Crossing Panama

Panama - Posted On

I am now in a hurry. Franck-Olivier will arrive in Panama City airport tomorrow evening. I still have to cross… the continent!

Hopefully this part is quite short… 120kms. However the first 50kms is VERY hard. The road goes up to 500m high passing through dirt road, a river with no bridge, and steep, very steep rides up.

I calculate at some points something like 30%. I have never ever seen this before. Only 4x4 can pass through this, they say.

Once my bike on shore, I can ride, light weight thanks to Peter, British backpacker I met who will take care of my bags until Panama City.

First afternoon is fine; I sleep alone in the jungle, a bit scared. I am quite near the famous Darien gap, full of FARC guerilleros from Colombia. Also some strange cries echo through the jungle, coming nearer and nearer. But nothing happens.

Second day starts nicely: flat tire. Yipiii!

Time to fix it, I climb again the steep dirt road. BANG! Yeah, top cool, front tire just exploded, I love it!

Fixing it with patience, I inflate once more the bloody tire. BANG! Again, it exploded. Of course the tire has a hole in it.

No way, I have no more spare tire, I can’t go more. After having done so much to get on time following my ‘no petrol’ rules, I feel desperate for a moment.

Then I decide to hitchhike to Panama city to get on time to my friend arrival and to come back later to finish the missing part, so that the world tour will not be interrupted here.

A few hours later, I am at the airport waiting for Franck-Olivier. Everybody leave the plane and pass the exit door. There is no Franck-Olivier here! What a joke!

I will see him only when I’ll be back at the hotel, he must have passed when I was not watching… and was not expecting to see me there at all.