Well, here it is, our last blog from “the road”!
We leave Panama City tomorrow, destined for the green, green grass of home. Looking forward to cheddar cheese and Branston Pickle.
But first, a look at our time in Panama!
We started in Boquete, a small town in the mountains of Panama. The cool mountain air was wonderful! We stayed in a lovely hostel, by a trickling river, peaceful and quiet. There was even a resident cat that took a liking to my bed 🙂
And a board game about working the Panama Canal!
We were here to hike amongst the mountain forrests. We walked over many rickety metal bridges, through dense jungle, and past beautiful waterfalls.
Someone even had a swim in the freezing cold water (apparently being so cold your legs go numb is ‘addictive’)!
We saw lovely nature including; lacewing butteflies and tiny dragonflies.
But most impressively, we saw the very hard to spot, Resplendent Quetzal! In fact, we saw two!
This is the female with her short tail:
And the male with his long, beautiful tail feathers:
We think they were guarding a potential nesting spot – a hole they had hollowed out from a rotten tree trunk using just their beaks! Mating starts in March 🙂
After all this nature nonsense, it was time for some man made industrial marvels! So we set off for Panama City! The final destination in our trip!
A huge sprawling city with massive shiny skyscrapers clashing with the old dusty streets. Check out this impressive one!
New and old mix throughout the city, this is the view down at the docks, where men in old worn out boats bring in fresh fish daily.
New buildings and old buildings mingle!
And Panama hats are on sale everywhere although we never saw any locals wearing them …
First stop in the city was The Panama Canal!! We actually drove over it on the bus in which was awesome 🙂 The next day we went to the Miraflores Locks which has a viewing platform and a museum!
I could fill this blog with a million pictures of huge boats going through the locks and bore you with a thousand facts! But I’m told not everyone is as geeky about the Panama Canal as me so I’ll just stick to a few!
This boat was the biggest!
It even has scratches down the side because it only just fits in the lock!!
Carys played at traffic control in the museum …
And we enjoyed a simulation trip through the canal (speeded up as it would take 10 hours in real life!)
1. Opened in 1914. The first boat through was the SS Ancon from the Atlantic to the Pacific
2. On Feb 29th 1968 the record number of ships passing through the canal in one day was made: 65. Normally its between 30 – 40.
3. On Sept 4th 2010, the millionth boat went through the canal! It’s name was Fortune Plum.
So another life ambition ticked off the list! 🙂
We also visited the Biodiversity Museum which was fascinating! The building itself was crazy!
We learnt all about how over millions of years, the tectonic plates moved around the earth and eventually Panama formed a land bridge between North and South America. This caused the Great Biotic Exchange. Animals from the North could now mingle with animals from the South! And this joining of the land masses, and seperation of the Oceans, meant the whole climate of the world changed! The new land mass caused airflows to change and made Africa dry and Europe warm enough to live! Panama is super important!
Here I am with a Giant Land Sloth. Now extinct.
And so our last day came around. We went for a long walk in the Metropolitano Park to enjoy the fresh air and wildlife 🙂
So, bags are packed, passports at the ready. All set for coming home!
See you all soon!
Lots of love Char and Carys xxxx