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Old 12-06-2012, 06:36 AM   #541
rtwpaul OP
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Originally Posted by Chiriqui Charlie View Post
Paul, since you have a few days to kill, I'm so sorry that you couldn't have spent them in the sunny Highlands with me! I would have loved to have heard your stories first hand!
definitely a shame we didn't get to meet up, have fun on your upcoming ride and stop into camping matildas north of San Juan Del Sur if you need a break
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Old 12-06-2012, 11:55 AM   #542
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bikes are rolling into panama, the figure looks like 13 bikes heading south, but a few seem to be leaving it a little late for the boarding which starts at 9 am tomorrow morning

have heard from the girls, deb or alison and their blogs haven't been updated for about a week so hopefully they are in town at another hostal...the biggest distance with the shortest time to get here is Dwight aka inmate "kedgi" his RR , he emailed me last night and told me where he was, after a quick calculation he looks like he is 770KM from Panama City and also has to do the CR/ PAN border crossing too, he left at around 6am, he looses one hour at the border (time change) then add 90 KM

so doing a quick bit of math, he has 860 KM's to do minimum and a border crossing, with 26 hours to do it all in, if the border goes well at two hours then he has 24 hours which is a 35kph average, doable for sure but he will be one tired puppy when he gets here

one rider has been here for a while and is getting all the overland riders he meets to sign his luggage instead of getting stickers




so had a quick walk around to see if any other bikes were riding around looking lost as panama city traffic is like a zoo and the chicken buses here drive just like they do out in the small towns




the skyline here is pretty unique from lots of different angle, but it is difficult not to get the same buildings in more than once







found a little shop selling tiny moped with the perfet name for driving in this city



when its not raining here it is just real hot and humid and even the guard dogs can't be bothered to lift their heads never mind bark at you




so no new riders showed so it was time to go back and pack for the morning ride out and to head out to sea on the stahlratte, and see how many cops we can salute to on our way out of the city





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Old 12-06-2012, 03:49 PM   #543
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Originally Posted by rtwpaul View Post
did you get that DS bike yet???
No, not yet. I'm tapped out right now, trying to rebuild my bank balance. It'll happen soon enough!
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Old 12-06-2012, 04:02 PM   #544
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Terrific report

Wow, great ride report and thanks for your posts, comments, and great pics. Sucks about all that rain. About those pesky Panamanian cops.......... do you need a Police Badge?........ Just sayin'. If you sort of represent yourself as a Gringo Cop on a ride down south....
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Old 12-06-2012, 07:25 PM   #545
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No, not yet. I'm tapped out right now, trying to rebuild my bank balance. It'll happen soon enough!

we'll have to arrange a ride when i get back in the states next year before i head off back to the southern hemisphere again
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Old 12-07-2012, 12:55 AM   #546
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Originally Posted by rtwpaul View Post
Costa Rica to Panama border crossing at Sixola

on your bike ride over the bridge to the left, NOT the railroad bridge anymore



ride over and there is a gravel covered parking lot to your left, take all your stuff that could be stolen, you are going to be way out of site of your bike for an hour or two and there were lots of kids hanging around when i was there
Hola Pablo!! Nice info. I rodw over the bridge last year on my way south. Think I have video. Things are always changing!

Just taking a bit of time to check up on you!!! Enjoy the trip over to Colombia! Glad your keeping up with your great RR!!
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Old 12-07-2012, 03:03 AM   #547
rtwpaul OP
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Originally Posted by Mr&MrsErnbo View Post
Wow, great ride report and thanks for your posts, comments, and great pics. Sucks about all that rain. About those pesky Panamanian cops.......... do you need a Police Badge?........ Just sayin'. If you sort of represent yourself as a Gringo Cop on a ride down south....
honestly i don't think they would really care, most of the time if you are not doing something crazy wrong they just want to talk about the bike...


there's no such thing as bad weather...it only matters if you are wearing the wrong clothes!!!
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Old 12-07-2012, 03:04 AM   #548
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Originally Posted by Radioman View Post
Hola Pablo!! Nice info. I rodw over the bridge last year on my way south. Think I have video. Things are always changing!

Just taking a bit of time to check up on you!!! Enjoy the trip over to Colombia! Glad your keeping up with your great RR!!
i'll say hello to Lulu for you...gotta go Carti is calling
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Old 12-07-2012, 04:24 AM   #549
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Boy, some architect sure put himself-herself out there. I would love to see the inside of that building.
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Old 12-07-2012, 10:20 AM   #550
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as long as there's a horizon and i can see it, then i want to know what's there, mentally, physically and visually
I know that feeling all to well! Love the ride report, thanks for taking us along.
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Old 12-11-2012, 07:40 AM   #551
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Onthe hit list... keeping track of your progress. Thanks for the awesome pics
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Old 12-12-2012, 07:31 PM   #552
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just arrived in Cartagena, will post some Stahlratte crossing photos soon
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Old 12-12-2012, 08:17 PM   #553
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Old 12-13-2012, 08:58 PM   #554
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Left the hostel early to try and beat traffic, got out of the city without to many problems and we were due to be at the Carti dock at the requested time of 9am…right up to the point when we came across backed up traffic about 1km before the turn to Carti.






There was a demonstration and the road was blocked due to flooding a few years ago and the government not paying to help the locals and some major damage to house, which all related back to a company who owns and runs the dams, the locals felt they need to pay

The irony was they press arrived and the TV cameras, the cameras went straight to the demonstration, the press came straight to us asking how we were involved, once they realized we had nothing to do with it they went to the demonstration.

even during demonstrations there is some tail wandering thru the crowds



About a 45 minute delay and then the road opened and we headed to Carti, there is a barrier across the road about half way to the dock, and there is a toll, $6 for locals and $9 for international visitors.
this is 3 of the riders, Ryan, Dylan and phil








there was rebuilding work being done to one of the docks and it seemed everyone was involved











Once at the dock we loaded, pretty straight forward, remove your luggage and get winched aboard…there were 13 bikes to load aboard










and headed off to the island of Carti Sugdub for the night.



There are 365 islands in the San Blas chain with 48 having inhabitants, so we stayed with a local family and slept in hammocks and took time to wander around the small island village

The sad part that you notice is the amount plastic garbage laying everywhere…it was a good experience to stay there for an afternoon and night but it really was enough…outdoor toilets dropping straight into the Caribbean Sea where we had been swimming about a mile away just 1 hour earlier!!!!






lots more island shots to come...





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Old 12-14-2012, 12:51 AM   #555
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Hey Paul,

Orvar, from Sweden, should be crossing into Mexico tomorrow on his way to TDF. I heard there was a freighter taking bikes from Panama to Colombia but have no info to give him. Have you heard about this? StahlRat is booked during his trip so he'll have to air ship or try this freighter.

Thanks,

Schizz
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