New Color, New Dimension, New Value

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by Eclecticmale, Sep 7, 2012.

  1. Eclecticmale

    Eclecticmale Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2011
    Oddometer:
    83
    Location:
    N. Charleston, SC
    I took to coastal road in Costa Rica headed for David, Panama, but got a little tired and decided to stay in a border town called Ciudad Neily, Costa Rica. Border crossings seem to drain my patience…so I decided to get a good night sleep, and deal with the usual border madness in the morning. Arrived at the Costa Rica/Panama border at 9:30 AM, and did the usual passport/customs stuff, and by 11:30 AM I was on my way into Panama. I was happy to be out of the border and riding on some good quality roads, I decided to push my speed to 90 mph. I was not into Panama for 5 minutes, and I was pulled over by a cop for speeding. I did not get a ticket, but I got a Spanish verbal warning. Note to anyone traveling through Panama, the police use radar, and the cops are everywhere. I arrived in David, Panama about an hour later, and found a hotel. I did not see too much of David, but I am sure it is a nice place. I got an early start the next day and headed to Panama City, which was about 6 hours away. On my ride, 5 BMW GS’s blew by me in the blink of an eye. Later down the road I saw them refueling at a gas station, I honked and kept it moving. About 30 minutes later, the BMW’s passed me, and we decided to stop and talk. We did the standard introductions, and they were on their way to Panama City (where they live). They asked if I would join them for lunch, I accepted, and we all headed to this great restaurant about 1.5 hours outside of Panama City. The had great food and a rodeo going on in the back…who knew? The BMW Club of Panama was very kind and gracious to offer me 1.5 hour, 100 mph BMW GS escort to my hotel (thanks guys & lady). We exchanged numbers, and they offered some great advice about the city…I will stay in contact for sure. The next morning, I need to get some small issues sorted with my bike. As luck would have it, I saw a VSTROM outside my hotel and quickly found the owner and inquired about the nearest Suzuki dealership. He then told me he knew a mechanic, and escorted me to his place of business. Antonio (the mechanic) was great…he sorted out all of my small issues (new chain/sprocket install, horn install, oil change, and front suspension bolts install). I guess those bolts came off somewhere along the way…go figure. During my visit to the mechanic, I ran into some motorcycle travelers that were waiting on the cargo ship leaving for Columbia on 1 NOV 2012. I had a great time conversing with them, and telling stories of our travels. I am still debating making the boat trip to Columbia…$850 bucks…I will need time to let that cost sink in my brain. The next item on my list of to find a room or small place to rent for the next 6 months in Panama City. I really love this city, it is good to be back.

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    Coastal views of Costa Rica

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    Me and the BMW Moto Club of Panama

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    Image of backside of restaurant

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    Live rodeo action...I bet you thought I was kidding!

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    #81
  2. BamaTexRider

    BamaTexRider MOTO-MIKE

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    Oddometer:
    49
    Location:
    Alabama and Texas
    And then what ? :ear
    #82
  3. DkKnight

    DkKnight Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2010
    Oddometer:
    12
    Location:
    Bowie MD
    Caught up and subscribed now - great RR and even better pics, you truly tell a great story with your camera!
    Way to keep you head up - Good luck and enjoy.

    Paul in MD
    #83
  4. Eclecticmale

    Eclecticmale Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2011
    Oddometer:
    83
    Location:
    N. Charleston, SC
    I am currently in Panama City, and I am trying to learn the lay of the land. My current dilemma is trying to find a 1 bedroom fully furnished apartment for about $400 – $600 per month. I know that is going to be hard to find in a city as modern as Panama City. I am hold up in a hostel/housestay in the Ancon/Bsalboa area, and I must say I am having a great time, but something is missing. I am missing the open road and the wind in my face. I am contemplating three options:

    1. Staying in Panama for the next year (if I find a place I can afford)
    2. Heading South to Columbia (it will cost $850 oneway)
    3. Heading back North to visit all of the places I missed on the way down (my favorite choice)
    #84
  5. Blader54

    Blader54 Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,201
    I've really enjoyed your RR and am looking forward to reading the upcoming installments. If you go back north I second the motion to visit Arenal volcano, there's a hot springs place there too, which was really relaxing, and to check out the Nicoya Peninsula. Stayed at a great little hotel there a few years ago, set back a few yards from the beach in the jungle. Had a great time there. One caution....if you ride the Panamerican Highway north out of San Jose and into the mountains, there are lots of twisties, but also truck traffic (at least when I was there 7 years ago). Came around a blind curve only to find that some truck had dumped it's crankcase all over the road. Could have been a game-ender as there was no guardrail or anything else to stop you from falling hundreds of feet straight down.

