Panama, David, 18 Dec 2011

Left San Jose at 0740, no breakfast, had my wet weather gear on except for the over boots and gloves, cool, filled up at Cartago and then the road started to climb into the clouds, foggy, roads bumpy, wet and I was getting wet as well lucky I put my gear on but boots getting soaked, then the road turned to wet dirt for short stretches, kept climbing to over 3,300m fun except for the wet dirt some road works and overtaking trucks, not much traffic though, it got freezing at the top, after about 2 hours the road improved and started to descend and in 30min down to 500m went through San Isidro big town after that the road became bumpy and pot holed and followed the course of a river for some time, no traffic great ride the Vstrom handles the bumps really well, around 30k’s from the border it got really busy with local traffic then arrived at the border at 1230, 345k’s, 4:40min.

It was like a market place with cars and trucks everywhere stopped and asked a cop where the Costa Rica Immigration was and he pointed back the way I had come hahahaha, had to ride back through the traffic, small building, parked and a guy showed me where it was, an official was handing out forms, filled one in and stood in the queue, only about 6 people took about 10min and 1 min at the window then to the Aduana took 5 min filled in another form and had it processed and stamped and given back to me done by 1300, then a helper approached to do the Panama side, first photocopies $1, then I undressed and put all my gear away.

Sweltering now, rode to the Panama side and parked in front of the Immigration window about 100 people in the queue, went and got the Insurance $15, paid in Colones, the Exchange rate here is a rip-off 550:1 instead of 500:1, then had to go to another office and get the Insurance Cert stamped, then stood in the queue winding like a snake, no jumping the queue here, started pouring with rain, Helper went off and got the Fumigation Certificate $1, finally got to window at 1445, then Aduana handed in the papers and had to wait, Helper wanted to leave so I gave him my leftover Colones about $10, then a guy inspected the bike and asked me to open the panniers, I opened one and another guy came up and said no need so I closed up then he forgot to take the Customs form off me followed and gave it to him, then put all my wet weather gear on this time and off at 1515, 2:45min longest border crossing so far.

4 lane road patches of rain, arrived at David at 1550 filled up and rode around and looked for a hotel checked in at 1625, 395k’s in 8:45hrs long day, what a ride.

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5 Responses to Panama, David, 18 Dec 2011

  1. Jess Desmond says:

    We spent 3.5 hours in total at Villazon / La Quiaca, crossing border from Bolivia to Argentina! See if you can beat that when you get there haha

  2. What an interesting name of city… what is the Spanish pronunciation? Loving all your pictures– esp. the ones of the big sky and narrow roads!

  3. post-script: I *do* check the box that says “notify me of follow-up comments via e-mail” however, I don’t believe I get any notifications.

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