Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Sendero de los Quetzales

On Friday, our last full day in Boquete, Panama, we hiked (part of) the Quetzal trail.  It was a beautiful sunny morning and we were lucky to get a ride to the trailhead with Evelio.  He pointed out an old castle in the hills as we drove up out of town.  We also witnessed a little cattle drive, which prompted a long story in halted Spanish from the kids about cattle drives in Carbondale.

On the trail we split up so that I could hike ahead and cover more of the trail and Danny walked at a comfortable pace for the kids.  There were so many bromeliads up in the trees.  The sunlight coming down through their leaves was really nice.  The hike cuts through private property for the first quarter mile where sheep grazed happily at a family farm.  There were a number of patches of wild-growing Calla lilies and I spied a little bird's nest on a barbed-wire fence as I chugged by.

I was on the lookout for the quetzal, Panama's signature bird with beautiful green, blue and yellow plumage.  Sadly I didn't catch a glimpse of one this day.  I think having a guide along would have been the best way to see one because I didn't know it's call or anything about its nesting habits.  I did see a Harpy eagle which was exciting because their sightings are rare.  (and Harper loves its name!)  

Since the animal-life wasn't as prolific on the trail as we would have liked, we focused on the plants and rocks and the river.  Once I met back up with Danny and the kids, Harper helped me spot some the little details in the photographs below.

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