we anticipated, most likely because everything in Panama is based off of the US Dollar.
15. Metropolitan Park is a little bit of rainforest in the heart of the city. Near the head of the first trail is a pond inhabited by turtles that are accustomed to being fed by visitors. Unnaturally forward, they scamper to the pond’s edge at the site of humans, hoping for handouts.
16. Metropolitan Park is not a particularly large park, and while we didn’t see any large wildlife, it was our first time visiting anything that approximates a tropical rainforest so we were contently enamored by the copious plants and bugs.
17. Also the fungi. Mushrooms are awesome.
18. An owl-eye butterfly perches on a branch. We saw many different varieties of butterfly, all of them with some element of bright coloring or pattern on their wings.
19. The pinnacle of the trails is a viewing area that provides sweeping views of Panama City that are well worth the hike.
20. We took a one-day trip to the San Blas Islands, a 2.5-hour drive from Panama City. The Islands are a popular backpacker destination and most hostels in the city should be able to arrange transportation for you.
21. This is Franklin, our island homestay during our night in San Blas.
22. Old dugout boat on Franklin Island. Seemed like it was here more for decoration than anything else.
23. Typical accommodation on Franklin- a hut with made of sticks and a floor of sand, but the view from your front door is incredible. Private huts are $35 a night per person, or you could stay in a more communal, dorm-style hut for less.
24. The San Blas Islands were a beautiful side trip. We were only able to stay for one night, which made the experience kind of expensive because of the fixed transportation cost. If you are able we recommend going for at least two nights, and most backpackers we met were staying multiple nights and unsure of when they would be leaving. The good life!
25. More views of Franklin.
26. Sally jumping for joy at the amazing view that morning.
27. Tiny lizards with metallic gold eyes stalked the bathroom walls for ants. We have a bit of a lizard obsession.
28. The road to San Blas is mountainous, but paved. During our drive we passed an overturned vehicle, which thankfully turned out not to be foreshadowing.
29. Winding rods to San Blas cut through the Panama’s mountainous, jungle interior.
30. Storm clouds bears down on Panama City on an afternoon during the rainy season. Taken from the Amador Causeway.