Sunday, January 5, 2014

Saturday Half Day!

Hola Amigos!

After almost a week of hard work, Saturday finally came! We all had big plans for our first half day of the trip, however a quick reflection and discussion came first. Reflecting on all of our experiences in Panama so far, we delved deeper into the social issues regarding the post revolution Panama and United States control of the Canal Zone. Many great points were made as we all gained further insight about this crucial topic.

After this morning of hard work, we all split up to head out and enjoy our day! Many of us traveled to the Gamboa Rainforest Resort to relax and explore the jungle. Gamboa Rainforest resort is located in Gamboa, which was once a Canal Zone township for canal workers. Traveling there was quite interesting, as we saw remnants of the old towns and housing that the Canal workers once used. Gamboa was initially populated by mostly "silver roll" workers, which is quite apparent in the very different layout and design than the old American military base that is now the city of knowledge.
We also got one last great look at the Miraflores locks in use while driving by. It was great to see another perspective of the locks we had spent time at the day before.
Gamboa itself is located on the Chagres river and can only be accessed by this one old single lane wooden bridge.  Although we did not experience it first hand, we heard that this site was where massive flooding had happened in late 2010 that caused the Panama Canal to close temporarily. Seeing the massive scale of Gatun Lake and the power of the Chagres river, one can only imagine the incredible forces of such a flood. 
Shown above is the incredible view of the Chagres seen at the Gamboa Rainforest Resort. Because Gamboa can only be reached by one road, there are sections of rainforest here that are considered to be some of the least disturbed in all of Panama. Its amazing to think that land just as wild as this was upturned to built the canal. 
After enjoying view of the rainforest canopy and exploring the nearby jungles, we hit the pool for some relaxation before heading back to the city. The proximity of untouched, beautiful rainforest to the city is incredible. Never before have we seen such a juxtaposition of terrain and layout.

From your daily bloggers,

Richard and Ted

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