Outpost Panama & Bat Caves

Even after being home for almost two weeks, processing our experiences in Panama is not easy. Jumping right back into a rigorous schedule of activities did not help. Regardless, I am not sure how to break this down in fewer than five posts. I took more than 400 photos. I’m sharing the best with you. I hope you enjoy.

The house where we stayed at Outpost Panama. The porch acts like a living room where everyone gathers during downtimes. There are men’s and women’s dorms, staff housing, an office and a two-bedroom apartment, which is where my family stayed. These are just a few of the 93 steps from the lock. Counting the wood steps up to the top level, I think there are more than 110 steps from dock to kitchen.
Another angle and view. The Panamanian rain forest is the second largest in the Western Hemisphere. This area receives 116 inches of rain per year, most coming July through October. We visited in early August and left just in time to avoid a tropical storm that dumped more than 11 inches of rain in 24 hours.
The view from the house toward the dock. The building down below is two-story screened classroom area called the treehouse. Clouds shrouded the mountains on the other side of the bay most of the time.
I love paths and pictures of paths. This view from the dock is enchanting. We used the red and blue kayaks only to go to the bat cave, one of our few regrets.
A 15-passenger panga boat, Blue provided a novel form of transportation in Bocas del Toro. Growing up with my uncle driving speed boats with skiers and tubers, I enjoy sedate rides. Nathan Pineault had transportation, not scaring kids or shaking loose skiers, on his mind, so this was perfect for me.
Touring this bat cave involves a boat ride, kayaking a sewage polluted waterway through mangroves and palms and a hike across private. Adventure all the way. After descending into the cave, an underground creek provides a treacherous trail because stalagmites are under the water you walk through. We saw tons of bats and many formations, including bacon, and found several shark teeth. I do not know why shark teeth are in the cave.
Some of the black marks on the ceiling are bats. We walked in the creek, occasionally stumbling over formations. The water was chest deep in one area, so my youngest son had to hold on to my shoulders and swim behind as we walked. We stopped exploring at “the waterfall,” a very deep area in the creek where our friends’ children liked scrambling up the rock to jump into the water. They said the cave went further, but we didn’t trust our lights or spelunking abilities to explore more. Instead, we found a few shallow beachy areas and searched for shark teeth.
This sign, on private property, was the only reference I saw to the national marine park.
Isla Bastimentos is the island where we stayed.
The view from the cave with a few of our underage chaperones.
The jungle trail we traversed was thick with mud and slippery.

This is Post 2 in a series of posts about Panama.

Post 1: http://katebergeronauthor.com/2019/08/18/purpose-in-panama/

2 thoughts on “Outpost Panama & Bat Caves

    • I don’t know, but I suspect the house was built high to take advantage of the views. Lots of houses in that area are built much closer to the water. Also, there is a creek closer to the house, so there is easier access to fresh water from the house than from the dock.

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