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Old 05-31-2010, 01:04 AM   #166
lionsroaar
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Great job on the RR so far!! I wish I had caught this a couple of days ago as I could have turned you on to a great meal...Just as you head South out of Jaco you come into Playa Hermosa. My cousin owns a hotel there on the beach and there is a small restaurant there on the right side of the road called the Jungle Surf Cafe. If you happen to go back by it try the banana pancakes and the cafe au lait...Amazing food and very cheap...

Good luck and thanks for the great pics and write up so far!
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Old 05-31-2010, 01:24 AM   #167
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Great pics and story!
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Old 05-31-2010, 08:31 AM   #168
StinkyCheese
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Brilliant RR and pics!
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Old 05-31-2010, 10:46 AM   #169
sasper
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Great RR so far! I'm taking a similar trip this fall (but slower and longer) and am taking copious notes from your trip :)
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Old 05-31-2010, 11:24 AM   #170
Zepfan
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Hey Pat, great ridding with you bud! I kept ALL my coments about you POSITIVE. No need for negativity or accusations. Yes, I'm sure I was more of a pain than you were to me but NEG comments, unecessary IMHO.

Seriously, privlage to know and ride with you. Peace out rob


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Old 05-31-2010, 11:46 AM   #171
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I've been following this thread and never thought nothing that Pat said was anything but a commentary of the days events. Really it's no more than a difference in trip expectations and goals.

I've done shorter (10km trip to Alaska) with a few friends. There where days that I was frustrated with the others due to our difference in expectations. To do a trip like you guys and not have some kind of issues at some point is not possible. If he made the report 100% positive it would not be accurate or as enjoyable as it is to read because these kind of personal conflicts will add to the journey. Most of the reports I've enjoyed reading on this website are the ones that have personal conflicts of some kind because they remind me of the ones I've had. The difficult times are the ones we will remember in our journeys and look back at with good memories. They really do not reflect negatively on those doing the trip.

Have to give props to those that take the time and have the skill to write these RR and entertain all of us. Thank you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zepfan
Hey Pat, great ridding with you bud! I kept ALL my coments about you POSITIVE. No need for negativity or accusations. Yes, I'm sure I was more of a pain than you were to me but NEG comments, unecessary IMHO.

Seriously, privlage to know and ride with you. Peace out rob


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Old 05-31-2010, 11:54 AM   #172
Argus16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IslandSpark

Good luck. Keep us in the loop!
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Old 05-31-2010, 02:42 PM   #173
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I haven't seen anything negative, Rob. Actually, I'm surprised at how well you all seem to have gotten along under the circumstances.

Thanks for the great report, Pat!
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Old 05-31-2010, 06:19 PM   #174
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Welcome to Panama!

Hey Pat, I passed you today on my way back to Panama City after spending the weekend with the outlaws.

We were the folks in the Jeep waving the Cdn flag...

I've pm'd my cell number. Call if you need anything.

Nate
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Old 05-31-2010, 06:24 PM   #175
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HammerDown
Hey Pat, I passed you today on my way back to Panama City after spending the weekend with the outlaws.

We were the folks in the Jeep waving the Cdn flag...

I've pm'd my cell number. Call if you need anything.

Nate

Hahaha, Small world! Was stoked to see an Alberta plate down here, you guys made my day! Any idea about the 'end of the road' area near Yazvis? Some have told me not to go there but i'd like to see the end of the road...


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Old 05-31-2010, 06:39 PM   #176
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I've been over the hills to San Blas (with Antontrax) on my KTM 640, but haven't made the trip down to Yaviza yet.

I would love to make the trip with ya, but I'm heading to Canada this Friday for a quick (4 day) visit.

We should get together and at least discuss a few cool riding areas while you're here.

Nate
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Old 05-31-2010, 07:00 PM   #177
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Day 37

I take some time this morning to start catching up on ride reports that I've been slacking on and manage to post days 34 and 35 before packing my things and checking out of my room. I plan to head for the small border crossing to Panama of Rio Serano up in the mountains today.



The road is gorgeous, first following the coastal plane before turning inland and hugging the walls of a river valley. Everything is very lush and green and staring off into the panoramic scene unfolding in front of me I almost manage to hit a spider money sitting in the middle of the road.





50Km's in the road starts gaining elevation and after crossing a cool old bridge over the river it starts to follow the ridge line of the mountain dropping steeply on both sides with only enough room for a small house here or there. The views of the central valley are jaw dropping.



In Sabalito I ask for directions to the frontera as the signage is nonexistent at this point. The locals point me up the road and tell me to turn left onto the gravel at a school. None of the turns are marked and without the locals directions and the GPS assuring me I was headed towards the international border it would be very difficult to locate.


The main road to the frontera...


Finding this imigration building was the hardest part...

Rio Soreno itself is a small unassuming community with a very laid back feel, you wont find any border gates or guards here, just a road into Panama. Its up to the traveller to locate the migration offices and get their stamps before continuing through.

