What an experience! Our friends Holly and Scott were going to help Linda and Eric, owners of the Rambala Jungle Lodge with some projects and asked if we would like to come along. Not being one to turn down interesting experiences with good friends, we said yes.
I hardly know where to start telling about the weekend so I have grouped my photos, and through the next few posts I hope the story will come together.
Rambala is a town on the way to Almirante in the Bocas del Toro Province, so it’s on the north side of the mountains and the continental divide. The Rambala Lodge is a bit outside of town, back in the jungle. You can get most of the way by 4 wheel drive, but you have to walk in the rest of the way. There is no electricity, and water is either collected rainwater or from the small river that runs through the property. It was definitely a style of living I hadn’t experienced before!
We saw so much wildlife, birds, scenery, and jungle. Eric and Linda clearly love it and I can certainly see why. Parts are so wild and natural they look like no one has been there for hundreds of years. They are making it safe for wildlife so many interesting animals and birds are making their homes there. I hope the photos will give a sense of the experience, but nothing is like actually being there so visit if you get the opportunity.
Holly had injured her ankle, so it was wonderful the Javier (the caretaker on the property) had the horses available. One took her, and the other took the cooler and luggage. The horses look small but they are very strong and sure footed, a good thing since there had been enough rain to make things muddy and slippery.
This is the main house where we had meals, games, social time, and watched the wildlife.
Breakfast – Eric and Linda in front, Holly next to them, Brenda across the table, and Eva (a Panamanian guest) and Joel clearing the table.
The kitchen, totally open with no windows or screens. I would like a kitchen like that!
Hanging out in the main house waiting for the rain to clear. Notice the hummingbird feeders hanging in the opening, and Eric’s framed molas on the wall. The ropes on the wall are for hanging up the hammocks.
A favorite activity, watching the birds and wildlife.
This is the bathroom in the main house where the sink looks to the outside, and you can watch the hummingbirds. They had composting toilets which worked out surprisingly well. After use add a scoop of wood shavings, and when full dump in the compost pile.
Cornhole – toss the bag of corn into the hole, or at least get it to land on the board. I started to get the hang of it after a while, and even won a game with the help of my partner Linda. I’d never beat these experts though (Scott and Eric)
More hanging out, a favorite activity since it rained quite a lot that weekend.
A break in the rain was an opportunity to work on one of the cabanas under construction.
When you return from a walk, take off the boots and leave them outside the door along with your walking stick.
This was our cabana. It has two bedrooms, and this is the main room in front.
I love the outside shower!
The horses weren’t available later because Javier had gone to town to celebrate mother’s day. Holly made it out on crutches very carefully, and without one slip!
Here’s a few more photos of plants and flowers and wonderful views around the property.
The view from the main house with the water in the distance.
There were quite a few of these beautiful bushes in flower.
This huge tall tree had a vine climbing up it which developed into almost another tree here at the top.
A view of the hillside across the way covered with tall trees.
A very cool heliconia bloom!
It rains a lot so everything is really green. On this side of the country there isn’t a dry season, just times with more rain or less rain.
I got up one morning and my lens started to fog in the cool morning damp air as we passed by this tree. Those are oropendula nests. A storm blew some of them down and the whole colony moved out, but the remaining nests are still in the tree. The birds are still in the area though and we saw quite a few of them.
I went walking and came across this huge heliconia bloom.
These interesting trees with the red leaves on top are everywhere in this part of the country.
There is a very pretty river that runs through the property, and you can hear the waterfalls all night while you sleep.
We went for a swim in a swimming hole under a waterfall.
Next to the swimming hole we saw this tree growing on a big rock, hugging the rock with its roots.
Another view of the river.
Darkness falls as just a hint of pink is visible in the distance.
At times it was misty which I thought made for some interesting photographs.
Clouds and mist wander through the trees on the far hillside.
As we left, we spotted these water buffalo in a field down the road. I’d never seen water buffalo before!
I have a lot of wildlife photos to sort through, so stand by. There is more on the way.