Eventually you reach the river that you used to have to ford:
Now there is a bridge:
and then you get down through an army checkpoint to an airstrip that has the main dock:
the Kuna boys told me 4 bikes had come through and gone down this road:
so I headed over to the river and saw if I could hitch a ride on their boat. The Kuna who was helping them called the sailboat. It was the Independence. They were full. The fee was 900 bucks anyway. Too rich for my budget. Anyway they were going to Cartagena. I only need to go to Turbo.
Then I went over to the small dock and talked to the locals. They were putting up a thatched palapa. I helped them put up the rafters:
they have small fan palm leaves. They tie them individually to sticks:
different approach than the coconut frond thatching over on the Azuero peninsula. They didn't know of any boats heading out so I headed over to the main dock at the end of the airstrip. You can see the island of Carti off in the distance:
the large boat way out there with the white mast sticking up is the Independence. The people at the large dock told me that there was a supply boat coming in a few days called the Lia Del Mar. The dueño (owner) is Sierra and he is in Colon. So I figured why not track this guy down. He is going all the way to Puerto Obaldia at the Colombian border.
I also met two nice French guys that were heading to Martinique. But South America it is. I'm trying to stay one pointed.
Really nice out here in the Kuña Yala. Very peaceful and the Kuña are friendly folks. I stopped back at the toll gate and the one guy was friends with Sierra. He told me I can find him on Piera doce (Pier 12) in Miramar near the plaza centrale.
So I took off in the late afternoon back over the misty mountains:
and headed into Panama City. It was dark and rush hour traffic so pretty fun splitting lanes. At one point I thought I was going through water. Turned out to be an oil spill. I wasn't going too fast so not too squirrely. I had to hit the gravel shoulder to clean off the tires. I can't believe you have to ride all the way back to Panama City to hit the road north to Colon. Finally saw a sign for Colon autopiste. $3.50 to go 40 miles. But it was worth it. Smooth sailing right into downtown Colon.
I stopped at the Sheraton just to see what a room would cost. 123 bucks. I don't think so. Headed down Avenida Centrale and there were hundreds of people hanging out on the park benches. Kind of a seedy town. And I was the only white guy. It is all black Panamanians around here for some reason. So I stopped and asked a black cab driver where to find a hotel and he pointed me to the Washington Hotel. Kind of a faded glory kind of place. Expensive for me at 59.00 but this town is kinda iffy and it's dark out, so I sprang for it.
Tomorrow I'll see if I can track down the Lia Del Mar and work something out.
I spent a pile today with passport, hotel, food, Kuña toll and gas it came to
Juan Colon (it's pronounced cologne)