Thursday, January 10, 2013


Our second day in Panama and our first excursion. Doing my research before the trip, a zipline adventure through rainforest canopy appealed to me. It especially appealed to me since I bought my GoPro, a tiny little HD cam with a fisheye lens I could strap to the helmet.

The zipline did not appeal to Collette. She has a real and legitimate fear of heights and over the years I've dragged her on top of Mayan temples, glaciers and the Empire State Building .. the girl draws the line at flying along a piece of cable hundreds of feet over a jungle valley floor.


Luckily, the bus that would take me to the canopy could take her on another trip, into the Anton Valley, where she would visit a waterfall, a flower sanctuary and an an animal shelter .. and this being a Pananamanian animal sanctuary, it would include jaguars and parrots and exotic frogs .. oh my! Later we would meet up in a little town where we could do some souvenir shopping.

So off we went together to the Anton Valley that sprawls across the bottom of an extinct volcano.

From here, I would go up into the mountains to do the zipline and Collette would go take a look at the waterfall I would be flying over before heading off for the little zoo. I've used her photo's in the video to illustrate her adventure but here's a couple of extra shots of her trek through the rainforest and an orchid garden

While Collette was dealing with the beauty of Panama I was scrambling up narrow trails choked with wet, crumbling rocks (for once no exaggeration) only with the anticipation of jumping off them. Ok, I'd be on a zip line, but you get my point

OK I've never claimed to be all that bright.

To be honest, the climb up was bad enough that the idea of just jumping and hanging on to the cable seemed relaxing. I was very brave .. and the sound you will hear in the video is completely artificial, replacing the sound of me crying like a little girl

Speaking of which, as I just rocketed down the zip lines, an actual 12 year old female ballet dancer was there with her family and on the line she did the splits, pointed her toes, and acted as it this was the most natural thing in the world. I was just happy not to scream like a little girl

Afterwards we went back to the DeCameron Resort for the rest of the day. This time we walked in the opposite direction off the property. Here, the private houses were much larger, a few of them a bit run down. On in particular caught Collette's attention and she snapped a picture of it.

We would learn later that this a mansion that had once belonged to Manuel Noriega, the USA entitiled drug dealer and dictator who, ironically, was later taken down by the Americans. He served time in a US prison, then in France and is now in a prison in Panama's canal zone, supposedly in a big mansion living it large. But more on that later. Suffice it to say, this mansion had seen its day.

And so had we. Time for another Traveller

Here's the video

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