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Old 12-18-2012, 04:12 AM   #93
alison's wanderland OP
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Joined: Jun 2010
Location: How did I end up in Panama?
Oddometer: 256
Speed traps in Panama

I was warned by a motorcyclist ahead of me to pay attention to the speed limits in Panama. I was watching the speedometer, knowing there were Policia with radar guns lurking in the shadows of overpasses and trees next to the road. The freeways in Panama are 4 lanes wide with pull off shoulders again, and keep going in a straight line for miles. I saw the signs drop from 100kph to 80 kph, but my speed didnít drop quickly enough. There was an officer under the walkway splitting the difference between traffic directions. He pointed to his eyes, pointed to me on my motorcycle and pointed to the shoulder, motioning for me to pull over. I wasnít going that fast, he canít be pointing at me, I thought, I am just going to keep riding and pretended like I didnít see him. I looked at my speedometer and made sure I was going 80kph (about 50mph) along the highway. I am not speeding, whatís he really going to do? Minutes went by and I thought I had evaded being pulled over since, me not going very fast, wasnít getting very far away from him. I guess he was bored because in my rearview, I saw the white motorcycle pull up behind me flashing his headlights. So I finally pulled over. First thing I do was remove my helmet, and put it (with camera) pointed at me and his motorcycle. Even though it was not on, he stood in front of the motorcycle, away from the lens. I flashed a smile, waiting for him to tell me what I did wrong. He was not happy I was going 94kph in a 80kph zone. I smiled and said in broken Spanish I was slowing down. He asked for my licencia, I gave him a copy. He said he motioned for me to pull over, I pretended I didnít see him. He asked for my passport. I pouted. He asked again pretended my Spanish than it really was. He asked again. I handed it over. He said I was going to have to go to Panama City to pay the ticket. I said I didnít have time. I was catching a boat to Colombia tomorrow. He said pay it when I get back. I said I am not coming back; I am headed to Argentina. He said I would have to pay it today. It was only $50. I explained that is an entire days budget and pouted some more. He asked how expensive a ticket in California is. I lied and said I donít know because I have never gotten one. He asked how long it would take me to get to Argentina. I said I would be 6 months on the road. He asked if I was traveling sola. I said yes. He asked how big my motorcycle was. I pointed, it was the same as his, 650cc. He said policia will give no ticket. Consider it a regalo navidad. I got my translation book out to look at what that was. A Christmas present. I said thank you and shook his hand. I started my engine and rode a painfully slow 80kph all the to the Panama city.

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Gone with the summer winds of Patagonia : 2012-13 -> Los Angeles to Ushuaia on a 2003 KLR685
adventures in : alison's wanderland | discover adventure locations : adv moto atlas
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