Panama City/The Old City: Casco Viejo

Oh the wonders of the web. I found a backpackers/trekkers hotel in the old part of Panama City two days ago, the Hospedaje Casco Viejo, and the website was so together I decided to go for it. A single room $15 per night; bathroom down the hall. Turned out to be great. Clean, bare room, ceiling fan much nicer than air conditioning, breeze blowing through tall open windows, nice people here, good vibes.

I got into PC at noon, a $3 cab ride to the hotel, which we eventually found, rested a while and then set out once again in a strange city. Lord, is this place exotic. I’ve only explored a small part of it, but it’s richly textured in people and buildings and music. There’s an undercurrent of fear because of so many street robberies. I started shooting pictures as soon as I walked out the door. Later this afternoon, I started to walk down a narrow street off Avenida Central and a local guy said, no, don’t go down there; there are areas of the city that police don’t patrol, so, yes, there’s danger here, but like Phnom Penh, the city has a great heart beating along with layers of history and danger.

About Lloyd Kahn

Lloyd Kahn started building his own home in the early '60s and went on to publish books showing homeowners how they could build their own homes with their own hands. He got his start in publishing by working as the shelter editor of the Whole Earth Catalog with Stewart Brand in the late '60s. He has since authored six highly-graphic books on homemade building, all of which are interrelated. The books, "The Shelter Library Of Building Books," include Shelter, Shelter II (1978), Home Work (2004), Builders of the Pacific Coast (2008), Tiny Homes (2012), and Tiny Homes on the Move (2014). Lloyd operates from Northern California studio built of recycled lumber, set in the midst of a vegetable garden, and hooked into the world via five Mac computers. You can check out videos (one with over 450,000 views) on Lloyd by doing a search on YouTube:

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