Thursday, December 22, 2022

Day 14: The Rainforest & Canal

My new friend from Zurich, Yvonne, and I grabbed an Uber and rode 45 minutes to the rainforest; Parque Soberania. It was an adventure asking the Uber driver to wait for us while we hiked since we would not get another Uber due to lack of cell service. But he was there when we got back!

It is HOT here. Humid hot and I sweat like crazy. But the hike was lovely and my photos do not do the view justice. We saw birds, monkeys, frogs, and lots of ants. On our drive back we saw a beautiful sailing cruise ship, The Sea Cloud, going through the Pedro Miquel lock. 

We returned to the hostel and met our tour guide for the Panama Canal. He drove us around the city making stops at the Amador Causeway (a man-made peninsula made from rocks removed for the canal), Bridge of the Americas (spanning the canal, basically the beginning on the Pacific side), and the Miraflores locks in time to watch a ship move through. It was really amazing. I learned so much from our guide. 

Panama Canal facts:
  • It takes 8-10 hours for a ship to get through, passing 55 miles (80 km)
  • Cargo and gas are the top things moved through
  • It cost boats $200,000 to pass through the old canal and $500,000 for the new canal (with additional costs for dimension and weight)
  • The original canal can carry through 4,000 containers whereas the new side can carry through 60,000
  • Each boat needs a Panamanian pilot to navigate the waters and they make $20,000/month
  • There are currently 172 active pilots in Panama

When I returned to the hostel I took a long cold shower, washed everything I was wearing since it was soaked in sweat, and grabbed a smoothie. It was a great day and it was great seeing the canal. 

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