This weekend, Abrial and I paid a visit to the Miraflores Locks, one of the first truly touristy things either of us have done since arriving in Panama. Our STRI IDs allow us resident admission rates—$3 as opposed to $8 for non-nationals—granting us full access to the museum, theatre, and viewing decks housed in the 5-story monolith alongside the locks themselves.
I am not often impressed by feats of human engineering, much though I respect the design, effort, and power directed toward such projects. (Nature’s engineering, on the other hand…) The Panama Canal locks, with their 650-tonne gates, draw even my reluctant awe, as do the massive cargo ships which traverse the Canal. There are mere inches between the holds of these metal behemoths and the concrete walls of the locks.