John Kakuk

Panama City, Panama

January 17, 2023

On January 6, I flew to Panama City, Panama. I’d spent about 12 hours at home after a 2,000 mile drive from Mobile, AL. This was the view on my drive home.

The sunset over I-25 in Northern Wyoming

It was freezing cold, and moments before the photo, I hit a patch of black ice and ended up in the borrow pit between the lanes of the Interstate. I barely avoided hitting any signs or posts along the road. In the end, I didn’t get so much as a scratch on my truck, and didn’t even get stuck in the snow! I got very lucky. Thank God for four-wheel drive.

Getting there

On my way out of Bozeman, we had to sit on the runway for an extra hour while they de-iced. I also got to see the process, which I’ve never gotten to see before.

Workers de-ice my plane at BZN airport
A sexy freeway interchange near DFW airport
Endless blue stuff near MIA airport
My (very) mobile workspace
Frank and Teresa, my friendly seat mates

Day one

Whenever I visit a new city, I like to spend the first day just walking around. I’ll take a cab, ride the bus/streetcar, and try to figure out how things work. Here’s some of the shots I got:

Later that evening, I got some amazing city views from my AirBNB.

The Panama City skyline as seen from my building.

Adventuring around the city

I went to get a ticket on a ferry to Isla Taboga, a small island to the South in the Pacific Ocean.

The Panama City skyline.
A group of people wait for the rain to stop outside the 12 de Octubre metro station.
A freak rainstorm deluges the city in the afternoon.
This is nothing—the buses get absolutely packed during busy hours. Like something out of a movie.
A deserted side street, which was amazingly quiet despite the proximity to the busiest road in the city.
Boats docked at the marina where I got a ticket to Taboga.
A really cool Mitsubishi SUV I saw. There are a lot of vehicles here I’ve never even heard of before.
A person waits for the bus to arrive.
A car passes through a dark road at night.


A short 30 minute ferry ride takes you to a beautiful little island to the South of the city.

The settlement on Taboga as seen from the approaching ferry.
A massive cargo ship that we passed on the way to Taboga.
Isla Taboga as seen from the approaching ferry.
The Bridge of the Americas is in the far distance.
Some friends I made—Kyle and his girlfriend Christina, and his friend Joe. Kyle and Joe are boilermakers, and they all live in British Colombia.

I didn’t take a whole lot of pictures while actually on the island, but I had a lot of fun. I had a Piña Colada in a pineapple, ate a locally made empanada, and got a savage sunburn.

SPF 15 don’t do shit when you’re this close to the equator I guess.

I’ve been hiding inside while my burns heal (my shoulders were the worst), but will be sending more when I start venturing out again.