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  #1  
Old August 26th, 2009, 11:14 AM
Islandattorney Islandattorney is offline
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Default Best Place to Find Beautiful Molas

We had a wonderful visit to the San Blas islands a few years ago and brought home some gorgeous molas. I would like to go back but that is unlikely so I am looking at the Panama Canal cruises (notice a few do stop there for a few hours, but of course not in the real heart of the small islands where folks paddle up to you in a dugout canoe to sell their creations). Anyway, I'm wondering what other stops have a good selection of molas...Colon has a bad rep generally but does it have any good vendor markets? How about the place on the west coast where many cruises are now stopping? Anyway, I would greatly appreciate recent info on this. Thanks.
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Old August 26th, 2009, 01:19 PM
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I have only stopped at the Cristobal pier, (I'm sure the Colon 2000 pier would have something similar) they have a very nice vendor area set up on the pier. You need not be concerned about shopping in this area, only dangerous to your wallet. There were Molas for sale, I really don't know about the price or quality.... hope that helps you a litte
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  #3  
Old August 26th, 2009, 03:39 PM
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Default ???

Looking stupid here - but what is a molas?
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Old August 26th, 2009, 05:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Cologal49 View Post
Looking stupid here - but what is a molas?
Molas described on Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mola_%28art_form%29

I didn't know either...
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Old August 26th, 2009, 09:03 PM
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Originally Posted by drosphot View Post
Molas described on Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mola_%28art_form%29

I didn't know either...
Learn something new each day.
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Old August 26th, 2009, 09:08 PM
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The pier at Cristobal has a great Indian craft market . . . and if you are doing the "Shaping of Panama" tour, it stops at another great craft market at the old YMCA in Balboa - lots of Kuna selling molas. On that same tour, on the walking tour part in Casco Viejo there will be a number of Kuna selling molas as you walk by.

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Old August 27th, 2009, 04:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard in Panama View Post
The pier at Cristobal has a great Indian craft market . . . and if you are doing the "Shaping of Panama" tour, it stops at another great craft market at the old YMCA in Balboa - lots of Kuna selling molas. On that same tour, on the walking tour part in Casco Viejo there will be a number of Kuna selling molas as you walk by.

Regards, Richard
What price range are we talking about for a decent (but not museum quality) mola? Thanks in advance.
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Last edited by Snorkel2Much; August 27th, 2009 at 04:29 PM.
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  #8  
Old August 28th, 2009, 02:46 PM
Richard in Panama Richard in Panama is offline
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Quote:
What price range are we talking about for a decent (but not museum quality) mola? Thanks in advance.
Like any piece of art you are looking at the quality and intricacy of the work, as well as the size and time involved. You can find nice molas in the $20-35 range which are great to frame, use on pillows, or whatever. And you can pay $500 or more for larger, "museum quality" molas. When buying a mola turn it over and look at the back as well as the front, looking at the quality of the work.

Regards, Richard
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Old August 29th, 2009, 10:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard in Panama View Post
Like any piece of art you are looking at the quality and intricacy of the work, as well as the size and time involved. You can find nice molas in the $20-35 range which are great to frame, use on pillows, or whatever. And you can pay $500 or more for larger, "museum quality" molas. When buying a mola turn it over and look at the back as well as the front, looking at the quality of the work.

Regards, Richard
Perfect, thanks. Looks like I know what souvenirs I'll be bringing home from this trip.
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Old August 30th, 2009, 10:40 AM
Islandattorney Islandattorney is offline
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Default Thanks for the good advice

Richard: thanks so much for the good advice. I am thinking we willl try a taxi to the old YMCA and find the crafts market in the area, and hopefully still have time to take the tour to visit the Embera people, who we had not met on our previous visit to Panama & San Blas. You are a fine resource for all of us. My molas from that previous trip are treasured and like the other board commenter, I agree they make great gifts to bring back to friends.
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Old August 30th, 2009, 11:35 AM
Richard in Panama Richard in Panama is offline
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I am thinking we willl try a taxi to the old YMCA and find the crafts market in the area, and hopefully still have time to take the tour to visit the Embera people,
Just a question, how long are you going to be in port, and where . . .

The Embera trip is 8 hours . . . and getting around Panama City, especially in the afternoon around 4PM when everyone is getting out of work, can be a real zoo and take lots of time . . . if your port is in Colon it's a good 1.5 hour drive each way across to Balboa to the old YMCA . . . don't want to mislead you . . . so a lot depends on where, and how long you will be in port ????

