Steve using the machete that Nancy (his sister) gave him back in 1977. She brought it back from her trip to San Salvador and we hid the darn thing until we decided to go on this sailing adventure. Steve sleeps with it ..lol.. it lies just above his head, for easy access, if we have intruders! Can you imagine!
Carl taking a break.. I don't know where Carl got his.
photo of us trying to hike through the bush.
Fort San Lorenzo
Photo looking down into the Rio Chagres and way up on the other side is the crane used by the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute.
It was a walk along a road to get to the Fort San Lorenzo which was a good thing because it was the day after the big rain storm. Marg described it as ABF (another bloody fort) but it was quite spectacular and well preserved. It seemed like an impregnable fortress up on a high cliff but it seem everyone and his brother captured it and destroyed it, the pirate Captain Morgan and the British Navy. The Americans had an installation in the fort during the second world war but I don't think any one was defending it when they took over. One feature that was interesting where large rooms with vaulted ceilings and windows over looking the cliffs. They had protrusions from the wall where the candles must have been placed and you could easily imagine the room occupied by the Spanish Commander or Captain Morgan or the British Commander. Well I could . . Margaret not so much.
Debbie and Carl on "Diva" join us again on another hike up..
Fort San Lorenzo.. that way to Bocas (sort of).
On our way home we discover a natural swing.. just had to try it out.
tight squeeze ..
photo of the dam up close..
The Panama Canal
photo of Lake Gatun
The Rio Chagres was damed to make Lake Gatun which is the top part of the Panama canal. We took the trail from the river through the forest and eventually up a large grass embankment to he top of the dam and could see the first of the two locks dropping ships down to the Atlantic ocean as well as a line of ships motoring along the lake after being lifted from the Pacific ocean. All the traffic seemed to be from west to east when we were there and we didn't in see any sailboats among the monster ships.
finally dam it ..
June/2/2011, Rio Chagres, Panama
photo of brown frog with white stripe down it's back..
We took three walking trips one through the forest and up past the dam to see the canal, one up to Fort San Lorenzo at the head of the river and one to see what it would be like to hack your way through the jungle with machetes.
This trail to the dam was not difficult.
Colourful Plants too..
Photo of bats hanging around under a bridge we had to duck under.
Researchers at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (which we saw in the Chagres river) reported that bats, in the lowland tropical rainforest in Panama, significantly reduce insect abundance and damage on plants. Evidently, they can consume roughly twice as many plant-eating insects as do birds in a natural forest ecosystem.
Other then the howler monkeys, we hear many sounds coming from within the natural rain forest. Here in Panama, one of the first things you notice, is the beautiful, colourful birds and butterflies... and it's really hard to capture them on camera.