Winter Barn Owl

Winter Barn Owl
Life's a Hoot !

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Cruising through the Panama Canal

As I continue to share my past travels, join me on
 Holland America's 'Zuiderdam',
cruising through the Panama Canal.
My first impression of the canal system was thinking: "How the heck are we going to fit this ship in that narrow space?"


Note how close the ship is to the side of the canal

The train pulley system
Once docked at Colon, Panama, I ventured into the Gamboa Rainforest and was treated to local wildlife sightings
A sloth



Walking to the top of this....
...netted this beautiful view
The next port of call was Limon, Costa Rica, where I rode a rickety old train through the uninhabited (by humans) countryside
Look up, look way, way up and watch out for the 'howler monkeys'.
They are known to fling their own 'poo' at you if they get agitated.  I felt using my telephoto lens was in order for this shot
 My most favourite part of the excursion
 was visiting a banana plantation
The bananas are wrapped in blue bags as they grow in order to protect them from insects, bruising and ripening too fast
'Hanging around' to get their first hose-down!


video

Before being packed into boxes by hand,
 they are thoroughly washed in huge basins
I will never take a banana for granted again.  The manual labour that goes into its journey from tree to table is truely unimaginable! 
 Here is a small taste!
video


Our last stop was in Curacao - Zuiderdam was majestic in port
We were lucky enough to have a balcony cabin - my roomie C.W. enjoyed the view
Where's Waldo, oops I mean C.W.
The dutch influence can be seen in the colourful buildings
One aspect of cruising is having to doll up for formal nights!
  How did I do?
I couldn't possibly make a post without including some aspect of food.  I joined the culinary team and head chef for a hands on cooking demonstration
Our finished product....
Cruising is fabulous.....new lands are visited, new experiences are created and being mesmerized by the calm waters is so soothing....