Regards, Richard
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Old August 30th, 2009, 01:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard in Panama View Post
The pier at Cristobal has a great Indian craft market . . . ..
I meant to ask:
Does the same apply to the Colon 2000 pier? I think that's where the Carnival Freedom will dock next month.
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Old August 31st, 2009, 08:31 AM
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Quote:
I meant to ask:
Does the same apply to the Colon 2000 pier? I think that's where the Carnival Freedom will dock next month.
Unfortunately, no. The best thing at Colon 2000 pier is that there is a big Super 99 grocery store . . . unless they've recently changed things, no Indian vendors. Some stuff in stores . . . higher priced, and not as much fun as buying directly from Indians.

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Old September 1st, 2009, 05:28 PM
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We are on the Seaborn Legend and the ship's website says their tour to the Embera village is 6 hours. Our total time in port is shown as 10 hours. So I was hoping that would be enough time for both. Is it far to the craft market in Balboa from the ship's docking place in Fuerte Amador?
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 07:25 AM
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It's fairly close distance wise, about 8 miles. You probably should allow about a half hour of travel as you would have drive down the causeway and through Ft. Amador.
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 08:28 AM
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Quote:
We are on the Seaborn Legend and the ship's website says their tour to the Embera village is 6 hours. Our total time in port is shown as 10 hours. So I was hoping that would be enough time for both. Is it far to the craft market in Balboa from the ship's docking place in Fuerte Amador?
Yes, I think it is doable since you have 10 hours and are in Amador. The YMCA craft market is 10-15 minute drive from Amador by taxi.

Enjoy! Regards, Richard
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Richard in Panama View Post
Unfortunately, no. The best thing at Colon 2000 pier is that there is a big Super 99 grocery store . . . unless they've recently changed things, no Indian vendors. Some stuff in stores . . . higher priced, and not as much fun as buying directly from Indians.

Regards, Richard
(Continuing to hound you, sorry )....
So what would be the closest/most convenient to reach craft market from Colon 2000 ? Taxi to Cristobal, etc?

Thanks again
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 12:35 PM
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I think I found the answer myself here on CC: http://www.cruisecritic.com/ports/newport.cfm?ID=119

...Although Colon has the best shops and restaurants, Cristobal Pier gets high marks for its lively crafts market and folklore shows. But, regardless of where a cruise ship docks, visitors can experience both places, as the two cruise terminals are within easy reach -- and a $6, roundtrip taxi ride -- of each other....
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 05:08 PM
Richard in Panama Richard in Panama is offline
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$6 is an outrageous price to pay for a taxi within Colon . . . but, I'm sure, like taxi drivers anywhere, they take whatever they can get. Be aware that the Cristobal port Indian craft market is only open when there is a ship at Cristobal.

Regards, Richard
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Old September 3rd, 2009, 09:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard in Panama View Post
$6 is an outrageous price to pay for a taxi within Colon . . . but, I'm sure, like taxi drivers anywhere, they take whatever they can get. Be aware that the Cristobal port Indian craft market is only open when there is a ship at Cristobal.

Regards, Richard
Is there a website with the pier schedule there?
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Past cruises:
Carnival Victory (4) - Sep 14 - Singles cruise Key West, Cozumel East side Carnival Legend (7) - Mar 12 - Roatan zipline, Maya Chan, Wet Wendys, 9B cabin, Carnival Destiny (5) - Nov 11 - 1st Plat cruise, Ochi Bobsled, Carnival Dream (7) - Feb 11 - Scuba in Coz again, 100% Agave in CostaMaya, Cave tubing in Belize, Missed Roatan due to wind, Celebrity Solstice (7) - Nov 10 - Back just to enjoy the ship, Orient beach, Celebrity Solstice (7) - Jun 10 - El Morro, Scuba in Secret Harbour USVI, Le Galion beach St Martin, Carnival Freedom (8) - Sep 09 - Scuba in Cozumel, Zipline in Costa Rica, Embera village in Panama, Carnival Glory (7) - Dec 08 - Arawak Cay, Coz again, Fell in love with CostaMaya, Goffs Caye Belize Carnival Sensation (3) - Aug 08 - In-laws 50th anniversary, Yellow Bird Booze Cruize again Nassau, Carnival Sensation (3) - May 08 - Snorkeled with the sharks Stuart Cove's, Nassau, Carnival Inspiration (5) - Mar 08 - Muyil, Akumal, Yal-ku, & Cemetery Beach, Grand Cayman, Carnival Inspiration (4) - Nov 07 - 1st trip to Cozumel, Paradise Beach Tom, Carnival Sensation (4) - Sep 07 - Freeport taxi mafia fiasco, Arawak Cay, Nassau, Royal Caribbean Sovereign of the Seas (3) - May 01 - Cruising, rough seas and pregnancy didn't mix, Carnival Fantasy (3) - May 98 - 1st cruise where I wasn't crew, Yellow Bird Booze Cruize Nassau, SubRon 14 (423) - 1983 to 1987 - Holy Loch, Scotland.
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