So the tour of Panama had finished. They were a nice group of people and Jorge was a decent guide. This tour felt like a holiday, not too hectic, with plenty of time spent relaxing. I’d found a great deal to stay in the Crowne Plaza tonight, not too far from the airport for tomorrow. I’ve probably mentioned it before but possible the best hotel promotion I’ve seen is IHGs PointBreaks. Every quarter they’ll release a list of hotels where redemptions can be made for a heavily discounted rate of 5,000 points (equivalent to about £20). Often it contains all sorts of obscure hotels in weird and wonderful places. However as luck would have it, one of these was the Crown Plaza in Tocumen.
Before leaving Panama City I had a walk along the promenade to have a look at some of the architecture that makes up the city’s impressive skyline. The F&F Tower is particularly spectacular.
Uber operates in Panama City and I requested a ride to the hotel. The estimated fare was $14. For $1 more you could get an English-speaking driver. To be honest I’d have paid an extre dollar for someone who couldn’t speak English as I was feeling a bit hungover and the last thing I wanted was someone blabbering away for the whole journey! After arriving at the Crowne Plaza, the the bill email arrived. It said $37. I know taxi and Uber drivers like to call each other scheisters and I’ve had great and bad experiences with both. This conman had taken me for a ride (literally) to bump up the fare. After I got out, he continued onward to the airport which also generated an extra surcharge of $14! You can check this on the app as it says the route taken and drop-off destination. I was absolutely apoplectic! One of the good things about Uber is that dodgy routing is easy to prove and they seem to be responsive to complaints. Within an hour of contacting them, I received an apology for the driver’s unprofessional behaviour, as well as and a refund down to what the real fare should have been, $13.80. Initially I felt slight bad for telling tales but then again he was a rip-off merchant who tried to diddle me for $23. Hopefully he wouldn’t come round with the boys to the hotel later!
The rest of the afternoon was spent relaxing around the extremely nice hotel pool. It will probably be a good while before I next see another pool like this one again.