    Wishing you all the best on your continuing journey!:clap:clap:clap
    #85
  6. Parcero

    Parcero Mundial

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2008
    Oddometer:
    544
    Location:
    Chicago physically, Colombia en mi mente.
    I would recommend Option 2. It will be the best $850 you ever spent.

    Colombia has way more riding options than Panama because it's a much larger country. It's much cheaper to stay and live there. You will find beautiful scenery and nice friendly people everywhere. Two coasts, high mountains, deserts, jungles, the coffee zone, amazing little villages everywhere, and world-class large cities. It's a very biker friendly country. You will find out why so many travelers who planned to ride through Colombia ended up staying there for a much longer visit, many permanently.

    #86
  7. trespalacios

    trespalacios Oh libertad

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2012
    Oddometer:
    729
    Location:
    Upstate SC
    Pics stopped coming in. Did you stay in Panama or did you make it to Colombia?
    #87
  8. steveWFL

    steveWFL Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,397
    Location:
    Tampa
    +1

    You OK? Which option did you take?
    #88
  9. hackrat

    hackrat Chief Geek

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2009
    Oddometer:
    12
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    Sitting in the office on New Years Eve day wondering about some of the same issues in life that many others are. Why am I still doing this and where do I want to be 5, 10, or 15 years from now. I'm pretty sure I'm going to start throttling back and find a more enjoyable position so I can relax and get more riding in.

    Best wishes in your travels and I'll be enviously following. Thanks Raymond.
    #89
  10. Scubalong

    Scubalong Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2012
    Oddometer:
    884
    Location:
    So Cal
    It has been over a month without any update, I hope he found a place and settle down with a Chica :evil
    #90
  11. Hendo66

    Hendo66 Hendo66

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2008
    Oddometer:
    198
    Location:
    Perth, Down Under
    I hope he is OK!
    #91
  12. jimbowie

    jimbowie Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2010
    Oddometer:
    100
    Location:
    Texas prairie.
    I guess we are all worried Raymond. We sure hope everything is okay.
    #92
  13. Eclecticmale

    Eclecticmale Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2011
    Oddometer:
    83
    Location:
    N. Charleston, SC
    I apologize for not having any updates since November 2012. I have been staying (being lazy) in Panama City, and spending my time getting to know Panama City. I have met some great new friends during my stay in Panama City, but now it is time for me to depart. I headed out of Panama City on 3 JAN 13, and was attempting to spend a week in Bocas Del Toro, but I got stopped by the customs police and my bike was impounded. According to my paperwork for the bike, it was only valid for one month in Panama, so I had to go to David and stay for a couple of days to get my bike. Long story short…paid a fine of $200 US Dollars the next day, and I got my bike. On 5 JAN 13, I crossed the border into Costa Rica and headed for a surf town called Jaco. I did not really like the feel of Jaco, so I headed for Liberia the next morning. I cross the border into Nicaragua on 10 Jan 13, and I am currently in Managua, Nicaragua. I will head out for Honduras tomorrow.
    #93
  14. Animo

    Animo Beastly n00b

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2009
    Oddometer:
    5,051
    Location:
    Playa del Carmen
    Great stuff :clap

    :lurk
    #94
  15. hdawg

    hdawg Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2011
    Oddometer:
    27
    Raymond:
    Your RR is excellent. The writing is one of the best I've read. It's honest. Keep riding. If ever in Santa Cruz, CA send me a text. Couch on me.
    #95
  16. sarelp

    sarelp Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2008
    Oddometer:
    133
    Location:
    Southern Indiana
    Welcome back !
    #96
  17. Artlocks

    Artlocks Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    150
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    Thanks for reporting Raymond. It happened to me too, read ADVrider then went out and bought a motorcycle. Good luck on your future travels.
    #97
  18. jimbowie

    jimbowie Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2010
    Oddometer:
    100
    Location:
    Texas prairie.
    Thank goodness all is okay. We were all concerned about you. Ride safe and keep us posted.
    #98
  19. PiffleMaster

    PiffleMaster Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,260
    Location:
    Winnipeg
    Just found this thread. Great pics, hope to see more.
    Cheers, Brian

    PS. Text would be a little more readable with the occasional line break/paragraph.
    Just sayin'. :freaky
    #99
  20. jessepitt

    jessepitt Ride More

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2008
    Oddometer:
    993
    Location:
    Redmond Oregon
    Wonderful photos. They really give the feel of the people and places you have visited.