Friday, December 23, 2022

Day 15: Wildlife, Down The Canal & Cookies

What a day! Today I went with Cesar on a “Monkey Island Tour” I found on Airbnb and it was amazing. We drove to Soberania Park and boarded a boat that took us on Gatun Lake, which is the man-made lake flooded from the Chargers river that is the largest part of the Panama Canal (60%, whereas the canal and locks are 40%). We rode alongside the big boats and it was so very cool. 

We spent a few hours navigating the lake in search of wildlife. Flooding of the river forms “islands” as the water goes up and down based on the rainfall. We are in the dry period but it rains in Panama every day nine months a year. 

We saw lots of wildlife and I even got to feed a monkey. We saw howler monkeys, capuchins (white faced monkeys), bats (all lined up to mimic a snake), snails (which eggs are attached to the side trees), Great Annie birds, iguanas, toucans, hawks, and a falcon. 

After the tour I went to the local market where I got lunch for $4. The American Dollar is used here and it is a one to one ratio so things are not cheap like Peru or Colombia but they are reasonable. 

The hostel was hosting a “Bake Christmas Cookies” event so I thought I would join them. It turns out everyone that showed up, all girls, no one had ever baked cookies. I went into mom mode. It was fun.

I returned to my room and took a nap. I was attempting 17 minutes so I would not stay up late but it ended up being over an hour. That prompted a drink on the hostel’s rooftop bar. 

Tomorrow I fly to Rio. I loved Panama. The people are lovely, it is clean and feels very safe. The dollar does not go as far but it is lovely. The weather however is not ideal with rain nine months out of the year and hot and humid the other three. 

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