Thursday, December 20, 2012


We got up at 4am in anticipation of a hectic border crossing at paso canoas. Good thing we did, it was the craziest border yet! We waited in the first of 5 different lines for about an hour just to get a passport stamp. The whole process took about 3 hours and then we were on our way, but not without getting ripped off by our helper that we enlisted to make things go a bit smoother. He insisted that he had paid a fee for us that I knew didn't exist, but instead of extending the pain of the border crossing I just have him some money so we could get the heck out of there! In retrospect, maybe he needs it more than me if he felt the need to lie to get it. Who knows maybe karma will come back to bite him someday. Driving in Panama was easy and smooth. We rolled through town after town minding the speed limit as we had heard a lot about the speed traps and indeed they were there in force! Each time the speed limit dropped there was a cop standing there with a radar gun and we knew it was only a matter of time before we were pulled over... About 3/4 of the way to Panama City a cop waived us over. I knew right away that it was a bribe situation as we weren't speeding and had done nothing wrong. He tried to say hat he clocked us at 94! I just refused to hand over my license and passport and just got comfortable for all the drama that was about to ensue. He tried separating us to get us flustered and then tried to say that we would get a ticket that would cause us to stay in panama a long time and when we said go ahead and write it and we didn't care how long we were here. He all of a sudden decided that we weren't speeding and that we could be on our way! That's one for us and one less for the dirty cops! We managed to put in 300 miles despite the 3 hours at the border and loosing another hour to the time zone change! We rode right up until it was getting dark and stumbled upon a nasty hotel at the last minute. We are sleeping in our camping gear on the beds. Sure miss home and my beautiful wife. I have been having thoughts of hanging it up and just heading home lately, but I know I would regret it forever... Tomorrow morning we are going to head to girag cargo to arrange the shipment of the bikes and then get our plane tickets! We have opted out on the sailboat idea as we haven't been able to find a reputable boat with space for us and the bikes. Flying seems to be the better choice for lots of reasons actually. Looks like South America before Christmas! I don't know why, but in our heads the real adventure begins when we hit the next continent. For me the whole trip was really about South America from the beginning. I can't wait to explore all she has to offer, to see all the extremes in climate and terrain, to experience the cultures I have always dreamed of. We might even get to ride alongside the Dakar, what a treat! I feel like we have made great time to this point which is really going to allow us to dive into the Southern Hemisphere. My Spanish has improved quite a bit, but it will has a long way to go. Stay tuned for what is sure to be an exciting next couple of days! Might be making a side trip to the Galápagos Islands!

No comments:

Post a Comment