Saturday, 19 May 2012

Crossing the Gap.

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.

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