Jungle fever in Panama

We had the day off Tuesday and were able to take a Panama Canal Tour. The tour takes you through parts of the canal and the main lake which is man made and surrounded by jungle. In the jungle is where we had the most fun.

After cruising across the water and seeing several large ocean tankers we started to get into the more thick and unsettled jungle regions of Panama. Our tour guide and the captain of the small boat, which fit our group of 18 perfectly, began pointing towards the jungle and telling us to look out for animals. As the boat neared the shore, I could see branches beginning to move and leaves rustling in the trees and then came our first monkey sighting. He jumped right out of the tree and started staring right at us.

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We saw lots of other monkeys on the tour including three different types. They were so cool. We brought bananas to attract the monkeys and on several occasions they would jump onto the top of the boat and then hang down to retrieve their banana treat. It was so cool.

Then we arrived at a floating restaurant for lunch. The structure was half house boat and the other part was just a small building that was attached to the boat. We ate a delicious Panamanian lunch of chicken, rice, tamales, beef and more. It was probably the best meal of the trip so far and they have all been good.

After lunch the tour company brought out a boa constrictor snake for people to hold. I chickened out and didn’t hold the long and deadly creature. He felt too weird for. Later they brought out a baby Cayman and had no trouble trying that. It was actually pretty cute until it tried to bite my head off.

After lunch we hopped into kayaks and paddled around the lagoon. We ventured into the jungle through tight spaces before winding around to a gorgeous waterfall. We all climbed up and soaked in the water fall before jumping off the rocks. It was a blast and the water was amazing.

img_0978After that we paddled back to the house boat but before we got there my kayak capsized so me and my friend Andrew, who was also in the boat, had to hop back in which set us a little behind the group. Then, about 15 minutes later we were paddling along when out of nowhere came what had to be the tail of a Cayman crocodile. The tail splashed down into the water and soaked both of us. Then it was gone. We sure got the heck out of there after that.

After some swimming in the crocodile infested waters we loaded back onto the boat and eventually finished our tour.

Later in the day I went to the shore with a few other group members to shoot photo and video of the sunset overlooking the canal and a large bridge. We got some great shots there like this one.

It was another great day and a much needed break from work!

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