Posts Tagged ‘Panama’

Docked in Colon, Panama for Thursday, day-6 of the Poz Cruise. We had to set the alarm for this morning. We had to be on the pier at 7:15 for our excursions. I’m trying to eat a better breakfast. I want to save my calories for dinner. I’m sure my nutritionist would agree with this lack of logic. Eating fruit and coffee for breakfast from now on. The tour I selected was the Panama Canal, swimming at a waterfall, and an Indian village. They loaded us into buses and drove us out to a small town on a lake.

Our tour guys were young indiginous boys in beaded loin clothes. NOT this young. These were just local children playing and watching the weird tourists.

There were multiple motorized canoes to transport us across the lake to our destination.

we raced across the lake and up a river into the jungles of Panama.

It seemed like the trip took an hour.

The scenery was exotic and exiciting.

Mostly jungle, but we passed a few thatched Indian buildings.

When we finally landed, we then had a 10 minute walk along a rocky creek to a spectacular waterfall. It was like a scene out of South Pacific. Stepping into the basin of the waterfall surprised me. The current was much more powerful than I anticipated. We had to swim over to the opposite side to get under the waterfall.

After swimming, we loaded back into the canoes and headed back across the lake. This time we stopped at one of the thatched buildings.

It was a huge tent. We didn’t know if we were going to be served dinner or whether we were dinner, but there was no large boiling pot.

Around the perimeter of this large thatched tent were stands were the villagers were selling local crafts. One of our members bought one of the beaded loan clothes. We think the beads were made in China.

In the center of this tent were a lot of benches where we sat down and watched a presentation of the struggles of these people in their clash with the modern world.

They danced for us and told us their history. I was hoping this wasn’t a time-share presentation.

We started wandering around the village looking at the local houses.

The village was set on a hillside overlooking the lake.

Most of the houses were on stilts and underneath was used for storage and hang laundry.

It seemed as if there was only one shower and one latrine-outhouse in town. We were discussing the simplicities of life among ourselves and whether we would like to live or at least spend time in a primitive place like this. I don’t think I could survive the lack of amenities.

After the festivities, we loaded back into the canoes and went back to the original village where our buses were located. Loading up into the buses, we then headed to the Panama Canal.

I love history and seeing the canal was one of the highlights of my trip. The picture would have been better without my finger. After the French had built the Suez Canal in Egypt, they came to Panama and tried to duplicate that feat using the same technique of building a sea-level canal across the 50 mile isthmus of Panama. There was a large internal lake that could be incorporated into the canal. But Panama was a mountainous tropical jungle unlike the Sinai and the French failed.

American ingenuity designed a series of huge locks to lift the ships up and over the various levels connecting the Pacific and Atlantic Ocean. We saw the Gatun Locks.

This was a long day and we made it back to the ship at the appointed time. At dinner I had the Caesar Sald with anchovies, Vichyssoise soup, Tomato-basil-mozarella sald, filet mignon, and apple ie a-la-mode for dessert. We went to a show at the Victoriana theatre, but in all honesty it was disappointing. Basically it was a couple karaoke numbers. I went to bed early skipping the Carnival on-deck dance party. I’m just not a late-night person.

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Ready for an adventure? A possibly life changing week-long experience? Join 200+ HIV+ Gay Men on the POZ Cruise, October 23-31, 2010 The Carnival Ship leaves from Fort Lauderdale and sails to Cozumel, Costa Rica, and Panama. Visit wwww.hivcruise.com for more information

There are about 18 of us guys from the Group who will be going on the cruise. So sign up now and join in the fun. Chances are you will have a bunch of friends onboard — if not you make some great new ones!

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