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Uncle Markie out and about.

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Apr '10

Day Eight: Bird Watching And Caged Animals

Yes, I set the alarm for 5:30am… and tomorrow the alarm will be set for 3:45am (to make the 4:30am airport transfer)… yikes.

Butts on bus at 7am and back to Gamboa we head to hang-out on the Pipeline Highway and look for birds – mostly what I saw was a pair of vultures, but there are some other shots of egrets and other little birds. I have the list is anyone wants it. Apparently between everyone (not including the photos I took that didn’t get analyzed) the total is 16 species.

Next stop was the Summit Botanical Park. Even at 10am the heat was stifling – and the poor ocelot pacing his cage (from the weed eater going close by, or just a caged animal) sort of put me in a sour mood. I hiked back to the bus, hung around the tracks for awhile and finally just went back to the cool of the bus.

Unfortunately it was an empty container train making the coast to coast trip (1 hour) rather than the passenger train (which is $22 each way, once a day, Panama City to Colon in the morning, Colon to Panama City in the evening, M-F). The Panama Canal Railway is actually the first transcontinental railway in the Americas. History here.

Back to the hotel for lunch, a nap, and catching up on some work since I have a decent connection here. The list of things to do is growing, and there won’t be any time tomorrow for anything other than the minimum.

Dinner tonight was a surprise… back at the Milaflores Locks private banquet room – this time for an evening meal, and an evening of watching boats transit.

This is a rare photo (at least in the daytime) of two boats headed north to the Caribbean, and one boat headed south to the Pacific. Most daytime transits are only in one direction.

Oh, and there was more entertainment – the best yet – full Panama band (meaning it had an accordion). Add ceviche on the salad bar and it makes a buffet even more enjoyable.

Yes, I’m having TOO much fun, AGAIN. Maybe it was figuring out how they were charging for booze at dinner. Glass of wine: $5, Glass of Chivas on ice: $4. Go figure. Here is a great shot of our tour guide playing around with me.

And it wouldn’t be the end of a trip without a group photo – I like the fact that this one wasn’t a “commercial” shot, but just everybody loading their cameras on the table. This is the only photo that I tried to crop and get the color/brightness adjusted:

Yes, there seems to be some jamon (ham) in the front row. 44 tour participants, Dario (the bus driver), Oneil (the guide) and I think the dancing boys and girls are in the back buried behind the pasty pudgy plainspeople (thank, Wonderful, for that phrase). If you want the latest photos, click on the “scroll bar” in yesterday’s (or was it they say before) post.

Tomorrow is an early day… first alarm at 3:45am, Oneil’s call at 4am, butt in bus at 4:30am, American Airline’s Admiral Club opens at 5:15am, flight at 7:20am. Ick.

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1 Comment »

One Response to “Day Eight: Bird Watching And Caged Animals”

  1. Melba Toast Says:

    Aaaawwwww… a photo with the entertainers and you’re not wearing a HAAAAAAAAAAATTT…. :-\