Thursday, June 24, 2010

Firsts and more firsts. . .

It was a rainy first morning on Barro Colorado Island, but it cleared up by breakfast time. The sun was out for the rest of the day and we took a welcome walk into the jungle to get our boots wet. It was hot and humid, as you may have guessed.

Some of the first wildlife we saw were agoutis, pavo de monte, golden orb weavers,

a bullet ant nest called (Can you guess why it's named "bullet" ant?), beefsteak flower, leafcutter ants, and yes, we even saw a crocodile!
It was swimming across the now-forbidden-to-swim-in lagoon. We also saw heliconia, poison dart frogs, a ceiba tree (also known as a kapok tree. We have heard but not yet seen howler monkeys. Their call is low and loud.

Today was our first trip into Gamboa. Gamboa was built for canal workers in the early 1900s. This house was for the Canal Director or some important person.

We made our first trip into Panama City. Our first stop was at the Smithsonian Institute to get ID badges.

Our first meal in Panama City was at Stefan's favorite pizza place.

We didn't have much time in the city, but we did get our first feel for it. It seems very culturally diverse. We can't wait to get back in for some real exploring!

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