Panama Canal transitOn cue, if as staged, the soft patter of rain across the valley grew to a steady downpour. Lightning electrified the puffy gray clouds squatting above the Chagres River valley, illuminating their silver linings.

Below us, the steady flow of chartreuse specks of fallen, tailored flowers, carried aloft by leaf-cutter ants, never faltered. As the rain fell in torrents from the clouds, wondered if the anteater we’d seen earlier had taken shelter.

As we sat on the rope hammock on our balcony and felt the humidity rise, our worldview narrowed to that valley, that view, that powerful display of weather that we expected from the Panamanian rainforest.

Panama wasn’t on either of our life lists, but we’ve learned never to turn down a good opportunity to broaden our horizons.

After exploring Guatemala the previous spring, John’s dad was eager to see Panama. His mom, always delighted by the prospect of travel, wouldn’t object. Both had celebrated their 80th birthdays in the no-so-distant past.

John and parents in Panama
John and his parents at the Miraflores Lock, Panama Canal

And so we found ourselves on a journey to Central America, orchestrated through Caravan Tours but most definitely, for us, Panama, with Parents. Despite being Baby Boomers, we were the youngest in the group.


Gamboa Resort, Panama The Rainforest - It fell as if scripted. But this was the real thing, and to feel the thunderous power of the Panamanian rainforest was a wondrous thing, from our front-row seats on our balcony at Gamboa Resort.
Pedro Miguel Locks Panama Canal The Panama Canal - A trip through the Panama Canal on a small ship lets you see the working operations of the century-old locks of one of the top engineering marvels of the world.
Anteater in Panama In a Rainforest - To watch the fury of a tropical rainstorm in a rainforest: there is nothing like it in the world. Especially in Panama, home of the world's most impenetrable rainforest, which we are visiting at Gamboa Rainforest Resort.