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Daniel Tours America
The Gallery Above, Panama City, FL
18th Apr 2008
Beaches of Panama and Destin; Pensacola

After a fry-up breakfast in a cafe on the quaint highstreet of Downtown Panama, where I utilised the free wi-fi, I spent all day Friday at the beach.  My first call was Panama City Beach, a long white sand beach edged with beautiful green sea.  I'd missed "Spring Break" (half-term holiday for uni students, when they all pile to the beaches of Florida, where the drinking age is just 18, and cut loose) for most universities but there were a couple of stragglers.  Needless to say I approched several gaggles of 21 y.o. girls, who naturally fawned over me, my charm and my accent.  They showed me how to do a beer funnel and I tried this - it's a way of downing a can of beer more quickly by pouring it into a funnal and tube, then releasing it all in one go. 

I then drove further along the coast to Walton and finally to Destin beaches, where I spent all afternoon.  After being on the beach all day I was lured into the main bar, AJ's, by a aeroplane trailing a flying advertisement, in which I had a few beers and watched the band. They were all grey-haired rockers, very talented, and certainly beat Thursday night's restaurant entertainment of 12 year old brothers trying to cover Guns 'N Roses tunes on their acoustics. The bar was right next to the marina, so I could watch the fishing and pleasure boats come and go, and see the greedy pelicans waiting for fish scraps.

Friday night I think demonstrated just how hospitable the Americans are.  The following would never occur in Britain:  I had arranged to couch-surf in Pensacola, but the host was not actually at home that night.  He left a key with the apartment doorman and I spent the night in his apartment without him.  Amazing generosity and trust.  

So far, 3 nights of such, I have been very impressed with the concept of couch surfing with strangers.  It certainly saves me a lot of money (this is, afterall, a super-budget trip, now that I am unemployed), and is a great way to meet people and be shown around.  The only thing I don't like is the obvious need to arrange in advance, which means my plans are tied.  I sometimes feel like I rush to reach the next town by the time agreed, when a couple of times I have actually prefered to dawdle some.  Despite enjoying having the place to myself and having a much-needed lie-in today, I do wish I had spent last night in Destin.

Right now, Saturday morning, I have no plans to be anywhere at any time.  I have a friend in New Orleans (we met at Mardi Gras 2007), whom I would like to visit in the next couple of days, but other than that I have nothing lined up.  Maybe I will call-in to Biloxi, just to laugh at the name, or possibly Gulfport Mississippi.  Perhaps I will push on to N'aarlins to catch a Saturday night there.

I have some great pictures of the beach babes, but my camera is refusing to upload right now.  I will do so asap.

Next: Biloxi, Mississippi; the drive there via Fairhope
Previous: Tallahassee, Leon Sinks, Apalaciacola, gulf coast road

Diary Photos

The Gallery Above, Panama City, FL

Panama City highstreet, FL

Panama City Beach, FL

Panama City Beach, FL

Panama City Beach babes, FL

Panama City Beach babes boozing, FL

Daniel and `Corey`, FL

Walton beach sign - duh. FL

AJ`s bar on the marina at Destin, FL

Pelican at Destin, FL

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