Out of Bounds
 
Jungle Explorers
Steve
June/4/2011

When you see a guy hacking through the jungle mile after mile in movies, don't believe it unless they admit it took weeks and they had a army of "young" men with machetes. We were hacking our way along a supposed path that have been abandoned for a couple of years and soon lost the path and our will to proceed. We did find Nutmeg on the ground. We are familiar with the spice from Grenada where it is abundant on small bushy trees, here it had fallen from towering trees with their foliage up in the canopy.

Central America - Panama
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June/4/2011

Chop, chop..
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.

Central America - Panama
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June/4/2011

photo of us trying to hike through the bush.

Central America - Panama
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June/4/2011

Third hike..

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Fort San Lorenzo
Steve
June/3/2011

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.

Central America - Panama
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June/3/2011

abf..

Central America - Panama
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June/3/2011

Debbie and Carl on "Diva" join us again on another hike up..

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Another BF
June/3/2011

Fort San Lorenzo.. that way to Bocas (sort of).

Central America - Panama
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June/2/2011

On our way home we discover a natural swing.. just had to try it out.

Central America - Panama
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June/2/2011

going through..

Central America - Panama
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June/2/2011

tight squeeze ..

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June/2/2011

Lining up..

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June/2/2011

photo of the dam up close..

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The Panama Canal
Steve
June/2/2011

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.

Central America - Panama
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June/2/2011

finally dam it ..

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Hiking trails..
steve
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.

Central America - Panama
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June/2/2011

This trail to the dam was not difficult.

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Colourful Plants too..
June/2/2011

Red..

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June/1/2011

"bats"!

Central America - Panama
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June/1/2011

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.

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