Subject: Re: WOW
Hi Ziners,

I just came back from a WOW trip to Panama.

WOW was seeing this lush, green, forested and mountainous country from the air.

WOW was walking on muddy, narrow trails in the thick "Jurassic Park" settings of the national parks and expecting a triceratops or a T-rex to magically appear.

WOW was meeting the oh, so friendly people along the trails, such as the 75 year-old woman and her 10 year-old great granddaughter who were trekking 2 hours over hilly, muddy terrain just to get to town to buy groceries (then 2 more hours back); or the young woman and her 2-year-old (walking, not being carried) son in knee-high rubber boots, who were doing the same.

WOW was looking out of the window of my room at the Canopy Tower in Soberania National Park and seeing a three-toed sloth make his way up a cecropia tree to feed, while a glistening iguana lazed on one of its branches and a family of toucans chattered nearby.

WOW was being shown around by enthusiastic, knowledgeable young guides who truly loved their work.

WOW was enjoying all the simple, but varied and delicious meals that included fresh papaya, pineapple, mango and melons to start and fresh fruit smoothies to drink at each.

WOW was being able to drink the water, that came from 200 foot-deep wells, without worry.

WOW was visiting a small coffee farm and enjoying a great cup of coffee, along with a great lunch.

WOW was the realization that no matter how hot and humid it was at home before I left (upper nineties), it was nothing compared to the humidity in the wet season here at the canal level, even at cooler temperatures. (Not even microfiber dries in a couple of days. Everything has to be thrown in the dryer, including towels, before your next shower.)

WOW was being 8000 feet above canal level in the misty cloud forest of Volcan Baru National Park, gazing at resplendent quetzals, while an afternoon storm dumped a waterfall of water on our heads. (We were at the ready, covered completely from head to toe in breathable, waterproof rain suits and hikers.)

And WOW was seeing over 200 species of tropical birds, each just as resplendent (and maybe more so) as the resplendent quetzal, and many other animals in a natural setting.

If Panama is such a paradise now, what is it like in the dry season?

Carrie, Feeling very dry in Bardonia, NY