The Views from Campana

Today, our group ventured over to the Pacific side if Panama to check out the biodiversity there. We were out the door at 7:30 in the morning and had a fairly exciting bus ride. Ok, maybe “exciting” isn’t the right word. More like, “extremely bumpy and thus impossible to fall asleep.” It was definitely worth the trip, though. We were able to catch some amazing views (which I unfortunately can’t post here yet due to technical difficulties) and get a glimpse of some unique plants and birds. One interesting observation was how there are increasingly more epiphytes (plants that grow on plants) as we climbed up. We also caught a glimpse of the orange-bellied trogon. Spoiler alert, it’s a bird with an orange belly. But it’s a fine example of the many beautiful birds we see out in the tropics.

The trail, however, was pretty strenuous. Many parts of it were steep, and I cannot remember any parts of it that were flat. There were also a fair amount of flies, from the high-pitched, tiny, annoying ones, to the ones that’ll actually pack a bite. Luckily, no one got attacked by ants this time. Fun fact, I was attacked by ants on Tuesday. Turns out, leaning against a tree without first checking if there’s an ant nest on it is a bad idea. Who knew? Luckily, they didn’t carry any formic acid, nor were they the trap-jaw ants, whose bites pack a punch.

Steep inclines and big flies aside, today may have been one of my favorite parts of the trip from the views alone. We also got the chance to swing by a juice shop- if you ever find yourself in Panama, I’d highly recommend trying their passion fruit juice. Also, Balboa and Soberano cervezas son muy bien. Today marks the half-way point of our trip, but there is definitely more to look forward to, such as venturing into Panama city, and making progress on our group projects. My group is examining leaf-cutter ants for our project- there will be more updates on that to come. In the meantime, hopefully I can figure out how to post pictures on here through my tablet.

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