Monday, 15 October 2012

Day 96: Panama City to the Stahlratte

Greetings everybody
What an extraordinarily extraordinary day!
We were up early this morning and in for breakfast at 6.15 and on the road by 7.15. It was a bit tricky because we had to go down our road to the T-intersection then turn left, negotiate two parallel streets going the wrong way then do a U-turn onto our road.

On the way we went past this fire in the bottom of a skyscraper.



And past some amazing buildings.


Out to the airport where we were to meet all the others and ride out to Carti where the Stahlratte was waiting. Karen took us right to the place where the coordinates were set. But then we had an enormous glitch. We had been told to ask "Donde el caja el helicoptero?" which we interpreted as where is the helicopter pad. But actually it means "Where is the place where the helicopter crashed?" We then had a mad scramble with lots of people giving us excellent advice and directions - all to the helicopter base. What we had needed to do was actually stay where Karen took us and soon the rest of the bikes would have arrived.



Along the way we picked up Taka, a Japanese rider on a DRZ400 also heading south.

Finally we got ourselves sorted and headed off down Corridor Sur. we then turned left and down this amazing road.



Photos can't really show it but it was narrow and winding with the steepest ups and downs I have ever encountered on a road before.



We came out on a old airstrip and then .... we saw other bikes






and the Stahlratte!



The bikes had ropes fitted ready to be lifted onto the ship.



Then the rain came in. In buckets! We were all told to get in the launch and go out to the yacht. In the hustle, Shirley got left behind. She was better off really because those of us in the launch got quite wet. By the time she was picked up, the rain had stopped. We went down to our little cubicle.



Pretty kewl huh!

We then we had lunch and got organised to go to the island where we were going to spend the night.



Here's the yacht from the island.



And here's me from the island.



And some local Kuna people.



And Shirl.



By the time we got there our bikes had been loaded. We didn't see it happen which might have been a good thing.



We then went into the village for our accommodation. Shirl and I had a huge hut with a dirt floor (sand really) and an inflatable bed in the middle. And our own bano! Planks above the sea!






And local entertainment.



And then it began to rain. Man, it rained! We huddled for a while and then went to our huts. Our hut was flooded and water was dripping from the thatched roof. We moved our bed to the driest spot but still had drips that fell on the bed. In the end I draped my raincoat over my bum and we put up with it. Even the steady drip drip drip on the head of the bed between our heads. At least it was warm!

What a contrast! From Panama City to a hut on a tiny island!

Today's run: 116kms
Cumulative: 26,107kms
Tipovers. 4

Location:Stahlratte somewhere north of Panama

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