We sat in a holding area for 30 minutes waiting for a plane to depart from our gate.
The door finally opened at noon, a decent arrival time when it was scheduled for 11:53 a.m.
It was a fairly long walk to Immigration, but not much of a wait. Here they take your photo and you have to supply fingerprints for both hands in the same kind of glass-top reader the U.S. uses - oh, and then both thumbs pressed awkwardly together in front of you.
Finally we were through with a cheery "Welcome!" from the inspector. We'e back to not checking bags, and went directly to the place where all incoming bags are X-Rayed, presumably to make sure we're not smuggling Panama Hat knockoffs into the country.
We then exited to meet Luciano, the gentleman we'd arranged to pick us up, tour us around the city Monday, and return us to the airport Wednesday.
He wasn't there.
We called him (Thank you for cheap phone calls, T-Mobile) and he told us he had waited for some time and would return right away to the airport.
The airport authorities are the villains in this piece. Luciano told us the display screen stated our flight had arrived at 11:15 a.m. It had landed, of course, but didn't arrive at the gate for about 45 minutes after that. He waited for an hour and finally left at 12:15, figuring we'd stood him up, as tourists have in the past.
We probably arrived 5-10 minutes after he'd left. However, all's well that ends well, and we think he will make a good tour guide Monday.
When we checked in at the Hilton Panama, the friendly clerk mentioned we'd been upgraded to an ocean view.
We certainly have been, and this should be a very pleasant suite to spend the next four nights.
Don't you just love a bathtub with a view?
We're located at the end of a hall, and have this view out our bedroom window.
Yes, this will meet our needs quite adequately.
Nice digs! It's good to have elite status, isn't it?
Not least when on a multi-night stay like this one.
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