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"To see a world in a grain of sand, And a heaven in a wild flower; Hold infinity in the palm of your hand, And eternity in an hour." William Blake


South America Here I Come

May 13th, 2009 by sunflowers

Hola, I have my trip to the Darien to write up but haven’t had access to put my laptop online for the last couple of days. Tomorrow I am riding out to the coast (apparently along a muddy, slippery road which I am very worried about), putting my bike in a canoe and then hoisting it onto a sail boat to sail to Colombia. I am not worried about being in Colombia just worried about getting there. Will spend the time on the boat to write it all up and upload it when and if I get there.

Posted in Panama | 2 Comments »


Panama Canal

May 12th, 2009 by sunflowers

PanamaPanamaI didn’t end up getting to see the Panama Canal and museum as I had to go and pick up my bike as it was a five am start to ride out meet the boat the next day so instead when there for dinner and saw the ships passing through the locks at night which means the photos are a bit dark. Sorry mu m

Posted in Panama | 1 Comment »


Panama City

May 11th, 2009 by sunflowers

I had wanted to see the Darien tribe of people who are suppose to be only just taller than pygmies but ended up seeing more of them selling their wares in Panama City than I did in the Darien. Turns out they don’t like having their photos taken.

Driving in Panama City is like playing an arcade game dodging pedestrians and other vehicles. Good thing I am better at that than playing a DS. It is probably because there is so many people living in high rises in a small area.

PanamaPanamaPanamaPanama

Posted in Panama | 1 Comment »


Darien

May 10th, 2009 by sunflowers

A lot of people know of the Panama province of Darien because of the almost uncrossable land bridge between Central America and South America called Darien’s Gap. A few hundred kilometers from Panama City is the town of Yaviza where the northern part of Panamerican road ends. Most of the road is paved except for a few stretches that had turned into mud in the rain causing Steve to drop his Harley a couple of times.

About twenty miles from the end I ran into a couple I had met in Granada who had hitchhiked from the USA. After getting a couple of pictures and doing the umpteenth police check with our passports we gave Dave and Cassandra a lift back to the first muddy patch. Then it was a three hour wait where the road was being blockaded due to another Panamanian protest. The election sign shows the true Panama Hat (which is different to the official Panama Hat which is made in Ecuador).

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DarienDarienDarienDarien

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Olympus and Canon Comparison

May 9th, 2009 by sunflowers

Spending the night with Steve and his wife Karen at their weekend cottage in the Blue Hills gave me a chance to do some shots comparing the Olympus and the Canon. In each set the Olympus is first and the Canon second. I prefer the Canon for the wider angle and better close ups but the Olympus can be used underwater.

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Duty Free Zone

May 8th, 2009 by sunflowers

Panama

Met up with Steve today who just finished doing his own six month trip around South America and is kindly putting me up for a few days and riding down to the end of the pan-american with me. We rode out to Colon where they have this duty free shopping area to look for a underwater camera. I didn’t find a proper underwater camera but did buy one of those Olympus cameras that go down to 3 meters so will just make do with taking photos when I am snorkeling as I think a proper underwater camera would be too expensive for me.

Panama

I will take some photos with both it and my canon (which has been dropped so much it is on it’s last legs) and compare the shots. I wish that I had stopped and taken some photos on the ride today as Panama has these lumpy looking hills.

Panama

Posted in Panama | 2 Comments »


Blockaded Border

May 7th, 2009 by sunflowers

9 hours riding
409 miles
$22 for petrol
2 hour border crossing
1 hour time zone difference
lost 1 shoe

Left the eco-lodge by seven in the morning. Manged to ride right past the border so stopped at a service station in Panama to use the restroom and then went back to the border and spent 1 hour checking my bike out of Costa Rica and 1 hour to check it into Panama.

Then the road into Panama was blockaded due to a recent government change but I managed to ride through the rocks and trees on the road (I was a bit nervous about going through the blockade but pissed off as I thought I had been ripped off $30 by the money changer but realised it was only $10 as I was riding).

I wouldn’t have ridden into Panama city but in the last 200kms the only hotel I passed as a burnt out dilapidated shell. So rode into Panama City at night (tired, hungry and nervous) stopped to look at my guide book and a lovely couple pointed me to the hotel district and managed to get a hotel that gave me a 25% discount for being a tired motorbiker.

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PanamaPanamaPanama

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Not All's Well in Paradise

May 6th, 2009 by sunflowers

Riding in the rain isn’t so bad except leaving San Jose I had some places where the mist on the road and my visor made it hard to see then another place where the steam was rising from the rain on the hot road.

I heard about an eco-lodge through couchsurfer where you they had a vegan restaurant and did yoga every morning so thought I would check it out. Apparently I had just missed the main season and the guy running it sounded a bit disillusioned about how it was run and the quality of ‘volunteers’. I paid $8 to sleep in a loft and realised along with the rainy season there is lots of mosquitoes. And even though I didn’t scratch the bites at all next day as I was in bike gear the whole day they still itch.

Costa RicaCosta RicaCosta Rica

Costa RicaCosta RicaCosta Rica

Costa RicaCosta RicaCosta Rica

Posted in Costa Rica | No Comments »


Almost Headed Home

May 5th, 2009 by sunflowers

This morning I went to leave San Jose and I realised that my travel insurance had expired (as I originally was only going to go for five months). I was with Endsleigh as they were the only travel insurance company that insures you as standard for riding anything that you are licensed to ride in the UK. When I phoned them up they said because I hadn´t extended it before it expired that I would have to be in the UK to start another policy.

Between not having access to my bank account, no travel insurance, getting some stuff I need from the UK and some issues that I need to sort out I started looking for flights home.

But luckily I found insurance that allows you to start while you are on holiday and covers you for motorcycle riding – www.worldwideinsure.com. Yeah!

A bit nervous about this rainy season thing. It has been thundering and raining for quite a few hours now.

Posted in Costa Rica | No Comments »


The Rains Have Started

May 4th, 2009 by sunflowers

The rainy season has started in Central America and our ride out on Sunday was originally canceled but then reinstated for a lunch ride. But sitting writing this right now I am listening to thunder! I am debating whether to catch the boat to Columbia on the 15 May or 02 June and right now favoring 15 May (though it is going to cost $800 all up).

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San JoseSan JoseSan JoseSan Jose

San JoseSan JoseSan JoseSan Jose

Posted in Costa Rica | 2 Comments »


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