|If only we got these prices in Canada!|
Next we took off for Taboga Island to spend a day of swimming in tropical waters while boozing on the beach. Except we did neither.
We took off from the Amodor Causeway for a 3 hour tour that ended in an unfortunate storm that left us stranded for several years on an uncharted island. No wait. That was Gilligan.
|This is only a one hour tour.|
|Taboga as seen from the ferry.|
"Holy shit!" I said, dipping a toe. "I've swum in water warmers in the North Atlantic!"
"Don't be silly," said my Dad, who wandered off for a bit before testing the waters himself.
|I don't know who this woman is but it's a nice beach anyway.|
After a while the incessant bird calls got on my nerves and I strolled across the beach to see a shit load of pelicans feasting on a school of sardines. I know a shit load is not the usual term for a large gathering of birds, but flock doesn't seem so appropriate in this case.
|Not just a mere flock, but a shit-load of pelicans.|
I wandered around the little town, taking a lot of pics of the flora and fauna. Taboga is also known as the Island of Flowers and it's easy to see why. Colourful plants bloom wild everywhere, tended carefully by the town's caretakers.
The next day we took off to see Old Panama City, where the Spanish had first constructed a settlement which was subsequently destroyed by pirates.
There's not a whole lot to see here other than ruined walls, but if you have a bit of an imagination (as I do), you can get a feel for the history of the place which I enjoyed.
At 22 meters, the tower had a 360 degree view of the skyline, and while the topography of the land has changed (the water is further away), you can see still pretty much everything from the church tower. There were no cannon in place, but they damned well knew plenty of time in advance when the pirates were going to attack, which was apparently quite often.
The church also constructed a huge convent at one point, which is roughly the size of the Canada Post plant in Halifax by modern standards, meaning about the size of a city block. Even today, wandering around inside the ruined walls one can appreciate how huge the building must have been, which would have been no small feat to construct in 1571.
Panama is trying to rebuild the entire site, much like the city of Halifax has done with the Citadel. As they are still literally digging up bones in new excavation areas (including a prehistoric camel without any humps), I expect this will take at least another couple of decades.
Meanwhile they are using modern brick to shore up the interior of crumbling walls and replacing the original stones over top of it. It is a spectacularly massive undertaking, trying to reconstruct a town that has been gone and forgotten for a couple of centuries.
I hope they get it done before I die so I can go back and see it.
Speaking of going back, it was finally time to return to Canada and my usual cool northern weather. We survived another one of Oscar's mad car chases into the city and despite all my fears of fiery plane crash death, I arrived safely home in Halifax.
I did have to go to the ER yesterday because I had so many insect bites that my feet and ankles swelled up like balloons, which freaked me out. Apparently I'm suffering an allergic reaction due to the sheer number of bites I've gotten (well over 50) and my body is not used to the Panamanian mosquitos, only ordinary Canadian ones.
I really don't like either.
All of my photos are finally uploaded in the album, so this will be the last vacation blog I bore you with.