Day 80-82 November 11 – 13 Colon, Miraflores Locks, Panama Canal, Panama City
I stayed up rather late (for me) chatting and drinking beer with three of the more long term guests at the Panama House B&B. Two of them are from Panama and one from Venezuela. It was fun practicing my Spanish and learning about their home countries. I was advised to skip Venezuela which was my intention anyway due to some time constraints.
I have four days in Panama City so I need to find some things to do. Today I rode to the city of Colon and then back to the Miraflores locks on the Panama Canal.
There are two routes to Colon. I rode north on the beautiful toll highway which was almost empty of traffic and cost almost $5 in tolls. Although the speed limit is 110kmh I rode about 90 taking in the scenery.
I started catching up to two big bikes loaded for adventure. I waved as I passed them and in Colon we found each other and chatted about our trips. They are from Denmark and started in Alaska with Ushuaia as their goal. We will likely meet again in South America.
Colon is not a pretty city. Old rundown buildings and garbage dominate the city centre. It’s a port town and it looks like a different planet compared to Panama City.
After Colon I found the Gatun locks and the nearby construction of the new locks. There is a visitor center at Gatun but I didn’t go in.
One of the huge gates for the new locks
The new locks under construction
The ride back took me on the free road that passes all the communities along the way. The speed limit is 60kmh and the going slow but I have plenty of time. The sight and smell of garbage is everywhere along this road. Kind of depressing and frustrating to see things like this.
Miraflores was busy with bus loads of seniors and tourists. But I expected nothing less, after all this is the Panama Canal. I was there during a ship’s passage and got to see the locks in action. I especially like those cool little Mules that keep the ships in the centre of the waterway.
The day was a nice 160km round trip and well worth the time.
I spent the rest of my time in Panama City getting ready for the boat trip. I needed cash so I decided to take a walk downtown and look for a bank that would accept my debit card. The small walk ended up being about 10km but I got a lot done.
I found a salon to get my golden locks cut. And I purchased some sandals to replace my broken down units.
I also bought a cheap set of ear buds to replace the pair I lost in Mexico.
Tomorrow morning all of the bikers sailing on the Stahlratte will meet here at the Panama House Hostal and we’ll ride together to the dock.
For the next 5 days I’ll have no internet but I will try to operate my Satellite tracker. My location can be seen on the map by clicking this link Where is Dave Now?
Talk to you all when I get to Colombia!