“You never really know what’s coming. A small wave, or maybe a big one. All you can really do is hope that when it comes, you can surf over it, instead of drown in its monstrosity.” (Alysha Speer)
What does it feel like to cruise through the Panama Canal and environs beyond as we did on our recent December 2019 cruise? An urban dweller like myself might consider this amazing sea experience extending over eighty kilometers long as a trendy amusement park ride as described in the following exaggerated account.
Imagine the thrill of entering a narrow tunnel threading slowly through dense jungle terrain on both sides. Of course you will have to be patient and wait your turn to experience this amusing carnival ride as hundreds of cargo ships and oil tankers will line up with you to take their turn at designated crossing times during the day. Your anticipation will build then as you cross under an enormous arch created by the “Bridge of the Americas” overpass marking the beginning of this Panama Canal adventure. Soon you will become mesmerized by the sight of awaiting giant locomotive monsters who will slowly drag your cruise ship in mule like fashion through the tight waterway squeeze ahead. As your ship edges ahead, feel the side walls closing in beside you as you enter the rolling gates leading to each lock ahead. How “cool” it seems then that your massive boat can defy the forces of gravity as you experience the mechanically driven rise and fall of elevation inside these narrow sided tubes.
There are other ways that Panama Canal World can amuse your tourist mind. As you exit the Panama Canal, an exciting jungle tour awaits you as you enter the vast expanses of nearby Gatun Lake. It will probably be raining in this tropical wonderland, but getting lost in the mud on this unforgettable nature walk from a remote shoreline location there will provide endless fun. You might even spot exotic wild animals such as wild sloths, colorful toucans, and howling monkeys hiding amidst extraordinary tropical plant life everywhere. At the Santa Clara Visitor Center, don’t forget to buy a ticket for the film. Feel your emotions rise as you watch how this historical canal was miraculously built amidst tropical disease, financial hardships, and political unrest. So let’s keep the camera fun going as I reveal some heart-searching photographic moments. from our latest Panama Canal adventure.
I thought I got rid of the traffic gridlock in Fort Lauderdale!
Why do I have to get up so early to see the Panama Canal?
Move over cargo ship. My boat is bigger than yours.
Hey tugboat, I’m lost in the jungle. Can you help me find my way?
I love to build things. What can I make with these objects?
Oh no! I think it’s going to rain again.
Crocodile on the bank! No wait it’s only a log.
What happens if we get stuck in the lock?
What are you looking at? I’m over here.
Am I seeing double? Why are there two Panama Canals?
Maybe I’ll see a dinosaur somewhere in this scary jungle.
I’m lost. Where did the walking path go?
Oh there it is!
I wonder if you can smoke any of this?
Oh my God. I lost my tour bus!