"DuFord introduces us to the people of Panama, and he does it hilariously
and most perceptively."

--The Panama News

"Darrin DuFord is a modern-day Herodotus."
--John L. Hoh Jr., Bookideas.com


IS THERE A HOLE
IN THE BOAT?
Tales of Travel in Panama
without a Car

Order Now from Amazon.com
Amazon.ca
Amazon.co.uk













































"DuFord introduces us to the people of Panama, and he does it hilariously
and most perceptively."

--The Panama News

"Darrin DuFord is a modern-day Herodotus."
--John L. Hoh Jr., Bookideas.com


IS THERE A HOLE
IN THE BOAT?
Tales of Travel in Panama
without a Car

Order Now from Amazon.com
Amazon.ca
Amazon.co.uk

An Afternoon in Colón

olón, the city at the Caribbean entrance to the Panama Canal, gets a bad rap. While some areas of the city are impoverished and left to ruin, others are uncommonly attractive and largely undiscovered by non-residents. I took the photos on this page when I accompanied an editor of a Panamanian newspaper on an afternoon visit to Colón in early 2005. Once we got off at the city's bus terminal, we hired taxis to get where we wanted to go. You can hire a taxi to drive you around the city for $10 per hour (your Spanish negotiating skills might even be able to bring that price down).


gatun park, colon, panama Scared of visiting Colón? Keep in mind that the serene Lake Gatun Park, on the shores of the Panama Canal watershed, is within the Colón city limits. But keep your valuables hidden so you won't get robbed by an iguana.

A diablo rojo cruises down its route. Americans will notice that under all that paint, the vehicle used to be an American school bus.
diablo rojo, colon, panama
Bumper detail. "Bob Esponja" requires no translation.
diablo rojo bumper, colon, panama

cruise ship, Colon 2000 dock A newly-built dock, named "Colón 2000" after its year of completion, comes complete with tourist shops and restaurants. Cruise ships, like this one, stop by frequently (250 cruise ships stop here each year). The Colón 2000 area is safe to walk around.

About a mile from the cruise ship, though, one finds another ship that won't be leaving any time soon. Since it ran aground, it is purely ornamental.
ship aground near Colon

Unfortunately, this is what has become of most (but not all) of Colón's French- and Spanish-styled architecture from the Canal-building era Unfortunately, this is what has become of most (but not all) of Colón's French- and Spanish-styled architecture from the Canal-building era.
The lettering across the middle threshold used to read, ironically, EJERCITO SALVACION (Salvation Army). Note the diablo rojo bus carcass within.

hindu temple in colon ...yet ten minutes away, on a block with feverishly manicured trees, stands the city's Hindu temple.
...and the city's mosque.
mosque in colon

Colón is also the name of the province where the city is located. Chapter 3 of Is There a Hole in the Boat? takes you on a trip over the Panama Canal's Atlantic-side swing bridge and across Colón province's western coast, a landscape with more cockfighting rings than paved roads.

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©2008 Darrin DuFord. To reproduce content, request permission here.