Panama City day 1: Fort San Lorenzo and Gatun Locks
We stayed at the Balboa Inn B&B
in Balboa, just outside the city. They served breakfast on the patio,
and saw lots of birds and a few agoutis (big rodents). We didn't see the big
boa constrictor who reportedly sometimes hangs out in the yard.
bird feeders at our B&B
garden path off the breakfast area
Our driver picked us up at our hotel and we headed across the country.
We passed a big ship near the Pacific side, and drove across the Gatun Locks.
The road the San Lorenzo is surrounded by jungle, so we stopped whenever
we saw something in the trees. We saw sloths, white faced monkeys, and
howler monkeys. We also got out and walked (or climbed) in the jungle.
a ship on the Pacific side
crossing the Panama Canal by car
driving across the canal at Gatun Locks
a sloth in the trees
howler monkeys in the trees
stopping to watch monkeys on the road to Fort San Lorenzo
climbing vines just off the road
don't get too close to this tree
curlicue tree or vine
The road washed out the previous rainy season, but there was a path around it.
Our guide Mario told us about the fort. The Spanish shipped all of their
gold overland from Panama City to the Chagres River, and from there to Spain.
Fort San Lorenzo guarded the mouth of the Chagres until Captain Morgan
led over a thousand pirates to destroy it in 1671.
the road to San Lorenzo washed away in the rainy season
climbing part of the ruins
walking out to the ruins of the fort
view from the fort
the fort protected the Spanish gold shipments
Evan wanted to put flowers into the cannon
view of the mouth of the Chagres River; this is where the treasure ships came from
climbing down the steps
all of the barracks had a view of the river
lunch in front of the fort
After lunch, we drove back through the jungle and stopped a few more times
heading back through the jungle
tthe route around road washout
more howler monkeys in the trees
butterfly stopped long enough for a picture
sloth in the tree
a different (and bigger) variety of sloth
sloth woke up
We stopped at Gatun Locks to watch a big cargo ship and two sailboats get
lowered in one of the three locks. Special trains guide the big ships through
the locks -- the cargo ship had just two feet to spare on either side!
waiting to cross back over the canal at Gatun
viewing area at Gatun Locks
looking east toward the Carribbean
lowering the water in the far lock; you can just barely see the masts of two sailiboats in front of the container ship
moving into the next lock
one of the original "mules" that help steer the ships through the locks