So, today was our biodiversity tour of the panama canal and the associated lake. Every part of it was awesome, from seeing ginormous ships passing by us, to hiking through the jungle and seeing monkeys. Commentary is below each picture.
This is just a view of the many paths going through Gatun lake in the canal. The lake is at the highest point in the lock system; 85 feet above sea level.
This is more along the lines of what I imagined the entire length of the canal would look like. I never imagined a huge lake with little islands to explore and random paths through the jungle. It was really neat to be along side the ships though. They're huge and I can't say I've ever been so close to one.
MONKEY!!! Ok, so these aren't actually native to Panama. People had them as pets, then dumped them on an island in the lake. Now they're a tourist attraction, with boats bringing people to feed the monkeys bananas. We did, however, see Howler monkeys, which are native to Panama. Apparently they have a habit of throwing anything they're holding at you, and if they' aren't holding anything to throw, they will produce something to throw. For this reason, we didn't get to close to them and I don't have a good picture to post.
This is an old US military radio control station. Now, it's a place for plants to grow where trees can't steal their sun. There were bats inside of the structure, and also a tree (next picture)
There is definitely a tree growing in the building. I haven't ever seen anything quite like it. Apparently its in the ficus family (that'll make my mom happy) and is referred to as a walking tree. I can see why.
I have a ton more pictures, but there are only so many that I can post and I only have to much time to blog. There is a Carnival expo tonight that I'm going to. I don't think its a very touristy thing, so I may not take pictures (AKA put a sign on my head that says "TOURIST"), but if I do I'll post a few.