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Greetings from Panama City! We’ve only been here for three days but I am already feeling completely recharged by the tropics. I’ve always loved the energy in Central America, and I’ve found it yet again here in Panama. I’m waking up smiling again — I don’t know if it was our change in location, my re-commitment to getting endorphins flowing again with daily exercise, or some important air-clearing in my personal life but things seem a lot sunnier than they did just a week ago.

This week’s Photo of the Week candidates feature photos from both Panama City and our final destination in Ecuador. Cuenca is a beautiful colonial city and was a nice note to say goodbye to Ecuador on. We were originally planning to fly out of Quito in the north but found much cheaper flights out of Guayaquil in the south half a week later, so we headed to Cuenca to wait for our departure. I’m happy for the last minute change in itinerary that brought us to this charming city.

Photo A
Colonial Cuenca

Photo B
At dusk

Photo C
Cuenca flower market

Photo D
The impressive Panama City skyline

Photo E
Riding from ocean to ocean on the Panama Canal Railway

Photo F
Traditional Panamanian dances

Which photo is your favorite?

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39 Comments...
  • Tyrhone
    January 19 2014

    I was really depressed once upon a long time ago, and a psychiatrist recommended that I up the exercise ante. It makes a huge difference, even now when I am happy!

    I like the Skyline in D. It reminds me of Perth for some reason.

    Glad to hear you’re back on track πŸ™‚
    Tyrhone recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      January 19 2014

      The adrenaline boost can be addictive. I think when it comes to weight loss, eating right is by far the most important component but when it comes to mental health, exercise is where it’s at! Which is maybe the justification I use to follow up every run with a dessert…

      • Tyrhone
        January 19 2014

        Lol, I love that idea. I think you have given me the best excuse to eat cake!
        Tyrhone recently posted..

  • Dad
    January 19 2014

    D….I sucker for a good skyline and since this not a familiar one it invites curious daydreaming about the urban adventures….over there.

    • Meihoukai
      January 19 2014

      Over here isn’t too far… come visit!

  • Steve
    January 19 2014

    I’m going to choose B. I like that time before the night comes in.
    Steve recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      January 19 2014

      I call it the magic hour! Love that beautiful lighting!

  • Colleen Brynn
    January 19 2014

    Wow, what gorgeous architecture. I’m a total sucker for portrait shots, so F would be my choice!
    Colleen Brynn recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      January 19 2014

      I’m usually too shy to shoot portraits when I travel, so going to a traditional dance performance was the perfect excuse to get some people pictures!

  • Camels & Chocolate
    January 19 2014

    All of them! Happy you made it to Panama. I have a Southern friend living in PC if you guys want to meet up with a fellow expat.
    Camels & Chocolate recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      January 19 2014

      I would love that! We’re here for another couple days — if you email me their info I’ll get in touch!

  • Emily
    January 19 2014

    My favourite is B – I like the pops of colour. Enjoy Panama – I’ve always wanted to go!
    Emily recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      January 19 2014

      I’m LOVING it so far, Emily! Hopefully I can convince you to make the trip soon πŸ™‚

  • Sam
    January 19 2014

    Cuenca! I miss that city; lovely, relaxed place…and we had some great food there too! Therefore, I have to pick photo A as my favourite.
    Sam recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      January 19 2014

      Sam, thanks to your post about where to eat at Cuenca I became a short-term regular at San Sebas… eating there every single one of the four days I was in town πŸ™‚ Thanks for the recommendation!

      • Sam
        January 20 2014

        Oh, so glad you liked Cafe San Sebas – that was definitely one of my favourites!
        Sam recently posted..

  • Amanda thePanda
    January 19 2014

    I love E. Perfect composition!
    Amanda thePanda recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      January 20 2014

      Thanks Amanda! It was such a cool experience, can’t wait to share!

  • The Guy
    January 19 2014

    Hi Meihoukai, good to hear the tropics are helping you.

    I’ll choose B this week. The light at dusk and the lights inside the church just look perfect for me on this photo.
    The Guy recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      January 20 2014

      Yup, this is most definitely where I belong. And thanks for the vote πŸ™‚

  • Glad to hear you being back on track. I personally find my happiness levels are so different when I am eating healthy and exercising regularly. From there, things just seem to spin off nicely. Oh and what’s life without dessert anyway?!

    Re the photos I love them all! I haven’t been to Central/South America and your posts/photos are giving me a good dose of encouragement!
    Michelle | Lights Camera Travel recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      January 20 2014

      Answer: Life is nothing without dessert πŸ™‚

  • becky hutner
    January 19 2014

    total rockstar set. my gut fave: photo E…there’s something timeless about trains i can’t resist a sun flare. my husband’s fave: F. beautiful, perfectly lit capture.

    glad to hear things are looking up!
    becky hutner recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      January 20 2014

      Thanks Becky. I think I just needed a big change in l(attitude). Okay that joke doesn’t work as it was more a longitude move but there’s no pun there!

  • Chris
    January 20 2014

    Great to see you hitting the central Americas.

    We’re looking towards a 6-12mth adventure in the near future starting in that exact region.

    Can’t wait to see your thoughts.

    P.S. So happy to see your mood has improved! πŸ™‚
    Chris recently posted..

    • Chris
      January 20 2014

      LOL, see your thoughts does read rather oddly, but it does make sense πŸ˜‰
      Chris recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      January 20 2014

      I love Central America, Chris! This is my fourth visit — previously I’ve been to Belize, Costa Rica, and Honduras. It’s a magical region, and I hope to return to do a more comprehensive Central America trip someday in the future!

      • Chris
        January 21 2014

        I’m excited to hear it referred to so glowingly.

        We’d likely be taking the chance to do it pretty thoroughly, so can’t wait!!
        Chris recently posted..

  • Ruann (Solo Travel Uncut)
    January 20 2014

    The Panama city skyline is my favorite!
    Ruann (Solo Travel Uncut) recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      January 20 2014

      I’m a big fan of skyline pictures — I typically take about a million per trip!

  • Meihoukaiandra
    January 20 2014

    Happy to hear you’re feeling better Meihoukai! I’ve only been to Mexico and Costa Rica but loved my time in Central. I’m a sucker for the tropics (coming from Canada, we need to get away in the Winter!!) We’re heading to Belize in March for 2 weeks. I didn’t realize you’d been, I’m going to search for some posts πŸ™‚ I have an idea of what we want to do but it’s hard to squish it all in! Enjoy the sunshine!

    • Meihoukai
      January 20 2014

      Unfortunately my Belize trip was pre-blog. I did make a great scrapbook about it though — ha! It was a family trip and we went to San Ignacio and Placencia. It was amazing!

  • Meihoukaiandra
    January 20 2014

    Oh … and I vote for D!

  • Jamie
    January 20 2014

    I love photo B! It looks like it’s being lit by candlelight.
    Jamie recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      January 20 2014

      That’s a beautiful description and perfect for Cuenca πŸ™‚

  • TammyOnTheMove
    January 20 2014

    I am so glad you are feeling better again. I am sure that the weather and having it all let out of your system really helped!
    TammyOnTheMove recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      January 21 2014

      I think “getting it out of my system” was key. Sometimes just verbalizing my problems is the biggest step to getting over them.

  • Anna from The Blonde Banana
    January 27 2014

    Amazing photos! Both are places I really want to go to πŸ™‚
    Anna from The Blonde Banana recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      January 31 2014

      Thanks Anna — and I LOVE the name of your blog!