Friday, March 03, 2017

Panama Canal area - San Lorenzo National Park

The following day we planned on driving alongside the canal to the Caribbean coast and the San Lorenzo National Park.

Seeing huge container ships and cruise liners moving through the canal is really quite a sight:

Here they are progressing slowly through the lock system:

This is one of the spillovers from the canal:

We saw this Little Blue Heron in the shallow waters:

Having navigated the canal we finally found our road out to the park, crossing a bridge of floating pontoons at one point.  Like a lot of parks in Panama there is limited access, in this case you have to gain access through a military control point and then along a pot-holed road to the abandoned fort.   

This is the very spot the Spanish used to ship their loot from South America back to Spain.  It's an eerie place, made more so by the appearance of a small troupe of Howler Monkeys, heading down towards the shoreline:

Amazing animals and a delight to see them so close:

From the fort we headed back along the road, stopping to walk a trail that led below the fort to the shore.

We saw Crimson-backed Tanager:

Green Kingfisher just below a bridge over a river:

A basking butterfly:

Western Slaty-Antshrikes, a male:

and a female:

A White-vented Plumeleteer was nectaring:

You emerge from the forest onto a shoreline with the fort visible, and frequented by people fishing.
Soaring above a Brown Pelican:

Perched on a stump over the water, a Mangrove Swallow:

It was late morning and we'd exhausted what we could do at San Lorenzo so we headed back to the hotel to continue our recuperation.

We visited the butterfly house in the grounds in the afternoon:

And from the balcony of our room watched a Collared Aracari feeding:

And saw a Keel-billed Toucan too:

San Lorenzo is worth a visit but I reckon they could do a lot more with the abundant natural treasures in Panama.


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