Just another miserable day in Panama

At least for us just about everything’s complicated and a pain in Panama. Today it started pouring down as soon as we started filling up our diesel tanks (very convenient), then we discovered that our cruising permit (valid 1 year, costs 200 usd) accidentally got into the papers the port captain in Portobelo took from us on arrival there. We desperately made phone calls until noon, but the port captain is on vacation, nobody’s authorised to look into the papers etc.. We tried to explain all that to the secretary at the maritime authority in Colon, trying to persuade her to phone in Puerto Obaldia where we bought the permit in the first place. Her answer was that nobody had the number of the office there, so in the end we had to pay for another cruising permit. We spent 3 hours in the office watching her swearing and muttering, she finally typed our (one page) form (ten items to enter) on the computer, shouted at me when she discovered that we were NOT from Australia (she had to type it again), the printer didn’t work, she got out a typewriter and then charged us 20 usd extra, because of overtime (after 4 o’clock…).

The rain didn’t stop all day, half of Colon was under water, cars with bow waves like ships everywhere… We did some grocery shopping, returned to the boat with dripping wet bags and can’t wait to get away from here!

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