February 24, 2008 GMT
DAY 25 - Friday 22nd of February

"TRAVELING IS LIKE GAMBLING: IT IS ALWAYS CONNECTED WITH WINNING AND LOSING, AND GENERALLY WHERE IT IS LEAST EXPECTED WE RECEIVE MORE OR LESS THAN WHAT WE HOPED FOR". Johann Wolfgang Von

Hotel en panama con shorty.JPG Panama City.JPGPanama City
We headed towards the city (some 22 kms from airport and hotel) in taxi, paid the tolls and got to the office of D.I.J, (police unit known as the Judicial Investigation Directorate) straight up we were told that the pass we received was incorrect as the number of chasis had the engine number instead. i offered $US10 for the problem to be rectified as the error was made by panama officials. They also asked to see the bikes, we didn't have them there. Therefore, we were sent to customs and asked to bring the bikes to have them checked. I let him know that he was just unwilling to help and set off to customs. A lady there took care of everything in no time. So we were off to do some sightseeing, first up we went to Miraflores Dock on the canal, $US5. We were able to see how the water levels are modified and this huge ship started passing thru, having paid a million dollars for the access.
We kept going and had a look around the bridge and the old ruined city, no comments there.
Well, we now had to get back to Girag, traffic was impossible. At the office there was no two ways about it, we needed the documentation from D.I.J. I passed by customs and asked to speak to Ismael who was the guy that gave us the list of requirements but who failed to mention we had to take the bikes to get them checked, he apologised.
The cabbie left us at the hotel and wanted to charge us for 6 hours but i caught him out and mentioned it was 5 hours.
Got onto the bikes and set off into town again, again paid the tolls and into the office of the D.I.J. The officer checked the bikes, got the engine number and the chasis number by painting it over then placing a transparent tape over and getting an imprint. Close to 2pm we were taken to an office close by, we waited once called up we were asked how the bikes were leaving we said via air travel then had to wait some more. At about 5pm we are called up again given our papers when i detect another error on their behalf. I tell them that the bikes are going by air not sea as they had written. So they took the papers and got us to wait some more. When all was done and finished we signed some papers and i told them they should be ashamed having us spend all day at the office waiting and not apologising for their mistakes, they were dumbfounded as we left with a bang of the door. Shorty who is really placid felt a bit bad about it but not me i won't tolerate inefficiency. Having left after 5 traffic was dreadful, we spent an hour for 3 kms. We went passed the hotel and shorty was out of petrol, as he took some out of Angelina i gathered all our documents and photocopied them all (about 60 copies for $3). After that we had some KFC and rest, tomorrow we need to be at customs by 7am.

Here in Panama we seem to draw a lot of attention, Shorty for his long, years in the making, beard and moi, well my disturbed, mad face and reluctance to take off my motorbike jacket wherever we are gets people staring all the time. We get asked many questions about the bike and our travels.
One thing that caught my eye was a sign at the old city which said; We heal the sick we do not bring back the dead.

Ciudad vieja,panama.JPG Canal de Panama.JPG

SAME TEXT HERE IN SPANISH: Dia 25 Viernes 22
Nos fuimos a la ciudad 22 kms en taxi, pagamos la carretera 1.25 y 1.40 llegamos a la oficina D.I.J y de entrada nos dijeron que los pase que nos dieron en la frontera estan mal que pusieron el numero de motor en el lugar del chasis, tenia razon, pero le quise dar 10 dol y haber sin nos arreglaba, culpa de la gente de ellos, se fue a consultar con otros, al rato vuelve y me pregunta por las motos, no la trajimos le dije , no, tienen que arreglar este documento en aduanas en tal direccion y traer las motos para revizarlas, lo insulte al negro, le dije que no queria ayudarnos y nos fuimos para la aduana a un par de kms mas adelante y una viejit nos arreglo todo en un ratito, de Ahi nos fuimos a Miraflores Lock en el canal para ver por 5 dol. las aguas qaue se anivelan las compuertas se abren y empezo a pasar un barco gigantesco, que paga mas de un millon de dol para el previlegio,
Seguimos para adelante por al lado del canal y al rato regresamos, pasamos carca del puente de la americas, fuimos al casco viejo, a la ciudad vieja o ruinas, sin comentario.
Trafico imponente, regresamos a la oficina de Girag que esta vez la encotramos, carretera 1.40....1.25 no habia caso necesitabamos ese documento de D.I.J pase por la aduana que esta a 100 metros pedi para hablar con el muchacho Ismael que me dio la lista de lo que necesitaba pero no menciono que teniamos que llevar las motos, se disculpo
el taxi nos llevo al hotel y eran la una le dije que te debo son 6 horas 60 dol le di dos mas de propina y despues le digo momentito es 5r horas, no me dice 6 y empezo a contar 8.9.10.11.12 y una 6 horas no loco de 8 a 9 hay una hora no dos, se dio cuenta enseguida que lo habia agarrado robandonos, fidel se llama y le dije sos un jodedor como tu tocayo y lo deje.levantamos los cascos y nos fuimos para la ciudad 1.25....1.40 us fuimnos a la oficina ya el negro estaba muy amable dio un 180 grados, nos ayudo, revisaron toda la moto hasta el numero del motor que yo ni sabia donde estaba, el numero del chasis lo pinto y le uso un tape transparente y despues lo arranco y lo puso en el papel para verificar el numero, cerca de las dos de la tarde nos llevaron a enfrente a otra oficina, esperamos nos llamaron nos hicieron llenar un papel, una de las preguntas era que via se iban las motos por aire, avion pusimos en el formulario, a esperar afuera cerca de las cinco nos llaman que revisemos el documento si estavba bien, esta mal le digo pusieron maritimo
nos se disculpo nos hiceron esperar mas y cuando terminaron nos hicieron firmar, les dije de todos de coimeros y que le dewbia dar verguenza en hacer esperar a un turista ese tiempo y no disculparse por sus errores, quedaron de boca abierta y salimos con un portazo, shorty que es bien calmo paso mal, pero yo no puedo aguantar, salimos mas de las cinco y el trafico era imposible, nos llevo mas de una hora hacer 3 kms, pasamos por el hotel shorty se quedo sin gaslina y mientras sacaba de la angie yo hacia fotos copias de todos despues comimos en KFC, hice como 60 copias por 2.90, llegamos al hotel a las 7 mañana para aduana y girag, las calenturas y el calor me dejo sin energia.
llamamos la atencion en todos los lugares nos miran, hacen preguntas de las motos y nosotros o cuando vamos a comer Shorty con su barba de años y mois con mi cara de loco siempre de chaleco.
En panama viejo en un negocio habia un cartel. Curamos a los enfermos, no resucitamos a los muertos.

Posted by Hugo Albini at February 24, 2008 10:21 PM GMT
 



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