Sunday, February 6, 2011

La Loma Jungle Lodge and Other Adventures

Hello Faithful Readers--
This will be my last Panama blog because I have moved to the Big Island of Hawaii.  My last two weeks in Panama culminated with a trip to the La Loma Jungle Lodge and Chocolate Factory.  I have so many pictures from Mono Feliz (I took Allan there before La Loma) and the Jungle Lodge that I'll put those in the next Panama Blog.
Allan had a great time in Panama but was somewhat overwhelmed by the diesel spewing out of many of the cars.    For a well rounded experience, I took him to Boquete (Tuesday Market and a hike on the Pipeline Trail), Kayaking in the Mangrove near Playa La Barqueta, Mono Feliz, and La Loma.  I will talk mostly about La Loma since I've covered the other locations in previous blogs.
I never would have heard about La Loma Jungle Lodge and Chocolate Factory located on Bastimentos Island near Bocas Del Toro had the couple who own and run the Lodge (Henry and Margaret) not needed a place to stay on a beach near David.  They found Nina and Richard's condo (where they stayed for 4 nights) which lead them to my condo for another 4 nights last year.  I exchanged with them and got to stay at La Loma for free.
Lucky for us, it was a beautiful drive over the Continental Divide and the weather remained sunny for most of the 4 days we were there (we had some exceptional hard rain... but that was mostly at night).  Since Allan and I are raw fooders, we brought our own food and didn't partake in any of the gourmet meals.  The first day we spent snorkeling, sunning and walking around Zapatillas Cays (a set of 2 islands protected by the ANAM, Panama's National Park Service).  It was lovely, but somewhat crowded.  We would have gone to the less used island, but it was blocked by huge waves.  It rained the next morning (Thursday), but was clear by afternoon, so we went on the Cave/Mangrove tour.  That was my favorite thing to do because I got to bird on the mangrove as the boat driver paddled us slowly toward the cave trail.  We saw several montezuma oropendolas (love their call), one sun grebe (a new bird for my list), eight capuchin monkeys leaping across the mangrove and four 3-toed sloths (one with a baby) eating in their favorite trees (cecropia). The cave was very interesting and endlessly long, requiring some swimming (which we didn't do).  There were tons of very healthy bats (including vampires) and bat guano.  On Friday, I caught a boat ride to Bocas Town, then a second boat ride to Almirante, then drove to Changuinola where I wire transferred all of my money back to the U.S. (so I can buy land in Hawaii). I didn't return to the Lodge until 4:30 (Allan spent a pleasant day relaxing and reading).  We left Saturday morning and had a very pleasant drive back to the beach and my going away party (DJ'ed gringo music where Allan was said to have danced NOT like a white boy).
So, if you want to see what I'm up to, go to my Hawaii Blog at www.elaine-in-hawaii.blogspot.com!

1 comment:

rohrerbot said...

Have you gone through some culture shock? But you went from one tropical climate to another....so I bet it's absolutely lovely in Hawaii:)