Mr José Abelardo Figueiroa and his son José Pablo warmly welcomed us at the airport and took us the the hotel for the overnight stay. The next morning, José Pablo and his brother Manuel took us to see the Panamá canal locks of Miraflores.
Panamá city is on the Pacific ocean coast and the locks we went to see (Miraflores locks) were therefore on the Pacific side. There are locks on both sides of Panamá. On the Atlantic side (also called the north side) and on the Pacific side (also called the south side). In the middle, between the locks, is the canal through a man-made lake. The canal and lake is in mountainous country and therefore is above sea level, therefore the need of the locks on both sides. Also the canal water is fresh water, not sea (salt) water.
There were over 25.000 people that died in the construction of the canal, when it was initiated by the French, due to Malaria. Due to that high casualty rate the French gave up the construction, and then the Americans came in with great amounts of DDT and completed the tunnel.
The Figueroa family were extremely hospitable and we thoroughly enjoyed the little time we had with them.
After that we departed to Manaus.