Saturday, January 7, 2012

Our Panama Moon

What an amazing moon!   I caught it just as we were coming inside, about 5:30pm our time here!  The sun was putting quite a glow on it!

My Gem!

My favourite shot of today!     This will for sure be in my gallery!   I shot laying down with the sun behind these flowers!   I love the Asian feel of the end result!

There is no editing....just photography!!

Panama around the Playa Bonita

 Here are a few shots I took today around our resort!  This first one is one of my favs!  I love the colours, the BG and the detail!

I love these little sunbath beds, Ted and I hope to put two around the pool!  They are so comfortable and when the wind blows they look so enchanting!

A few more Panama sites

This ball of Jelly caught my eye....there was about 8 of them...Jelly fish???

A piece of garbage can look so beautiful in the right light ;-))

Two hermit crabs where??? I got smart....and decided to look at tracks to find my wild life it worked with the Hawk, resting,,,and I did not have my camera ;-((  However following these tracks lead me to the Iguana den!!!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

A night out!

Last night instead of returning to our resort we decided to get dropped off from our tour at the Marina.   We walked along the Causeway  which is a breakwater control designed to protect the Canal entrance.  We stopped off after getting off the bus to have a beer, a restroom (banos) break and then head down the walkway to dinner.   We arrived at the Marina, and sat over the water, with a glass bottom, we watched as boats came in and out, we dined on steak and good wine!  It was the perfect end to a perfect day!   this is our view!

Not sure why these photos are loading so poorly, they were taken with our little red point and shoot!

Old Town of Panama

Panama's old town is very enchanting full of history...many of the stories we heard would make you cringe to imagine.  The town wears its age.  Many buildings have been left to rot since the Americans have left.  We walked right past the presidential buildings, we heard stories of whole castles being built to house royal families that never came due to fear.   We saw views of the cities, learnt how many of their buildings were constructed and where the material came from.  We saw many street vendors....however, we were not allowed to take their photos without payment, as it is believed that every photo steals a piece of their soul.

The history is amazing, Ted and I are planning to return tomorrow or the next day on our own, so we can take our time.   We have been shown the areas not to go in and will leave all jewellery at home.

Here are a few photos from the our downtown tour.

The colours are so vibrant, yet peeling and rusting.

This woman sat for the whole time we were there just watching the world pass by.  Notice why her chair could not be set to the right of the door!   Many of the sidewalks here have caved away, have holes and pockets of water really have to watch where you walk.

What you see here is the alter of an old church in town.  The sculpture was first carved out of wood, and then covered in 5 mm of gold.   When the pirates came to loot the townspeople loaded in mud and covered the whole wall up so it would not be stolen!   It was amazing.

I started taking this photo to show the proximity to the ocean, when this young boy came up from the surf....I loved that he was in it!

This deteriorating fence surrounds a monument for a man that came to Panama before the canal to 'rid' Panama of all the Indians....(why he has a monument is confusing to many - with good reason)

This is a real zebra rug hanging over a balcony, the nostrils and eye holes are right in the rug!

The bridge in the background is called the "Bridge of Americas"  because on the far side it is North America and when you cross to the side we are standing on in the photo you are in South America!   So we have visited Panama as well as crossed over to South America this trip ;-))

That is Panama's city centre in the background.

This rock used to be 9' higher, it has been shaved out in blocks to create their buildings....the last photo features this construction.

The centre part of this building is created with shaved blocks of rock from different areas around panama, hence the colour changes.  The two bells in the towers are the first bells ever floated over from Spain in 1601.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Panama Canal

Today Ted and I stepped off the beach and into the city!   We went to the Panama Canal first, to learn about and see the was amazing!  For those of you who don’t know much about this amazing feat you can check it out at Or if you just want to learn a it goes ;-)
The Canal was proposed by the Spaniards and then started by the French.  The French fell ill to many diseases and then ran out of money.  After the USA signed a treaty with Panama, they would build the Canal and manage for almost 100 years and then would sign over to Panama.   
The Canal is 80km long connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.  It takes about 10 hours for a large ship to pass through the Canal or 3.5 weeks to go around.   They also have a loading port, so many ships unload cargo containers, which are then transported via train to the other port, headed to HONG KONG, CANADA and other destinations.
The Canal is like a 2 lane highway with elevators to get you where you need to go!  These elevators - Locks as they are called - raise from the Caribbean Sea up 26 meters to Sea Level (where there are 19 lakes contributing to) then they sail across Gatun Lake, and then get released back down to the Pacific Ocean. 
The US took over a large part of Panama with Navy and Army bases, Panama holds the 2nd largest runway in Central America (from what we have been told).    
When you speak to people here their views of US involvement is very mixed. 
The history is amazing, their city is huge....way bigger then I would have imagined.  Panama’s population is 3.5 million in its country, and 1.5ish in it’s city.

During the construction of the Canal 200 million cubic meters of material were removed, this would circle the globe four times!

It is an incredible feat and an amazing process!
Here are a few of the pics I got, we couldn’t stay long as we were on a tour, but the whole process of going through this set of locks take 25-40minutes.  The ships are lowered in 16M sections!!!  In the pictures you can see how much the Sunbelt Spirit went down by the amount of blue passing behind the terminal.

This boat had only 6" of clearance on either side....these ones take a little longer thru the locks, they are propelled by side trollys (the white cable train in the foreground)  This ship was transporting Toyota, Honda, etc.

From 8am-5pm The Canal schedules large ships and both sets of locks run one way and then the we got to watch 3 ships go thru!   It is like the Lions Gate Bridge in Vancouver....during rush hour they control the flow 2 lanes in or out!   After 5 pm - larger ships are to wait in the bay until their slotted time and small crafts can continue 24 hours a day.

That is the SUNBELT SPIRIT featured in the second photo photo, already down 16M headed behind the control towers and headed waiting for the 2nd set of locks to take her down the next 16M

Today we also ventured Old Panama....It was amazing I hope to post tomorrow all of my beautiful views!!!!

Stay Tuned for more from Panama!!!