We’ve all seen pictures of Mayan ruins completely overgrown by jungle. This is what happens if something is abandoned for hundreds or thousands of years. But I’ve often wondered just how long it took for the jungle to reclaim these ancient cities. Just how aggressive is the jungle?
Panama City’s Casco Viejo is a city in transition. I’m told that twenty years ago virtually all the buildings were run down or abandoned. The UNESCO World Heritage site designation started a process of restoration that is still ongoing. Scattered in among the “gentrified” buildings you can still see a number of abandoned buildings. Some are mere shells – stone walls with no interior structure.
Others are showing decay, but still functional, or at least integrated into functional buildings.
But everywhere you look, if the building is not being actively maintained, you can see clear signs of the jungle fighting back. Note the trees growing over, and on top of, the wall above.
Some of these trees are quite large, even though they are on top of two or three story high walls.
From another perspective, you can see just how tenacious this tree must be to survive, much less thrive.
In some cases the trees grow on the side of a wall, without any visible horizontal surface for an anchor.
I’m not sure about this one, but who knows.
I’ll close with a picture of the Bridge of the Americas at sunset.