Friday, February 12, 2016
Above is a night monkey, which we saw peering out of its hole in a tree late this afternoon. I wasn't even aware of this species until this week's guided tour of the wildlife in Panama. When I saw it on the list of animals we might find, I really hoped to see it. And today, our last day here, we saw both the night monkey and the Capuchin monkey (below). We also had a remarkable view of an anteater, which was scratching itself all over with its long arms. Though we watched the anteater for quite a while, we didn't get a photo. We also saw a few more sloths.
I haven't written much about the food we've been eating during our stay in Panama. We have been staying at the Canopy Tower, where all meals are included, and where the meal times are coordinated with the guided birdwatching and wildlife tours.
I haven't been hungry at breakfast which we've been eating at 5:15 or 5:30 AM in order to be ready for early morning wildlife observation. I was disappointed in the orange juice, which is reconstituted from some sort of chemical-tasting powder. The bread for toast was mass-produced white or raisin bread. Thus, I've mainly eaten fruit for breakfast. My fellow birdwatchers seemed pretty happy about the bacon, eggs, pancakes, cereal, yogurt and other offerings.
Lunches and dinners fortunately always included salads, which usually had lettuce and some fruit or vegetables. Examples: dates with avocado; bananas with white cheese; pico de gallo (chopped tomatoes, peppers, onion); once a classic caesar salad, and others. The dressing was always the same: oil, vinegar, and chopped onion.
A meat course, rice, and one or two vegetable sides served buffet-style in covered metal chafing dishes were on almost every buffet for lunch and dinner. No choices. If beef was served, you ate beef unless you had specified in advance that you didn't eat red meat. If chicken was served, as it very often was, you ate chicken. For non-meat eaters there was almost always some sort of fish, and we were always warned not to take the fish if we had not pre-ordered it. Some of the dishes were very nicely spiced; others were somewhat bland, but small dishes of hot sauce were always on the table. No other condiments except bbq sauce at the one outdoor barbecue dinner. My favorite was a beef stew made with prunes and olives. A rice casserole with what I suppose was leftover meat was also tasty.
In sum, the food ranged from ok to rather nice, but wasn't exciting, and no one was here for the food, we were all here for the wildlife.