July 25, 2006 GMT
Panama - Puente del Mundo

27beach.jpg
Beach - Panama

Panama - The Bridge to South America. A country literally cut in half by a man made Canal. Home to the infamous and wild Darién Gap. We were looking forward to our last country of Central America.

BORDER CROSSING

Exit Costa Rica - Pañoas Cañas
Very, very simple
* Take passports to Migration window for stamp (they wish to see each individual with their passport at this crossing)
* Take all bike paperwork to Aduana for cancellation

Enter Panama
Again, very, very simple
* Take passports to Migration for cursory check and issue of a small paper to purchase tourist cards ($US5.00 each + $US1.00 each for municipal tax)
* Purchase tourist cards (if arriving at lunch time you will have to wait, as we did, for the officer to return)
* Return to Migration for stamps in passport
* Visit Aduana with copies of bike rego and ownership
* Once permit is issued, a check by Customs officer, who will ask you to open bags, boxes and such and look inside, ask a few questions and send you on your way.
* Ride to quarrantine where they may or may not spray the bike. We did not have the bike sprayed.

02roadworks.jpg
Pan-American Highway

The Republic of Panama is a narrow long isthmus (80 kilometers at its narrowest point and 193 kilometers at its widest) with a beautiful tropical climate that remains consistent through out the year. It has a dramatic landscape, lush green forrests covering high mountains and farmed rolling hills stretching to the sea with classic Spanish fortifications and beautiful palm fringed beaches.

12fort1.jpg
Fort - Portobello

By the time we reached David, the second largest city, 50kms from the border the chain guard was once again clattering wildly about the rear end. The first repair in Mexico City had been easily completed with the guard still attached to the swing arm, which was probably as well with the front mounting bolt being in such a rediculously cramped position (only design by computer could be so impractical!) that it had proved imposible to remove. However, with the present state of the guard we had no option but to remove it and throw it away or weld a new section to the original repair.

Grant lowered the bash plate and removed the (rarely used) tools which sit hidden and happily forgotten for most of the time. Amoungst a small collection of spare bolts, nuts and washers a philips head driver was found, which with the help of a shifting spanner, tyre lever and large quantities of WD40 managed to move the offending bolt.

13fort2.jpg
Fort - Portobello

With the guard now removed he walked the short distance to a muffler repair shop and proceded to completely confuse the owner and himself trying to explain in Spanglish the necessary repair.

Fortunately the gentleman was patient, a common and endearing trait of Central Americans, and with due course he grabbed the rather grubby and mangled plastic/metal chain guard and raced off into the rear of the building.

Perhaps a half an hour ensued with much clanging about, drilling and welding noises eminating, he re-appeared. Proudly he passed the repaired guard to Grant who, amazed at the new strength of the repair, asked the cost.

The man, now busy attending to some other task, looked up, furrowing his forehead and pursing his lips in thought. "Two dollars" he replied!

11bikehill.jpg
Piggy in Paradise

A day ride to Boquette in the Mountains was a refreshingly cool treat before returning to the InterAmericano (or Pan-Am). It is long, relatively straight and often a 4 lane highway. The sparsely populated road skirts along the coast past the occasional waterfall tumbling from a cliff top, through farm lands and beautiful scenery. It is easy to chew up the miles and miss the sights and sounds of Panamanian life.

waterfall.jpg
Waterfall - Pan-American Highway

We thought it may be nice to stay in Penonomé and visit the local archeological sight. The accommodation options were limited to expensive to the Pension Estrella Rojo.

Jules went to the Reception desk, well a mirrored window with a small hole cut in the glass for communicaiton. She asked the price of a room. "$8.00 and hour" came the reply. She tried again this time asking how much it would be for the whole night. "$8.00 and hour" was the reply again. Trying another attack she stated that she would like the room for the whole night. "Are you here with a Caballero (Gentleman)?" "Yes" she replied. "$8.00 and hour!". Leaving smiling, she relayed the story to Grant, who looking her up and down, observed that in her tight jeans, black t-shirt and sporting her body belt was maybe more suggestive than intended!

We never did find suitable accommodation or the sign to the archeological site! Which is rather an irony as Panama is spread very thin with pre-colombian archeological sites.

03anton.jpg
Church - Anton

Anton, 120 kilometers from Panama City, is a pretty town with two hotels, one on each side of the Pan-American. We chose the cheapest and they happily allowed us to park Piggy in the foyer. The sleepy town is located slightly off the highway and within an easy walk to church and the lovely colonial building located around the central plaza.

Posted by Julie Rose at July 25, 2006 05:05 PM GMT
 
 

NEW! HU 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar is now available! Get your copy now for some terrific travel inspiration!

HUGE, 11.5 x 16.5 inches, beautifully printed in Germany on top quality stock! Photos are the winning images from over 600 entries in the 9th Annual HU Photo Contest!

Horizons Unlimited 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar.

"The calendar is magnificent!"

"I just wanted to say how much I'm loving the new, larger calendar!"

We share the profit with the winning photographers. YOU could be in the HU Calendar too - enter here!

Next HU Eventscalendar

See all events

 

HU DVD Autumn Special!

Take 40% off Road Heroes Part 1 until October 31 only!

Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers Peter and Kay Forwood (193 countries two-up on a Harley); Dr. Greg Frazier (5 times RTW); Tiffany Coates (RTW solo female); and Rene Cormier (University of Gravel Roads).

The first in an exciting new series, Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers."Inspiring and hilarious!"

"I loved watching this DVD!"

"Lots of amazing stories and even more amazing photographs, it's great fun and very inspirational."

"Wonderful entertainment!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'HEROES' on your order when you checkout.



Scottoiler automatic chain oilers. The most important accessory for your next motorcycle adventure!


Renedian Adventures


Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!


What turns you on to motorcycle travel?


Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!


New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.


Books & DVDs

amazon

All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.


Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!

Story and photos copyright ©

Sorry, you need a Javascript enabled browser to get the email address and dates. You can contact Horizons Unlimited at the link below. Please be sure to tell us WHICH blog writer you wish to contact.

All Rights Reserved.

Contact the author:

Editors note: We accept no responsibility for any of the above information in any way whatsoever. You are reminded to do your own research. Any commentary is strictly a personal opinion of the person supplying the information and is not to be construed as an endorsement of any kind.

Hosted by: Horizons Unlimited, the motorcycle travellers' website!
You can have your story here too - click for details!