Saturday, August 21, 2010

An 8 hour tour to visit the Embera Indian village

Arriving at the Embera village. The band started up!

Delicious fruit for lunch!

The men played music while the women danced.
It started to pour, but that didn't bother the soccer players!

The women and girls did a variety of dances.

Our boat navigator was amazing at avoiding rocks etc.
Of course Jennie got up first to join in the dance!
Great friends!
These bugs get really noisy in the evening.
A lizard on the trail.
Our dugout canoe.
The Embera village that we visited.
We hiked into some falls and had a wonderful swim!
This terantula was walking across the road and our driver stopped so we could take pictures. I was soooo scared so my picture is blurry!

They had their handiwork for sale. We bought a basket and a few bracelets.
The woman on the left was proud to know a few words in French.

This is tree bark that they soften and use for bedding.
Picture posing after the dancing.

Back into the boat!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Historic Panama

The Kuna people are one of the indigenous people here. The women dress in very bright clothes and wear beads on their legs and arms. They don't like having their picture taken. After I bought some of their work, this woman said that I could take her picture.
This was our English speaking tour guide of the old city. His grandmother had taught him to read at an early age and he has taught himself all that he knows about the city through his reading. Very nice young man.
One of the beautiful old buildings that will be renovated into a nice hotel in the future. There were little squares like this one throughout the old city.
Walking through the old city. A mix of run down and renovated places.
The white building to the right is the presidential palace. We had to go through security to get onto this street.
The Pacific Ocean. Sitting on a wall in the old city.
The Kuna people's handiwork.
We climbed an ancient cathedral tower. I took this picture through a tower window. I liked the mix of old and new architecture.
One of the handicrafts here is basket weaving. This lady does beautiful work. She showed us the technique.
This is Jessy. We bought some handicraft bags from her and she gave me a necklace as a gift.

First Day in Panama

This is the Panama Canal. We had fun watching large ships go though this set of locks. There was also a museum and film that told about the building of the canal. The canal is 80 km long and unites the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
This view is towards the Pacific Ocean.
Mary and Mark, our Canadian friends who moved here 2 1/2 years ago,  took us up to a great view point that overlooked Panama City and the Canal. Mary's husband Dave was at work, so couldn't join us.
Enjoying lunch with Mary and Mark, at their place.
The white building on the right is the building where we are staying. We were up on the roof enjoying the view. Unfortunately the infinity pool on the roof is being repaired.
Looking down on the historic district of Panama City.
Panama City.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Manuel Antonio National Park

This is one of the most popular national parks in Costa Rica. The little town at the entrance gate has some funky hotels and the market is cool.
Inside the park is some beautiful flora and fauna, but unless you are a naturalist, you need a guide to be able to see most of what is there.

Our guide, Danny Garcia, was so enthusiastic, he quickly drew us into his love for the park and all its natural delights. He pointed out things that we never would have seen, showed them close up in his telescope, and even got great shots with our cameras through the scope, like the one below of the sloth.

A curious little white-faced monkey stole someone's sunscreen, but when it didn't taste good he dropped it.

Danny's tour ended at a really nice beach, where we floated in the waves and dreamed that we lived here.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Jaco Beach - Tarcoles - Orotina

Jaco Beach is a surfing town. This day had small waves but it was still fun to watch. Mike is relaxing in our comfy condo. It´s quite luxurious!
So today was our crocodile river outing with Jose´s company. We got a private tour! Lucky us! It was both exciting and terrifying at the same time. The crocs were up to 18 feet and sooo close to us!!!
The mangrove forest was incredible. There were so many nature sounds and it was so beautiful.
At time´s, Jose´s assistant was almost knee deep in mud as he fed raw chicken to the various crocodiles. There is no way he could have outrun

We also saw many unusual birds.

After our tour, we went back to Jose´s house and picked up his Canadian wife, Caroline. Her parent´s own the condo that we are renting.
While we waited for her to get ready, Mike and I walked the 3 minute walk to the ocean, from their house. There were 3 young boys riding bareback.
The beach was almost deserted and went on forever. It was very peaceful.
We drove with Caroline and Jose to a neighbouring city and stopped along the way so that I could buy a large colourful scarf/wall-hanging. While Jose got his haircut in Orotina, Caroline showed us around the market, shops and city park. I bought some unusual fruit that the vendor let me sample.
We had them drop us off at the bus station and we rode back in a very muggy bus. We were sooo ready for a swim in our pool, and some of the guys in our condo building had just BBQed sausages and offered some to us. Great way to end a perfect day!