We (Gareth , Dave and me) stood in the old town waiting for a bus that supposedly went passed the canal locks BUT ended up somewhere else after a hour ride. A lady on the bus told us we couldn’t get off as we were in the “wrong” area of town and it is “very danger” so eventually miles into the suburbs she escorted us to a taxi and sent us back to town but the taxi driver understood that we wanted to see the canal so dropped us us to the Miraflores Locks. The gate is locked and the guard tries to get rid of us but luckily there is a restaurant and we feign a reservation.
This is a marvel of engineering and it has limited ship sizes for nearly 100 years. We watched a few huge container ships go through the two locks getting them from the man-made lake to the Pacific ocean, they fitted the lock exactly and they are pulled / braked by 8 train type locomotives that are on the sides.
A cold beer, the setting sun (6.15pm , this close to the equator) and a special place on earth. While here I wondered why they don’t have a extreme swimming event, 80 km across the Panama canal. It has been done in the first years of the canal.
The first complete ocean-to-ocean swim through the newly opened Canal was made in 1914 by J.R. Bingaman and James Wendell Green, two Panama Canal employees who applied for permission from the Secretary of War on the premise that the “honor” should belong to a Canal employee.