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Old 01-12-2013, 03:35 PM   #97
AK Smitty OP
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Joined: Oct 2011
Location: Somewhere in South America
Oddometer: 398
CR to Panama

Started the day off with some rad pics. Slightly photo shopped. Growing up in Maine a lot of French Canadians woud come to Maine for vacation during the summer. The common term for them was Queb. Not a totally affectionate term but also not totally a slam just what I always heard growing up. My two Queb friends had never heard it. I had been seeing these signs when riding without them and boy was I excited to get these shots!

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So the Canadians and I are on the road about 930 and thinking we will get to Bocas del Toro in time to enjoy the afternoon. We process out of CR no problem. About 20 min and we we think things are looking good. I had heard a lot about crossing the sketchy bridge into Panama and was looking forward to it. Well there is a new bridge and the old really isn't that sketchy so now we are really on a roll. Hit the Panama side and the power is out. Hmmmm. Huge line to get into Panama and an even bigger line to get into CR. What you gonna do except sit and wait with everyone else in the sweltering heat. Mihai watched the bikes because of some not so friendly little kids and Pawel and I got the paper work for us handled after about 2 hours. Oh well it is what it is.

Time for the bikes. The dude that processes the bikes says we need insurance first. OK, no problem it is right across the street. No insurance guy. He is on lunch. Ok we will wait about an hour and then 2 and... We then start asking questions and find out he disappeared yesterday for several hours and people had the same issue. We also confirm he is the only gig in town. After a total of over 5 hours at the Panama border 2 unhappy Quebs and one grumpy Alaskan are finally on there way south. We are rewarded with really fun section of twisty road. We need to keep on move in hopes of still catching a boat to Bocas.

Pull into the Fire Station in Almirante (tipped off by another biker to store our bikes there) at 5:15. Last boat is at six!!! Mad dash re-pack and jump in a taxi to the water taxi. Made it with 15 min to spare. Side note Almirante is one of the ugliest places I have driven through. Lots of trash piled on the side of the road and just really dirty everywhere. Bocas was a nice change from that.



The bomberos were cool and we felt really safe leaving our bikes there. They were pretty interested in our trip and wanted to know how we could all afford it. We said work work work! He still had a look of "that is not enough on his face" so I said "no esposa and no ninos" He the went "OHHHHH!!!" and we just started laughing. It all clicked for him.

Rolling into Bocas at sunset.

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