We did not get to see the Mayan ruins: the seas were too rough to land in the Yucatan.
In Costa Rica we went to a banana farm. I saw the woman who puts the sticker on the Dole bananas. Well, one of them. We saw the descendants of the Jamaicans who built the railway there. They are losing their knowledge of English.
In Panama we saw the Canal (it is not as wide as you would think) and went to an Embera village. The Embera are one of the seven tribes of Panama that were living there when the Spanish came. The Embera live near the Canal.
My older son got to dance with an Embera girl there. At age ten he is almost as tall as their men. If you search for pictures of the Embera on the Internet, you will find that most of their women are bare-breasted. We saw nothing like that.
It is like August down there. One of our guides said that it is like that all year round. The only seasons they know are more rain and less rain. It is the rain that makes the bananas and the Canal possible (the canal cannot work in sea water). In Panama the rain came down so hard and so long that at first it was difficult for me to see and later my hardback book started falling apart (yes).
That book, by the way, the one that I read on the cruise was the “Life of St Antony” by St Athanasius. A very good book and an interesting one to read on a cruise, to say the least.
Yesterday, when we got back to Florida we went to see the Everglades in an airboat: It is a river that is fifty miles wide and five feet deep, covered in ten foot high grass, full of birds and alligators. Its river bed is so soft and so deep that, to this day, it still hides most of a ValuJet DC-9 that caught on fire and went down ten years ago.