February 22, 2008 GMT
DAY 23 - Panama


niña panameña.JPGShorty and I departed this morning before 8. He rides a Suziki 650. In half an hour we were at the border. On the side of Costa Rica it was a stamp, declare the exit of the bike and off we were. A few blocks later we stopped our bikes in the shade and went to complete our transactions, without ever taking our eyes off the bikes. At immigration they sent us to pay for a tourism card which was granted immediately for $US5. Then a lady gave us a stamp for a dollar (i think for council fees) returned to immigration a stamp was given and out we went.
Next we went to customs we provided a copy of each document and gave us the permit for free. We handed the permit to an agent outside customs who was ready to check our bags. I was asked what i had in the bags...i replied medicine and clothes. So i was told that to save me from taking everything out they would trust me. I mentioned i didn't mind them looking through. "No it's ok they said follow me to the office said one, where i received a stamp, a signature and perhaps something to go with the coffee. Repulsed, I offered a dollar and i left to wait for shorty.
Throughout Costa Rica and Panama i started feeling the mosquitoes, flies hardly any.
On the road there are many police in big motorcycles, the road is a good one but every so often there are a few holes and splits in the road so we couldn't afford to get distracted.
We passed David, San Lorenzo, Santiago, Penonome and we then started out to the coast and into Santa Clara. We stayed at Blue Dolphin lodge, it was like a farm house with swimming pool, lots of grassed area for $US40 each. It isn't much, no hot water but there is air con (not recommended). The bikes were left outside at the door of our rooms, really safe. I washed some clothes and hung them up. Shorty and I went for a walk down to the beach, the water temperature was perfect. Even though the Balboa is Panama's national currency everything here is in US dollars.
Corruption, abuse of power from police, military, immigration official and customs, bureaucracy, bribes, disrespect for tourists is all so common around here, i am filled with indignation but i won't allow it to spoil my trip. I am still enjoying getting on Angelina each day.
Throughout the whole day we had mountains to our left and to the right it was flat.
en el camino a panama.JPG Santa Clara.JPG

SAME TEXT HERE IN SPANISH: Dia 23 Miercoles 20
Hoy salimos con shorty, el en su suzuki 650, antes de las ocho, en menos de media hora llegamos a la Frontera Dios y Patria, inmigracion en costa rica sello y ta, baja de la moto en la oficina de al lado, me tomaron el documento me dieron un recibo y ta desjamos a los Ticos, varias cuadras mas adelante paramos las motos en la sombra e hicimos todo siempre mirandolas, fuimos a inmigracion y nos mandaron a pagar la tarjeta de turismo, fuimos enseguida nos dieron una por 5 us, salimos y una mujer nos puso una estampilla por 1 us, por la alcadia supongo, volvimos a la migra sello y ta.
Al lado fuimos a aduana y con una copia de cada documento nos dieron el permiso gratis
, ese permiso se lo dimos a un agente de aduanas que estaba afuera para chequear los bultos, me pregunto que lleva en los bolsos , ropa y medicina le dije, bueno me dice para no hacerle sacar todo, voy a confiar en usted, le dije revise todo lo que quiera, son solo efectos personales, no no esta bien me contesto, venga a la oficina conmigo, lo segui me puso un sello y firmo y me dice no me daria algo para el cafecito amigo, te doy 1 us le dije repugnado, me fui a esperar a shorty y salimos.

En costa rica y panama empece a ver y sentir los mosquitos mosca casi nada, en el camino mucho policias en motos grandes, la carretera barbar pero cada tanto unos pozos gigantescos y como fallas en el hormigon, no nos podiamos distraer, pasamos por David, San Lorenzo,Santiago,Penome y a los pocos kilometros entramos a la playa Santa Clara y entramos en Hospedaje Blue Dolphin, como una casa quinta con piscina, mucho pasto, 40 us cada uno no es gran cosa y no tenia agua caliente pero si aire acondicionadoN.R....las motos afuera de nuestros cuartos super seguras, lave la ropa y la colgue. fuimos caminando hasta la playa, linda el aque templada, todo es en us dollar el balboa son las monedas pero usan las americanas tambien.
Corrupcion, abuso de poder desde la policia, militares, oficiales de inmigracion y aduanas, burocracia, coima desrespecto por los turistas es comun luna vez que pasa el Rio Grande, me llena de indignacion, pero no dejo que me cague el viaje, sigo difrutando la moto.
hasta aqui siempre montñas a nuestra izquierda, plano a la derecha

Posted by Hugo Albini at February 22, 2008 10:09 AM GMT

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