Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Separation Anxiety

I'll start packing for my upcoming Washington trip tomorrow, but I'm already feeling separation anxiety from Las Brisas Del Mar & Panama in general. I had the most magic bird walk this morning. It seemed like I was invisible or perhaps the birds have grown accustomed to me. They were everywhere... singing, posing, mating, fighting, eating. I even saw the elusive Gray-necked Wood-rail who "usually keeps to thick cover and not regularly seen; known in Panama as 'cocaleca' or 'cocle' because of its calls." I also saw 2 Bare-throated Tiger-herons! If you are wondering about this picture, it's a sea snake whose latin name is Pelanydrus platurus. Yes, it is highly venomous, but no one in Panama has ever been bitten. I saw him when I started my afternoon beach walk & had to run back to fetch my camera. He was still there when I returned 1.5 hours later, so I assume he's dead. Now he will become food for the vultures & yellow-headed cara caras.

When I return from the USA, I'll be coordinating a 2-day river trip for the Boquete Chicas (August 3 & 4), then I'm heading to Cartagena & Santa Marta, Columbia for a 10-day "vacation" with 2 of my Chica friends (Penny & Louise). I know, how can it be a vacation if I'm already on a permanent retirement vacation? Cartagena is billed as one of the most beautiful cities in South America. We'll spend 7 nights at the Mendihuaca Caribbean Resort near Santa Marta & Parque Tayrona (where I hope to see the fabled Lost City), then we'll go to Cartagena for 3 nights. Yes, Columbia is the land of "unmistakable dangers and forbidden fruits" (as another person's blog says). It's gotten better since 2003 & they are actually starting to cater to tourists. Still, don't tell my mother I am going there...! Copa Airlines is charging a ridiculous $500 to fly between Panama City & Cartagena (a 1-hour flight).

Wish me luck on the "express" 6-hour bus ride to Panama City on Friday 6/27. If you are reading this blog from California, Oregon or Washington, I hope to see you soon!


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