August 13, 2010
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Isla Contadora to Panama City
Today our plan was to leave Isla Contadora on the 9:30 plane, pick up a rental car at Albrook airport, and drive to the Canopy Tower to be there in time for lunch and the afternoon bird watching walk. Tomorrow we’d check out at 9am, drive to the Caribbean coast and check out the ruins of the Spanish forts at Portobello, and then make our way back to Sierra Llorona Lodge for another afternoon of wildlife watching. Alas, none of this was to happen as planned.
It was dumping rain when we woke up. The fountain in the middle of the courtyard was overflowing and turning the breakfast area into a lake. By 8am we knew our plane would not be coming at 9:30. A giant storm was sitting directly over the Bay of Panama, purple on the radar map, and moving slowly toward Panama City.
Here’s how hard it was raining:
“Thank Heavens, For Little…Computers”
We waited to hear news. Nothing. We waited some more. Finally, around 11am, we decided to cut our losses and reconfigure as best we could.
Fortunately, we still had intermittent internet access, going in and out with the storm. I got on the netbook and did my best at vacation damage control.
- Because the Canopy Tower was prepaid, I emailed them first, asking if we could push our arrival by a day as we were stuck. There was no point in arriving there late even if we could get off the island because we would miss our only chance for a nature walk if we did so. I heard back from them within a couple of hours and they said they had space available for the next day so we could move our reservation.
- Next I
August 9, 2010
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July 14, 2010
After yesterday’s boat adventure, David really wanted to go diving and had made plans to go out very early with Guillermo on a 2 dive trip. I had considered going along for the ride, but decided against it when when we woke to cloudy skies. Even though I’m certified to dive, I hadn’t brought my card and the thought of sitting on a rocking boat for an hour or two, didn’t appeal.
Picked up at 7 and returned by 8:30, David was exhilarated by the dive. They ended up doing only 1 dive, albeit a long one of almost an hour, and David hadn’t used his full tank, a point of pride for divers.
He took a rest and then we walked into town (checking on the kitten who was still there and being fed) to rent some snorkel gear to do some snorkeling from the shore. The hotel says it has gear for guests, but the other four guests had been hogging the few good pieces available the entire time we’d been here.
It was beastly hot because much of the cloud cover had moved away, but we were hoping the sunshine would lend itself to some good snorkeling. We picked up the gear at Coral Divers and then decided to get some lunch first. There aren’t a lot of options and we checked Fonda Clarita and another local place to see what was available that day. None of it appealed to David, so somehow we ended up back at Gerald’s where I had some shrimp scampi, David had sausage, and it took forever to get our food even though we were the only people there.
From there, we walked over the the old, abandoned Hotel Contadora. This place is creepy even …