Too. Fucking. Hot. It’s like breathing soup.

The canal, of course, is a wonder. The colonial city is spectacular. I have wanted to see the Bridge of the Americas – our sole terrestrial link between the northern and southern continents – since reading The Tailor of Panama years before.

I wasn’t fond of the armed guards at every public washroom. I was most definitely not fond of the very intimidating armed guard at Manuel Noriega’s derelict mansion.

And it rained. Torrentially. Every fifteen minutes. Our excursion guide told us we were in luck: we had arrived at the very end of their rainy season. Otherwise, it poured all the time.

Not a serious retirement contender.