Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Rio Chiriqui Nuevo

Wow! I had another wonderful adventure today when I joined forces with 3 new couple friends and fellow retires Phil and Susan, Joyce and Nick, Tammy and Mitch. We spent several hours floating the Rio Esti and Rio Chiriqui Nuevo near David. It was a lovely trip full of 1 spill (Joyce and Nick got sideways in their inflatable kayak & went for a swim), great weather (overcast with no rain), and green Panama scenery (I love the rainy season). When I opened Google Earth in search of where we had floated, I was surprised to see these pictures of the Rio Chiriqui Nuevo bridge when it failed in 1984. I couldn't find anything else about the catastrophe. I also had to include a picture of the beach house I am buying. Plans are to move in once I return to Panama July 8.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Dancing with Turtle Tracks

Wow! I just missed Ms. Tortuga’s journey from the ocean to the Playa La Barqueta sands to lay her baby olive ridley turtles this morning. She timed it just right, emerging from the ocean around 4:30 a.m., pregnant with her 100+ eggs, swiftly digging a hole and laying the sexless eggs. Smartly returning to the ocean just before the tide changed, she hid her tracks with the incoming sea. According to the literature, Ms. Tortuga will return in 14 days to lay a second clutch. Besides sharing the beach with her, we have something else in common. We both dance. I love this quote from the book Sea Turtles by James R. Spotila: “The Olive Ridley is a beautiful dancer. On certain cloudy, moonless nights you can hear the female’s dance as she covers her nest of eggs. Long before you see her a series of thumping sounds can be heard in the night air. Then you spot a little (by leatherback standards) turtle bouncing on the sand, pounding it flat and hard with her plastron. Propped up on her front flippers and hind legs, she alternatively bounces her plastron side to side in a little dance that seals the site where she has just deposited her offspring. It strikes one as unusual and unexpected: Look at the silly turtle dancing on the sand.” Thanks, Leslie, for giving me this great book!

Speaking of dancing, I’m excited about returning to the US in two weeks so I can see family and dance at the weeklong Lady of the Lake Dance Camp in Idaho. I’ve had the pleasure of dancing there twice before and always enjoy the new steps, beautiful setting, music and new friendships.

Last week I accompanied my friends Sherri Ann and Ken to Panama City where we discovered the Granclement Gourmet Ice Cream & Sorbets shop in Casco Viejo (best gelato I’ve ever tasted made by a French couple who moved to Panama 4 years ago), a $5.00 dinner show (more dancing) at the Pencas Show Tipico on the Amador Causeway (see the video below), and the largest produce market I’ve ever encountered. I’ll be back…especially for the gelato!