It's just before sunrise, and I was started awake by what sounded like a puppy (or multiple puppies) being repeatedly kicked. After much investigation and a little bleary-eyed wandering, I determined that this sound was coming from the bats in the area (or possibly some sort of very early morning bird), as they travelled home in the morning. That will certainly be something to get used to!
We made it to Panama safely, though night flights do have their disadvantages.... I have absolutely no idea where I am or how I got here. Upon arrival in Panama City, we made it through customs surprisingly quickly, and hopped into a hired minibus to take us the 45 minute trip to Gamboa. The parts of the city we drove through seemed interested; I will certainly enjoy exploring on some down time. I think that I will also try to visit San Blas and Bocas del Toro; those two areas kept burping up in conversation as well-wishes spooned me tidbits of advice last week.
The house we're staying in is nothing short of fantastic - so island-y and comfortable that I feel immediately at home. All the houses in Gamboa are 2-story; the first floor is a basement/workroom, and the second floor is the living area. Lynne and I have the whole house (a 2/1 with 4 twin beds) to ourselves until the 18th. We stopped at Ximena's house (down the road) to collect the keys, where she informed us of this, and handed us a ziploc bag of cheerios and half a carton of milk, with promises of grocery shopping tomorrow. There's no coffee here yet, though.... a cup of coffee would be wonderful right about now.
Back to the house; the floors are a beautiful, old polished wood, and it's very wet here, so everywhere we walk we go 'squeak, squeak, squeak'. It's definitely kind of fun. The rooms are large and airy, with high ceilings and lots of windows. Upon initial inspection, Lynne and I discovered that the living/dining/working area was strung with a multitude of holiday lights. We are determined to make them work in the next few days (at least one bulb is broken, causing a somber outage). I love this house already, and will be very at home here over the next month.
As the sun rises, the noises from the jungle explode. So many birds that I have never heard before; and I'm not a birder to begin with! I will try and sleep a few more hours before Ximena comes to pick us up and take us on a whirlwind tour of the area. Ah, to have coffee right now....
Ciao for Now!