It’s A Jungle Out There…

Our journey started with a trip to the city and then out to the Gamboa public dock by the Gamboa Rainforest Resort.

Gamboa Public Dock...
Gamboa Public Dock…
Waiting for the boat...
Waiting for the boat…
The Watch Pelican...
The Watch Pelican…

At the assigned time, and under the watchful eye of a pelican, we boarded our boat and headed out into the Panama Canal and off to Jungle Land for our overnight adventure.

Rialto M Christensen...
Rialto M Christensen…

We passed by the massive dipper dredge, Rialto M Christensen. Dredging of the canal is an on-going process.

Aerial view...
Aerial view…
The massive bucket...
The huge bucket…

We continued through the canal, keeping watch on the buoys that mark the shipping lane.

Bouys in the canal...
Buoys in the canal…
Buoy repair station...
Buoy repair station…

And of course the ships that were headed through the canal.

Ship in the channel...
Ship in the channel…

Also along the shores of the canal is the Titan Floating Crane built in  Germany in 1941.

German Crane...
German Crane…

The crane is said to have a lifting capability of 700 tons and is used to lift the gates of the locks for maintenance. Also in the channel is another type of dredger. This one uses a large rotating ball to cut into the bottom of the channel.

Ball Dredger...
Ball Dredger…
The "Ball"...
The “Ball”…
The business end...
The business end…

The dirt is then sucked up through pipes and deposited on the shore.

Dirt dump...
Dirt dump…

Ok, so if you can’t tell, I’m just a big kid and I really like all the equipment that’s used in the daily operations of the canal. On to Jungle Land. Once we got into Gatun Lake, we headed out of the shipping channel and went around several islands just off shore. Up in the trees we saw several Howler Monkeys hanging in the trees.

Howler monkeys...
Howler monkeys…
Howler Monkeys...
Howler Monkeys…
Howler Monkeys...
Howler Monkeys…

Our Captain, Juan, handed us peanuts as we floated into another island. He killed the motor and after a few moments, we heard noises on the roof of the boat.

Jumping to the boat...
Jumping to the boat…

The white face capuchins jumped from the trees to the top of the boat,

Coming for peanuts...
Coming for peanuts…

down the pipes holding the roof and grabbed the peanuts from our hands.

Take and run...
Take and run…

Then its back into the trees to eat the peanuts.

Eating peanuts...
Eating peanuts…

After we all had a chance to feed the capuchins, we were off again to the “hidden” entrance to Jungle Land.

Hidden entrance...
Hidden entrance…
In we go...
In we go…
Out the other side...
Out the other side…

Once we came out the other side, a beautiful world was revealed to us. Lush green forest and calm blue waters. And there before us was our floating home for the night, Jungle Land.

Home sweet home...
Home sweet home…
A better look...
A better look…
We have arrived...
We have arrived…

Jungle Land is comprised of a two story boat, tied up to a three story floating hotel with a one story floating supply area tied to that. Guest rooms are in the center section, on the first and second floors and the kitchen and dinning room are in the two story section.

On our floating home...
On our floating home with Juan, our guide…

As the sun went down,

Sunset

we ate a great dinner and then, after a search for geckos, one of our hosts brought out this little guy.

Janine with the Night Monkey...
Janine with the Night Monkey…

This is called a Night Monkey. This little guy was found after its mother had died. As you can tell from the big eyes, it mostly only comes out at night. And yes, she eats geckos like popsicles. The night monkey went back into her cage and we headed out for our night time crocodile hunt. Yes, a real thing.

The hunt...
The hunt…

Our first catch…

Small, but its a start...
Small, but its a start…
Caiman...
Caiman…

The way this night time hunt works is by taking a spot light and shining it at the edge of the shore, we watch for the the red reflection of the animals eyes.

Frog spotted on the shore...
Frog spotted on the shore…

We spotted this Agouti next. A large rodent in the same family as the rat and mouse.

An Agouti...
An Agouti…

Here’s a closer look.

The Agouti...
The Agouti…

Our next sighting and catch was a 40 inch Caiman.

Smile...
Smile…
Captain Juan and the Caiman...
Captain Juan and the Caiman…
How you doin...?
How you doin…?
Catch & release...
Catch & release…

After we released the young caiman, we headed back to the floating lodge for a good nights sleep.

The next morning, I took a few pictures of the surrounding area.

A panorama view...
A panorama view…

And I spent a few minutes with Snappy the Toucan

Snappy the Toucan...
Snappy the Toucan…

Then it was off for a morning of fishing in Gatun Lake. But first, more monkey feeding!!!! Just behind the floating lodge, we put a bit of banana on our fingernails and the Tamarin Monkeys came down for breakfast.

Banana?
Banana?
Ready for breakfast...
Ready for breakfast…
One of the guides...
One of the guides…

Monkeys fed, its off to fishing.

Heading to the fishing spots...
Heading to the fishing spots…

As it turns out, the fishing was just slightly competitive. We had some VERY dedicated fisher people on board.

Julie from Quebec...
Julie from Quebec…
Janine from Altos de Maria...
Janine from Altos del Maria…
Juan from the jungle...
Juan from the jungle…

When it was all said and done, the only losers were the Peacock Bass that we caught.

The losers...
The losers…

And we were all winners at lunch when we ate our catch.

Fish lunch...
Fish lunch…

After lunch, we were treated to a little “fashion” show by the ladies when they modeled the Jungle Land’s Boa Constrictor.

Suzi and the boa...
Suzi and the boa…
Janine and the boa...
Janine and the boa…
Julie and the boa...
Julie and the boa…

Needless to say, some wore it better than others. After the “show” we hopped into the kayaks and headed out to the waterfall, the last place on our agenda.

Kayaking...
Kayaking…

My wife opted for the canoe and she was able to get a few shots of the rest of us paddling away.

Yours truly...
Yours truly…

We followed a small stream up into the trees and came to a small pond with a waterfall feeding it.

The pond and waterfall...
The pond and waterfall…

We took some time for some swimming and diving…

Diving...
Diving…
Not diving...
Not diving…

After cooling off, we paddled back to Jungle Land, packed up our stuff and took the boat back to the Gamboa Public Dock and our waiting ride back to Gorgona. A fun filled, busy 24 hours at Jungle Land.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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