Tuesday, January 26, 2010

El Nino Winter in Georgia

It has definitely been an "El Nino" winter down here. Even with full sun for the past few days, it hasn't felt very warm with the wind howling all day long. It is great for drying clothes on the outdoor clothesline, but not much else. A big barge braved its way through the white caps on the lake this morning to head up lake.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Mom's "Dry" Creek bed Revisited

This river is normally a dry gully. After 12 straight hours of rain and 4" of new rain in the gauge, it has become a raging stream.

After listening to thunder and seeing lightning all night, and hearing rain on the roof for hours, it seemed like a good time to check out Mom's dry creek bed.
It is hard to see, but the water is flowing nicely over the two waterfalls.

The water in the drainage ditches that feed this culvert is at the top and we have a 10' wide stream through the 6' culvert on Lot 7. We wondered when we first saw that culvert and everything was dry why in the world they had such a huge culvert.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Panama Canal

We spent our first evening in Panama at the restaurant at the locks. The elegant restaurant has an outdoor patio overlooking the locks so we watched big container ships being pulled by small rail cars as they passed through the locks.

Later, Chino took us to the top of the highest point in Panama City, where we had a bird's eye view of the locks and the containers waiting transport.

The rows and rows of containers look almost like a city of houses.

Panama Beaches

Isla Grande - we took a small boat across to the resort that looked mostly abandoned. The beach was beautiful and the water lovely.

The waves were high "NOT NORMAL" according to Chino, our wonderful guide for our Panama adventures. The earthquake (terramoto) in Haiti the day before had the seas churning, but Chino found a beautiful beach on Isla Grande for us to have a swim. The swells were still a foot or so high, but we were behind a barrier island, so we had a great swim.

When Ron gets in the water, you KNOW it is warm!

The boat and crew that took us to Isla Grande.

Panama Countryside Views

We drove across the country to the Caribbean side to see entirely different views. The ruins of the fort overlooking the sea near Portabello.

We were delayed by a herd of water buffalo crossing the road in the countryside near Isla Grande.

You can see the fish in the water near the yacht basin in Panama City. The water is beautiful and blue and clear on the Pacific side. When we got the the Caribbean side, the waves were just boiling into the shore because of the earthquake in Haiti the day before.

Beautiful verdant fields stretch from the road to the mountains along the road between Colon and Portabello.

Panama Farmer's Market

The farmer's market in Panama City is really incredible. You can get a watermelon for a dollar, a 4 pound cantaloupe for $2, and a pineapple for a quarter. We had a fridge in our suite, so we stocked up a bit, but it is hard to eat enough fruit in a week to make this visit for much more than the photos. :)

Panama City Panama - Buildings

What is left of Noriega's presidential palace after the Americans got done bombing it.

Panama City sits on the Pacific side of the country, which had us totally turned around for quite a while. For some reason, our interior compass was off by 180 degrees until we were assured several times that it was the Pacific we were looking at.

There are a variety of buildings in the city, from the new museum that is under construction, to historic churches filled with gold plated scenes, to the old buildings that are in ruins, to the new skyscrapers that fill the skyline, to the utilitarian buildings that house shops like "COSTCO" in China town.