Eventually through I knew I had a bit of a problem, no road signs. As I set out from the border I completed about three u turns, much to the amusement of the locals, before finding the right road. Often the road would split into 2 or 3 new lanes, needless to say I was usually able to find the wrong one. Sometimes I asked and a couple of times local people would see me and quess where I should have been heading and pointed me the right way. At last I got on a run but was aware that there were no towns on this route, I had about 2-3 hours of light and the road was winding it's way up into dark clouds. It is standard practice not to ride after dark, or in the sort of downpours you get here. Heading towards David I did both, the 'perfect storm' you could say. I stopped in one small town and asked for a hotel, the guy replied 'hotels in David and Panama City', although not quite right it worked for where I was. I got into David after following a van, not good, found a hotel and was mightily relieved.
Around the airport at Panama
After Panama, the last country in Central America, I was headed to Colombia and the start of South America. To prepare I had been reading about Colombia and listening to the news. It seemed the FARC were becoming more active, in particular around the Venezuela border up north, so security was a concern. There was also a planned agricultural strike which could close many of the roads. Originally I had planned to ship the bike from Panama to Cartagena in the north of Colombia and then ride south, it's impossible to make a land crossing. I was worried I might not get through, or at least get stuck for sometime. I decided to explore the other option which was to fly both me and the bike from Panama City to Bogota in Columbia, with this in mind I headed to Panama City. I was back on the Panamerican and made good progress, so much so I was pulled over for speeding, the Policeman let me off, he was also on a bike. I stopped just outside the city in a cheap hotel and planned the ride across to the airport at Tocumen. What an amazing time I had the next day, I joined the end of rush hour, turned a corner and saw the Panama canel with the city skyscrapers behind. Riding over the bridge I went down onto the waterfront and picked up the toll road, the Corredor Sur, towards the airport, it felt like riding around Hong Kong island. I could not stop to take any photos, too much traffic and too much awe. I got to the Cargo area of the airport, pulled up at Girag the shippers, no previous contact or booking, and they agreed the bike would fly the next day, my luck was in. I got changed behind a packing case, handed over some dollars, caught a taxi to departures, bought a ticket and landed that evening in Bogota, capital of Colombia and inhabited by about 8 million people. Got a hotel and had something to eat.
Travel eh ? ya just can't beat it ......
Bike at Girag, ready for shipment to Bogota