With a little searching I find the Costa Rica migration office and without hesitation the man riding the desk stamps me out of CR and tells me to go to the Panama office down the street. A stop in the Panama office has my passport stamped in and the official quite interested in my trip, he and one of the soldiers ask a lot of questions about the bike and how far I've come before sending me down to Panamanian customs.

At the Auduana checkpoint there is no English spoken whatsoever and it seems that there is a paperwork issue. I try to work around it with my limited Spanish and they do their best to explain it to me. Regardless, I never really know what the issue is, only that they cant process the bike here and I'll have to go to another crossing, either Sixoula on the Caribbean coast or the Pan American crossing on the pacific.

A royal pain in the ass, but I agree and turn back into Costa Rica wondering how this will play out having already been stamped out of the country and into Panama... A stop in Sabilito for some coffee and a piece of pizza will fuel me for the ride back down the mountain and towards the main border crossing...



The road down is even more fun than the road I came up on, tighter, twistier and again with great views. A few oncoming buses using the entire road (all 1.5 lanes of it) keep me on my game and ready to drop the bike into the ditch if necessary.

The border wasn't a big issue, I ignored all the helpers and' the Costa-Rican cop waving me into the migration area and rode right through to the Panama Aduana where a very helpful “tourism panama” employee helped me out... He didn't know how I already had a Panamanian stamp , but after seeing it he didn't care, we went and got the mandatory insurance and did all the paperwork before I tipped him $2 (took some convincing, he didn't want to accept it) and rode away...




The boys working on my Import permission

Panama Baby! I guess that makes me about half way done this trip...



With aspirations of seeing the Panama canal tomorrow I press on south through the unimpressive coastal plain and eventually make it to Santiago where I call it an night and after searching around settle on a nice but a little more expensive that I would have liked hotel room... Feeling lazy I walk next door for dinner at McDonald's rather than getting on the bike to find some real food.
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Old 06-02-2010, 07:30 AM   #178
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Day 38 - The 8th wonder of the world!

I'm out of the hotel and on the road early this morning excited to see the Canal and Panama City. There's around 250KM to cover, mostly boring straight highway. I turn the Ipod on, hit shuffle and make some miles.

About halfway to the Canal I'm passed by a jeep with Alberta plates, the occupants are madly waving a Canadian flag at me and I give them a big ol' Thumbs up! Nice to see some locals down here. Little did I know what it would turn into later.



Arriving in Panama City via the bridge of the America's I learn that there are really no roadsigns here. Nothing that says Miraflores locks, nothing that says Canal... Nothing... With the GPS running I do my best to keep the bike pointed at the east side of the Canal and soon end up finding the Port where I ask directions. The answer I get is “10KM straight up the road”. Perfect!

The locks found I pay my $8 to enter the visitors centre which will give me access to the museum, the theatre and the upper level viewing platforms. The price of admission is worth it for the museum and video alone! Its a great exhibit detailing the construction, maintenance and operations of the canal.


The Miraflores visitors center

After my tour through four floors of Museum I make my way to the rooftop to watch 2 Panamax size container ships transit south through the locks. To me its an amazing sight, I'm told there is as little as two feet of room on either side of the ship when a Panamax (the largest vessels that can sail through the Canal) ship transits.


Start of the Museum experiance


Model of the origanal dredging ships


A section of the locks and the massive ball bearing the gates ride on.

Its a wall choreographed dance of man and machinery. I spend an hour or two watching and pondering what it really took to build such a thing. I'm told that there is an expansion in the works, maybe I'll look for a job working on it.


Looking south towards the Pacific


One down 2 to go!


The "mules" pulling the ship into the next lock chamber.


Another "Panamax" ship

Seeing what I had come to see I leave and ride around searchiing for a hotel. I end up on the Armador causeway and everything I find is in the $100+ a night range, upon leaving I'm flagged down by two heavily armed polices officers on a Suzuki DRZ650. They ask where I'm headed to which I respond in my best Spanish, “a hotel but these are a lot of money”. The shotgun toting passenger starts giving me directions in 'mile a minute' spanish and I have to tell him I don't understand.

Soon the officers give up and motion for me to follow them. What the hell, lets go see what they've got... We zip in and out of traffic, up onto sidewalks, over curbs and through red lights and pedestrian trails before we end up at a small B&B near the Canal. The price is still a little high but nothing outrageous. I check in and the boys in green and I BS about bikes a little before I get their picture and they take off. Very cool!


Panama City from the Armador Causeway


Nicely set up DR650


Some very friendly and helpful police

The Canal Inn is a great little B&B with attentive staff, nice rooms, comfortable beds and a great atmosphere. I get directions to a cool little cafeteria style restaurant close by and head out for some food before turning in for the night, tomorrow will see me at the end of the road and will be a long day!
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Old 06-02-2010, 07:40 AM   #179
250senuf
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Nice! A friendly police escort to a B&B. Up and over sidewalks, through red lights; gotta love that! Been enjoying your RR since the start of your posts @ DSBC.
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Old 06-02-2010, 08:02 AM   #180
Sunday Rider
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Just amazing. Nothing better than a local recommendation by the areas Finest. Great pictures again and write up. This thread is addicting

Thanks
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