Friday, March 12, 2010

Late November 2009

Well, who knew it would be this quick - an opportunity has arisen. Joanna, with baby Amelia in tow, has decided to visit her family in England in early 2010. Her plan was to go for about 5 weeks, which meant I would stay behind because I didn't have five weeks to spare from work. My plan however was short-lived, as after I rethought things, at least for a good 10 minutes, I decided that I would go to Panama for a week on my own. Over the next week or so Joanna and I booked our respective flights, hers departing on March 12th, and mine on March 13th.

About a week after booking my flight I was talking to my parents about my upcoming trip, and the long and short of it was that Dad seemed really keen on going, although he knew he would never have the opportunity to go because Mom hates the heat and humidity. So, being the good son (huge bonus points here people!!!) I invited Dad to come along, warning him well in advance that this was a birding trip - not a sleep-in and lounge-about trip.

Despite the gory details of having to wake up very early EVERY morning, and despite telling him that we would be doing quite a bit of hiking in disgustingly hot and humid conditions, I actually believed he was genuinely excited about going. Thus, with the quick swipe of a VISA card, he was ready to go, and in doing so we have now come full circle, as this is how my Blog began, as a docu-diary of my Dad and I travelling to Panama to do some birding.

As you can see the Blog has obviously metamorphosed into something much bigger, but that's just me. I felt I wasn't doing enough by just documenting this one trip, as so many parts would appear disjunct given my previous experiences. Therefore, I decided for perspective, and as a service to fellow Panama birders, that I would describe the where, when, what, why, and how of my Panama birding adventures. Subsequently, I've spent the last month blogging frantically to get caught up, and here I am.

In late November my Dad booked his flight from Calgary and arranged it so that we would meet up in Houston for the connecting flight to Panama on March 13th. After that the rest was easy: book a car and hotel, decide where to go birding, and make any additional arrangements as necessary, which included booking a one day tour to Cerro Azul and Cerro Jefe with Birding Panama tours. Below is our final agenda. All we had to now was wait.

March 13: Travel to Panama via Houston, TX
March 14: Metropolitan Park (morning); Miraflores (afternoon)
March 15: Cerro Azul and Cerro Jefe tour with Birding Panama
March 16: Ammo Dump Ponds, Pipeline Road, Gamboa Park
March 17: El Valle
March 18: Old Gamboa Road, Summit Gardens, Plantation Road
March 19: Tocumen Marsh, Amador Causeway
March 20: Achiote Road, Fort San Lorenzo
March 21: Travel home from Panama

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