The next morning is woke up a bit late from the very tiring ride the night before. I packed up quick and hit the road again, stopping only for a very quick breakfast. I wanted to stop in Corcovado, which is supposed to be pristine rain forest, but urgency and the rain kept my riding. I got to the border about lunch time and it was hot, but bearable. It took about 2 hours to get through this one and then I rode and rode. It got dark and I was breaking the rules again, but I was on mission to get to Panama City. I rode over the canal in dark and didn't see anything.
At one point I saw someone waving a flashlight in the centre of the road, but I ignored it and kept on riding. The Panama police finally caught up to me and told me that I was speeding. The alleged infraction: a 100km/h in a 60km/h zone. I explained that I didn't see a sign, but I was only showed the reading on the radar gun by his partner. I asked if I could pay this "fine" there and he said yes and wrote the number 60 on his hand. I said I would be broke if I gave him 60 and he said I could keep 20. We shook hands and he asked my about wireless cellur networks and metal detectors back in Canada.
I got to Panama City in the dark and thank god I had a Hostel programmed into the GPS which led me right to it. On the way in I helped a lovely lady bring her luggage up the stairs and it turns out she ended up taking the last bed in the Hostel!!! haha I guess nice guys do finish last, but at least I feel good about myself. I got directions, but it still took me 2 hours to fine the new place, and that was with the kind help of some really friendly Panamanian kids.
The hostel was clean, low key and even had a pool...very nice.
The next day I got up late and take a little walk around Panama City. Very cosmo and lots of large towers with some really interesting designs.
I decide it's time to chop the hair back down to respectable. Turns out my barber name is Alejandro and he's a rider too. He tells me about bike night in Panama city tonight, but it looks like rain. Maybe on the way home.
That night I socialize a bit at the hostel with some cool folks and set my alarm for 4:30. I wake up at I'm out the door by 5am to dodge the traffic.
It's smooth sailing, but I second guess weather or not I've passed my turn until I get to a gravel road and pass an unmistakable landmark.
|My turn off and then the road gets crappy.|
|Beautiful rolling hills with some fog settling in. It feels like I'm really a long way from home.|
|I finally arrive at Carti. I see Fritz the Cat, and flash my lights a few times, but the boat doesn't move.|
|Fritz the Cat is anchored off shore and i signal them, and wait and wait and little do I know they are having breakfast while I roast in the Sun.|
|Colorful clothes of the Kuna people.|
|As you can see, some of the Kuna's don't like having their picture taken.|
|After a bit of wrestling with the tiger it's finally aboard the cat and secure. I make sure I soak it down good with WD-40.|
|Here's captain Fritz at the helm.|
So far, things look pretty good. The bike looks safe, the people on board seem nice and we head off into the sunset. More again soon.