Today was an exceptional day, not just because the weather was finally beautiful and clear, or even because I got to feed a monkey, but because we finally had a day off. Now, it’s not that I haven’t enjoyed every single day here, it was just nice not having to lug around camera equipment in the humidity for once.
We got up around 8am and traveled to some remote destination on the canal where a jungle man named Carl (yes, Carl) picked us up for the tour. Carl was fantastic. Not only was he funny, but he was hospitable and liked rum as well. Oh, and he had incredibly massive calves.
So we hopped on this canal, and spent the next hour or so cruising the canal and stopping at remote destinations for a quick Carl history lesson. He also took us to some areas where we were able to feed two different types of monkeys. They were surprisingly friendly and quick. We were given peanuts and bananas to entice them with, and they quickly hopped on the excursion boat and snatched them from our hands. It was one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen.
Then Carl took us to his little house boat in some cove off of the canal where he provided us with lunch and beverages. The houseboat was a two story houseboat that allowed jumping off the highest dock and kayaking. Carolyn and I, after lunch, decided to grab a lime green kayak and make our way to the waterfalls that Carl showed us. Most of the Panama teams went, and Carolyn and I took a while to get a good grip on the whole balancing and steering thing, but we finally made it.
Most of the team immediately started jumping off the waterfalls, but I lagged behind. I’m not really a huge fan of the whole submerging myself in cold water thing. But finally, after watching them each go off the waterfall several times, I decided I HAD to give it a try. So I sucked it up and swam out to the rocks. I then ascended up the jagged rocks to the top and looked down. It wasn’t so high. It kinda made me laugh. I have definitely jumped off higher cliffs before at the South Holston Lake (in my hometown). By the way, Mom, if you read this don’t be alarmed. I’m still here all in one piece. After I finally made my way to the edge and jumped down, it was time to go. Go figure. I was proud of myself though. I actually did it when I had the chance. I didn’t pass it up.
After jumping off the waterfall, Carolyn and I were determined to make it back to the houseboat first. We wanted to prove that we (as completely inexperienced kayakers) could rock some kayaking. The best part was when Carolyn and I were challenged by two Kazakhstanis to be the first one back. Carolyn and I of course accepted the challenge, and off we went. Surprisingly, Carolyn and I beat them. It was pretty awesome. You could tell that they, too, were super surprised. Needless to say, I’m already feeling the ache now in my arms. I wish I could kayak everyday though, it would be the one of the best ways to exercise.
Carl let us chill out on the boat and jump off of it a few more times for a couple of hours before we had to make it back. We then hopped back on the bus, headed back to the villa, and showered. Victoria decided to take us to this sweet little Lebanese place on the Cozway (dont know if I’m spelling that correctly). It was a beautiful location and I ordered a shishkabob sandwich, which turned out to be a wrap. The meat was really tender, but the sauce was a bit wacky. All-in-all though, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I’m so thankful for all that she does for us, cause literally, if it wasn’t for her, I’d be completely lost in this place!