We decided to get away from PGA during the Honda Golf Tournament. It's too crowded and it's difficult to get around, So, it was off to Panama for a few days.
This time the planning was done by Granny and she found The Monkey Lodge - a B&B outside of Panama City. We were picked up at the airport and off to the lodge. This meant a trip right through the center of Panama City.
Once we were at the lodge, we were shown our room which was right next to the monkey enclosure. Below left is the monkey area as seen from our little "patio". Below right is our "patio" which is really a cage. So, WE were in the cage and the monkeys were free to roam the monkey area.
There were 4 monkeys in the enclosure but I only have pictures of three. In addition to the trees that were in the enclosure, there were a couple of ropes. One was strung between the house and OUR cage. The other between the house and one of the trees. I was fascinated by the monkeys walking across the ropes as if they were walkways. The ropes are not very steady and they are not very wide. Yet the monkeys walked across without any problem. They must have an amazing sense of balance. Below are our 3 neighbors.
There were a few tours available from the Lodge. We took 3 of them. The first tour was a boat trip to the canal. First we went to a mangrove area where we saw more monkeys. (This time they were in the wild.) We pulled in close to the edge of the river and the monkeys came down to be fed. They do this for peanuts!
The monkeys approach cautiously but eventually come into the boat for their peanuts.
We stopped for our picnic lunch and I was able to get a picture of this beautiful eagle.
After lunch, we went out onto the main part of the canal where all the action is. The canal is/was an amazing project. It was a massive engineering and construction undertaking. For a history and explanation of the canal and its construction, see one of the many articles available on the Web. They certainly do a better job than I. The importance of the canal is mind boggling. It is the link between the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans and the traffic through the canal is unending. Here we see a couple of the cargo ships traversing the passage. They are guided by tugs.
Our second tour was to the Miraflores Locks of the canal. There's a complete visitor center showing the history of the canal along with many other facts and artifacts. The canal consists of a series of locks on the Pacific side to raise the ships to the level of the Gatun Lake that connects to the Atlantic side. Then another series of locks on the Atlantic side to go back to sea level. The pictures above were taken on Gatun Lake. The pictures below are at the locks.
Our last tour was to the market. It was very similar to the markets we have seen in other central/latin American markets. Lots of fruits and vegetables, small cafes, bustling with cars, trucks and people. We wandered around, watched a man pressing sugar cane, saw the produce and eventually settled down for a little lunch.