Saturday, August 13, 2011

LOST! in Gamboa

Sometimes magic happens when you least expect it.  We left Panama City and in 45 minutes time, we were taken back in time to the quiet community of Gamboa circa 1915.  The town was abandoned when the US turned the Canal over to Panama. Gamboa remains today a reminder of the past where Smithsonian scientists go to escape the City and some Panamanians remain to tell their stories.  A part of the Canal still functions as workers dredge the bottom of the river so vessels won't get stuck.  However, many of them don't stay in the town but instead take a bus back to Panama City. There are no real super markets except for the tiny shop behind the purple house near the bus station. There's really nothing here for urbanites and that's why the town is left alone.  So keep it secret; keep it safe:) Today's post is a fun one....pure fiction and stupidity on my part.  I didn't realize how special this place would be for me until it came time to go home. Imagine a bubble where time stopped and the ghosts of our past remained. While we were here, I was reminded of the TV series LOST!  Here is some evidence that we think created the inspiration for this show.
We were surrounded by lots of wildlife as this ghost town kisses the border to one of Panama's premier birding locations in the world.....the infamous Pipeline Road.  But iguanas weren't the only things we saw.....
We saw evidence that the "Others" lived in or near the Soberanía National Park.   It was eery to think that beyond the howler monkey situation, there were people watching us.  But it didn't stop there.....
Signs were barely visible behind all the vegetation indicating there may be some dangers lurking around us.....
The Smithsonian kept a research center on tropical plants that looked very much like the Orchid Station.....but where were the scientists?
Old structures on the verge of collapsing, which also included a Catholic church, were reminders that a civilization once lived here.
Apparently, super humans existed with great big muscles.  Were they still there?  Or were THEY "the Others" we had read about?  The back sign reads, "DEAD end".  Luckily we weren't attacked by these ball loving super human monsters.
These gorgeous Panama Canal homes just sat empty.  We tried to escape within them to protect ourselves from the race of agouti that had overrun the town, but we discovered that a lot of the wood had been rotten.  Staircases were dangerous to climb.  Therefore, we had to run elsewhere.....
Constant rain and lightening reminded us that it wasn't a good idea to remain too long on the empty streets.....
These homes had a lot of vultures around them waiting for some unsuspecting tourist to die.  NO ONE was around.....I wish I could really buy one of the old homes and fix it up. Can you believe that no one lives in them??  In the US, they would be purchased in a snap, but here in Panama they just sit.  Perhaps indications that there were crocodiles around waiting to eat humans........Best move on!!!
What is this????  The animal race known as the Agouti.  They were all over the city and today, they are the only living creatures you'll see around town. 
This is a dead leaf.  It was just cool to look at......
Final evidence that we were LOST! in Gamboa......a lighthouse full of bats!!!  Catch the video below to see the action pics......
Tomorrow we'll take a serious look at Soberanía National Park and the infamous Pipeline Road.


  1. Your next post will be "Ghosts of Gamboa", ahwoooooo!

  2. Spoooooky! I found it very interesting that those abandoned homes seem to have well-tended lawns. No tall grass growing there. Just more evidence of "Others" I suspect! Loved this post, Chris. I've been absent for a few days but will try to go back in time on our vacation!

  3. Gamboa wasn't on the itinerary when I was in Panama. Thanks for the tour!
    You were lucky to get those Agouti photos. The ones I've seen always run away too fast to be good photo subjects.

  4. Thanks for the visit! The agouti were all over the place just hanging out. I was amazed at how many there were. They were very funny. Sometimes while in the middle of the rain forest, they'd shoot out in front of us chasing each other.


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