Keith's Panamanian Travel Ramble

The wanderings of Andrea and Keith around Panama

A Hedonistic Sunset

Here in Cartagena, the day is waning and tourists are returning to their busses for a return to somewhere but the three of us, we have a plan! Some businesses are closing while others are changing shifts to accommodate the flood of night people who will descend on the city. Our visit to the Old City has turned up an Idea that we are about to execute.


Around the Old City, there is a wall, which once contained soldiers and canons to defend the city. Now, hundreds of years later, it has tablecloth-covered tables and comfortable chairs in a beautiful open-air restaurant and bar called Café del Mar. I wonder what the old Spanish soldiers would think of the transition.

Our tour book does not recommend it for food but they do heartily urge you to go for a drink and the sunset. After our extended day of wandering, we thought that would be a good idea. We arrived at about 6:00 PM to get a good table in preparation for the 6:30 PM or so sunset. In this part of the world, you get about 12 hours per day of sunlight, year round.


Our server delivered a nice bottle of an Argentinian Malbec, that Alicia seemed to like according to the image above and we settled back to wait for the sunset in the half-full facility. The city skyline was to our left and the sun was directly in front of us, sinking towards the horizon. The sky was clear which generated a clear and colorful sun as it ended its day.

By 6:30 PM, the place was full. It seems that everyone else had a tour book with the same recommendation. Groups of people loaded up memory cards with pictures of their friends with the falling sun in the background to the sound of perfect sunset music. The atmosphere, charged with laughter, beauty, and people having a good time was electric. The word that came to mind was Hedonism.

According to Wikipedia, ethical hedonism is the idea that all people have the right to do everything in their power to achieve the greatest amount of pleasure possible to them, assuming that their actions do not infringe on the equal rights of others. It is also the idea that every person’s pleasure should far surpass their amount of pain. That was exactly what was happening. The only pain that I could see might be the odd hangover but for most I think that the pleasure outdid the pain.


As the sun disappeared, the city lights began to welcome the night. It was a beautifully executed relaxing end to our day.

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