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Panama Canal Cruise - Ports Visited

This is a discussion on Panama Canal Cruise - Ports Visited within the A Kodak Moment: not necessarily plants... forums, part of the Orchid Photography category; Last weekend I got back from a 2 week Panama Canal cruise with my family ...

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  1. #1
    orchidlady's Avatar
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    Default Panama Canal Cruise - Ports Visited

    Last weekend I got back from a 2 week Panama Canal cruise with my family over the holidays. It was a great cruise and the weather was nice and warm the whole time. We only had 2-3 days of rough weather, which is great for a longer cruise. The trip went from San Diego, California to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. I would like to share the places we stopped. I will do a separate post for the Panama Canal transit.

    Here is our hotel for the 2 weeks-Holland America's Statendam


    First stop is Puerto Vallarta Mexico. A beautiful place that reminded me of Hawaii.




    Typical street scene in the old section of town.


    Visiting the well known cathedral with its iconic crown-like dome was one of my goals for this trip.




    Susan

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    Default Huatulco, Mexico

    Next stop Huatulco, Mexico. Very warm (95 degrees F) and more desert-like in the outlying areas.

    Beautiful views of the bays.








    Susan

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    Default Puerto Chiapas.

    Next is Puerto Chiapas, Mexico. This area is about 10 miles from the Guatemalan border and is known for Mayan ruins and Mexican chocolate.

    I found the Mayan ruins at Izapa to be the most interesting part of this stop. It is thought that the Mayan calendar was developed at the site. Here are the structures found here.








    Some Mexican fokloric dancers doing a show for the tourists.


    Central square/plaza in a small town outside Izapa. Central plazas are found in virtually all Latin American towns, villages, and cities.


    Susan

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    Default Antigua, Guatemala

    One of my favorite stops was Antigua, Guatemala. Antigua is a culturally preserved town from the Spanish colonial days (1600's to early 1800's). The area is surrounded by 4 volcanoes, 2 of which are active. They are also subject to strong earthquakes. The area is known for producing sugar, coffee, and bananas.

    Here are 2 of the 4 volcanoes we passed on the way to Antigua


    This is one of the active ones. Later in the day I saw it sending out a plume of ash, but was not able to get a photo.


    Two of the beautiful churches that have been restored.




    Spanish Colonial architecture in antigua.




    Susan

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    I enjoyed your picture "post cards'. Nice selection of shots. AL

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    gardenguysorchids is offline Don't be afraid to color outside the lines
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    Brings back fond memories of the Panama canal cruise we took two years ago over Christmas. We sailed from Ft Lauderdale to Chile and it was beautiful! Glad you had a great trip.

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    Susan, these are wonderful. Keep them coming! I am loving this. I am a bit of a travel and culture nut and love the shots of the towns and the information you provide about each location.

    Cheers,
    BD

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    Default Guatemalan Coffee Plantation

    While in Antigua I also visited a working coffee plantation. Here is how coffee is produced.

    Coffee plants showing all sizes from babies to mature plants. They can get 3 harvestings per plant before it is replaced.


    Coffee on the hoof. The cherries are picked by hand when they turn red and are soft.


    After the cherries are picked, they are gathered and prepared for washing and fermenting to remove the outside part of the cherry that surrounds the hard bean inside.


    After fermenting, the beans are gathered to remove the remaining part of the soft outside.


    The beans are then dried out on the big open plaza of the plantation and constantly moved around for even drying.




    Susan

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    Default More Coffee

    Areas of coffee beans in their drying process.


    When the beans are dried, they are gathered up for final processing or bagged and sold as green coffee beans.


    Green coffee bean sacks.


    Further processing includes roasting, sorting, and bagging.
    Here is the roasting room, but they wouldn't let us get any closer.


    After roasting the beans are hand sorted at these benches with a conveyer belt moving by and then packaged for retail sale. The less than perfect beans are sold to the local population.



    Susan

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    Default Cartegena, Colombia

    After passing through the canal, we stopped in Cartegena, Colombia. Known primarily for emeralds, but is also a busy container port, has many high rise condominiums, and an old Spanish colonial area. I had been to this port on a previous trip in 1991, so didn't really get off and do much touring.



    Newer area with highrise towers.


    Older area.


    Outside the cruise terminal there were some shopping areas and an exhibit of parrots and other birds. Some of the parrots were out loose on cages and trees.





    Other wildlife seen included many birds such as frigate birds, pelicans, jays, and other sea birds. We also saw migrating gray whales off the coast of Mexico, dolphins at various times, and lots and lots of flying fish in the Caribbean Sea. Unfortunately, most were too fast or too far away to get good photos.

    Some of the many frigate birds that loved to "windsurf" in the air currents generated by the moving ship.


    Susan

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