A leisurely start, except if you are Geoff or Gaynor who are up and ready by 5am to go birding with our local guide, Benny. That sounds far too early for the rest of us, but they report later as having a very successful outing. After breakfast some other guests head off to the Gamboa Resort for a canopy tour and others take a walk along the beach or along forest trails. Most of us decide to laze around the swimming pool, reading a book, Kindle or iPad. We notice quite a few folk resting on their bedroom balcony too. All the room balconies overlook the Pacific and we can see numerous ships in the distance, waiting to proceed through the Panama Canal. At night when the ships have some lights on, it looks like the coastline of a reasonable large town.
This evening we enjoy a private Surf & Turf Buffet Dinner in the hotel’s Pelican Grill. This venue is a large, roofed dining area with open sides overlooking the gardens and the beach. It is normally closed in the evenings but the Furlongs team has booked it exclusively and laid out tables with white linen and welcoming flame torches at the entrance. The buffet is extensive to say the least. The salads, cold dishes and desserts are laid out in a “cold room” to one side. One hotel staff member is responsible for opening and closing the cold room door to allow easy access for guests, while keeping the warm air out! In the main dining area there are three large food stations with a whole range of hot dishes including a rack of pork being carved by a kitchen trainee from Toronto, Canada. We reminisce about Toronto and enjoy the delicious pork too.
A guitar trio entertains us with some classical and modern tunes. Richard buys them some beers at the beginning of the event and they seem to play more quickly from then onwards. Complimentary, free flowing wine for our guests seems to have a similar result and everyone is in a relaxed, party mood. Towards the end of dinner, Dawn and Richard spring a last surprise. A Panamanian folklore group appear as if from nowhere (actually we were hiding them around the back of the kitchens). A band of musicians first, followed by men and women dancers in typical costumes. White outfits and hats for the gents and colourful, pleated “pollera” dresses for the ladies. These are followed by the “diablo” mask devil dancers and some carnival costumed ladies (there was not much costume to be honest!).
A good night.