I got up the next morning before the sun and rode down to a grass thatched cafe sort of place out in the Darien. It was dark out but the locals were eating breakfast. There were two little Kuna Indian women cooking up grub, so I ordered what the guy next to me was having. Eggs, fried bread and some sort of pork product. Pretty good eats. $1.60 with coffee. Actually, the nice man sitting next to me paid for my coffee.
It's getting light out as I head out down the road. I come to a log scaling station and park behind the teak log trucks.
I have noticed lumber mills with Danish flags on the side of the road. So this is one place where Scan design furniture must be coming from. These logs are HUGE.
I walk across the street to the Kuna Indian man and watch him scaling logs. I think he said it is coming off tribal land, so sort of like casinos on reservations they are benefitting from gringo consumerism. He seemed happy about it. And proud of his tribal heritage with his tribal hat and embroidered tribal badge. I don't think I'll be buying anything Danish though. Except pastries of course.
He shows me how big they are in diameter. 160cm. Like five feet in diameter. And there are more trucks pulling in. That's a lot of boat decking.
I get back to Panama City and it's too early for any decent striker to be out waving a flag, so it is easier to make it through town. Just head toward the skyscrapers and after you pass them, keep the skyscrapers in your rear view mirror. That was my method, and it worked like a charm.
My rear tire has 10,000 miles on it and is a little thin in the teeth so I stopped in David (daveed), and asked at the gas station where a llantera tire shop for motos was. He didnīīt know, so I flagged down a cab and paid him 2 bucks to let me follow his cab to a motorcycle shop. It was a Yamaha shop where I bought a Shinko 244 for ninety bucks. YIKES! But the one I bought in the states for 40 bucks made it 10,000 miles, so I was stoked that they had the tire in stock. Anyway I whip out my tools and take off the rear wheel and two cops pull up and are insisting on HELPING me. I donīt need help changing a tire, but what are you going to do? So of course they leave and I go to air up the tire and they pinched the tube. But they were such nice guys and all, so I get another tube and limp to a gas station where I can work in peace. But soon the gas station attendants are bringing over a milk crate for me to sit on and standing around watching me. And then a guy pulls up in a car and jumps out with a screwdriver and a pair of pliers in case I need tools. These folks are so NICE. But I tactfully avoid their help, although one guy insists on holding a tire iron.
This is the place I bought the tire and this hot little number is selling new for 1200 bucks. You could fly to Panama and buy one of these Yamahas and ride it home. Just a thought.
Soon Iīm off and in the hills where the border is closed. It turns out that the time is different in Panama. Who knew? And daylight savings time ended last week. Now they tell me. So I am way late. But they have a nice place to stay in Rio Sereno. It is made out of teak. Yikes! Teak floors, teak trim, teak doors. It is beautiful wood though.