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Old 12-11-2013, 08:59 AM   #1486
charlie264
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Originally Posted by CloneBoy View Post
CUBA?!?!?!?!?!

I did NOT see that coming! Very cool!

Is it safe Gene? Do you fear the bikes being gone over or anything if you step away? I know you always have to worry, but just curious as to how the locals tempermant towards foreigners are
Well educated, friendly and superb hosts. Not like some parts of the USA or Europe.
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Old 12-11-2013, 02:36 PM   #1487
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Thanks for the great video's of the Panama Canal Gene, I reckon I could watch it all day too. I'd love to be on a ship as it passes through the locks. I imagine that the canals dimensions (among other things) have dictated ship design for a long time.
Hope you are both well and having the time of your life, Cheers.
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Old 12-11-2013, 03:37 PM   #1488
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I have really enjoyed following your ride report. I am sitting here looking out the window at the snow and cold, really made me appreciate it more. Thought I would finally chime in and say thanks!!!
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Old 12-11-2013, 06:28 PM   #1489
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Panama has gotten real pissy at the border, they now demand a return ticket to your country of residence. People who are just traveling through, as you are, but without their own vehicle, must show this ticket, even though they have no intention of returning there soon. This is going to kill tourism. By the way, nobody gets cash for every member of a group. Just get a single $500 amount, get stamped in, then hand it to the next in line. Very commonly done.
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Old 12-12-2013, 09:22 AM   #1490
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PS. I'd take Bones on netflix over ride reporting any day. But that's just me. Okay, I may have Aspergers, and love the protagonist.
I've been watching New Girl since the beginning and I can't get over how much the two sisters sound alike!

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Originally Posted by trespalacios View Post
My favorute ones so far are from Utah.

Are you guys already in Colombia?
Yep, I'm actually typing up the blog entry where we cross from Panama to Colombia. As for Utah, to this day, it's still the most visually striking place we've visited of any of our trips.

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Panama has gotten real pissy at the border
We met a young American ex-pat family at David and had breakfast with them. They recognized us from the border crossing the day before. They had been living in Panama for the last 11 years and owned some undeveloped shoreline property near Pedasi. Not being Panamanian citizens, they had to go to the border every 6 months to renew their visa. This last time, they were denied a renewal because they didn't have a return ticket to the US. They've been Panamanian residents for 11 years!

They told us they were going to book a refundable plane ticket to the US, go back to the border and after getting their visa renewed, they'd rip the ticket up in front of the border official! LOL!

They told us that the border rules are very fluid, sometimes the renewal periods change, 90 days, 180 days, etc. Seems to happen when there's a new government elected. They suspected these economic solvency requirements are now put in place as a tit-for-tat against the US for having the same requirements of Central American tourists...

Dumb.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chiriqui Charlie View Post
Just get a single $500 amount, get stamped in, then hand it to the next in line. Very commonly done.

Brilliant! I wish we would have thought of that!
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Old 12-13-2013, 10:37 PM   #1491
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Originally Posted by charlie264 View Post
Well educated, friendly and superb hosts. Not like some parts of the USA or Europe.

Awesome. Its on my list
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Old 12-16-2013, 03:55 PM   #1492
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Great stuff here!! just subscribed. If you ever wind up in Chicago, hit me up!
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Old 12-16-2013, 05:08 PM   #1493
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great report

the old man singing and playing was there last year, i think he only knows one song and is terrible. the wild colerful building will be there national museam .it is desgined by a very famous canadain Frank Gehrys, his wife is from panama and he donated his work for it. last year they where 40 mil over buget so the end results should be intersting. following along faithfully. Gwedo
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Old 12-22-2013, 06:45 PM   #1494
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Enjoying your RR
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Old 12-22-2013, 10:24 PM   #1495
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Congrats on hitting 100 pages!! And Merry Christmas!
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Old 12-23-2013, 06:07 AM   #1496
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Update from http://www.RideDOT.com/rtw/123.html



The Darien Gap is both cool and frustrating at the same time.

I think it's the neatest thing that there isn't a road connecting North and South America, and that overland travelers have to resort to sea or air travel to continue the journey. It adds a bit of variety to the travel routine.

What we've found frustrating is that our preferred method of travel, the Stahlratte, is booked up several months in advance, which forces us on a schedule and a deadline - the antithesis of what we wanted our trip to be about. We had given ourselves two months to travel through Central America, but once again, we grossly underestimated how slow we move. Travel fatigue has also settled in again, it seems to have come a lot quicker now and more often since the beginning of our trip...


Stahlratte, we meet again...

Picture by Baja Bob


The Stahlratte experience was like deja-vu all over again. From our departure in Panama City all the way to the loading process, we knew exactly what to expect and there were no surprises. Actually, there was one: the weather was much nicer - blue skies instead of rain!

If you've just joined our blog recently and skipped all the earlier bits, you can see the writeup and a ton of pictures from our first trip on the Stahlratte here: http://www.RideDOT.com/rtw/87.html

So not many pictures this time round, but I took some videos instead - going to try my hand at video editing again.


This little guy was the son of the Kuna island's liason

Someone on the Stahlratte team must have been keeping tabs on our blog, because when the rest of the passengers were rounded up to be shipped off to the Kuna island for the first night, we were told that we could remain on board with the crew. We didn't have such a great time the first go-around, and I think we already paid the Kuna tax, so we were exempt this time. It was a nice gesture and showed a personal touch.

However, this special treatment didn't endear us to the rest of the passengers. When they came back by dinghy the next morning, we were greeted with cold accusing stares and had to make friends with them all over again... HAHA!


Kuna Yala Sunset

Staying aboard the Stahlratte with the crew was an eye-opening experience, watching them prepare the bikes and boat for the journey, having one quiet relaxing evening before having to play host to 20 passengers, and also seeing how integrated the ship is in the San Blas eco-system. In the morning, Kuna from the neighbouring islands would pull up to the ship on their dugout boats, climb aboard, make smalltalk with Lulu (that's what they call Ludwig) and then raid the food stores. The Kuna women would then setup their jewelry and crafts store on the upper deck and wait for passengers to window-shop.


They shoot cannonballs out of pirate ships, don't they?

On this trip, I've discovered that I am a barfin' land-lubber, not suited for water travel. Maybe it's amnesia or masochism, but that hasn't stopped us from booking four different sailings on the Stahlratte, and in total we've spent 15 days on the water with the ship and crew! I'd never have thought we'd do something like that!

Fortunately, the sailing this time round was calm and I only threw up a couple of times... :(


RideDOT.com trivia: Neda's tankbag is full of seashells. Don't ask. It's just one of those things...

Here's a video I put together of our time on the Stahlratte. Because the bikes are such an important part of our traveling family, there's quite some footage on the loading and unloading process. If you've followed our first voyage on the pirate ship 6 months ago, you'll notice that the unloading process is a bit different. When I asked Ludwig about it, he said his back couldn't handle the dinghy unloading method any more... ha!

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Old 12-23-2013, 06:42 AM   #1497
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Thank u for all the effort and the time u spent to share all your trip with us!!!! i wish u the best!!!!
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Old 12-23-2013, 08:29 AM   #1498
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Fantastic job editing the video together!
Thanks for sharing!
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Old 12-23-2013, 09:03 AM   #1499
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Great video... good thing the little barge at the end didn't capsize !
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Old 12-23-2013, 10:11 AM   #1500
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Great video, love the proverbial deserted island scene.
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