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Monday, March 30, 2009

From out of the ashes cont.

EXOTIC....that is the only word to describe the Gamboa Resort (do yourself a favor and look at the pictures available on this site...) in Panama.
Located 17 miles from Panama City and a 15 hour flight from Arizona, it is a nature lovers paradise. We actually had to trade down to a simple hotel room rather than a condo to be able to secure a week here but it was more than worth it.

Although I had never given a lot of thought to the Panama canal that this resort is next to (and the USA built), I enjoyed learning of it and seeing it in action....... Brilliant! It was also a great treat to have our guide say to us...."USA come back" compared to the "USA go home" that has been slung around. He said they were treated so much better when the USA was there.

The best thing about this resort, is the resort is just breathtaking everywhere you look....inside and out. It faces the Chagres River and in the morning the fog sits on the tops of the deep forest behind all to be enjoyed in our specially made hammock

greenery, water structures and decorative rod iron were all part of the hotel and the monkey bar which had a full length veranda to sit on and enjoy the view. Every late afternoon squawking parrots would fly (I guess south) for the night...what a sound they made.

A HUGE pool with a waterfall the full length of it and can you imagine....We were the only ones in it! Hubby and I played around and enjoyed Mai Tai's at the swim up bar and there were no sexy little babes to be compared to, just us two old codgers:)

Most of my trips include an animal of some sort and here there was a resident cat that everyone cat, I can tell you, His pathetic meow had us all bringing him dinners.

This was the mode of travel to the boats for the tours or down to the restaurant at the bottom of the hill on the river that included these swimming entertainers

There was plenty to do on the property but they also offered many tours. I have two favorites.....the boat ride to monkey island where the monkeys would jump in the boat to get the banana's that were offered even with their babies on their back

but believe had to be fast to get a picture and fortunately another traveler was, whom I borrowed this and other pictures from.

Another most interesting tour was getting permission to go to a private island and visit the Embera tribe. Our tour guide was black as coal and spoke with a British accent...always threw me for a loop, but he was a really nice guy and could speak the Inidan langauage as well so he interpreted for our tour. The first big challenge is that you have to go in a little canoe to the island and let me tell you...It was a little narrow canoe!! I was not sure my butt was going to fit in it and then it was maned by an Indian wearing only a loin cloth...sorry, I don't have a picture of that:)

The chief of the tribe, children and dogs all greeted us and welcomed us to their island. It was a community of several families and they each took turns preparing the food in the community kitchen which was a loft up in the trees. We climbed up to it (on tree stumps) and was prepared a fried fish lunch where they shared about their traditions, culture and products they made. All the women were topless including our cook

It was a good lunch and also included fried bananas. They made several different tourist things like jewelry and baskets and etc. I was fascinated by how they made things from the different colored reeds and asked to buy this hot pad unfinished
The lady was amazed I would pay full price for something unfinished and It graces my wall in my bathroom to remind me of this wonderful trip.
Now as noted earlier all trips have the good and the bad. For this trip the bad was the food...not very good and not a lot of variety and the service was very slow but this was the only time my hubby and I were ever given a goodbye gift from a server, She was a sweetie. The mosquitoes were bad and the poor side of Panama City is heartbreaking and it is a very long flight but if time and money were no issue would I go back?????? In a minute!


Linda G. said...

Changes, traveling with you is such great fun! I always wondered about Panama and thanks to you, I know what it would be like to visit there.
And the Main trip looks wonderful..
Thanks for taking us along with you. It's a special treat for those of us who those of us who haven't had the opportunity to travel much:)

Chatty Crone said...

Awesome, my son loves places like these and I am going to send him the site. Thanks.

Lady Di Tn said...

What a fancasnating trip. Peace

JeanMac said...

Love your travel journal. This seems like one of the best - breath taking beauty.

Farmchick said...

Wow! Love these pictures.