I did it!


60,8km, 3:34h, av.sp. 16,9km/h, 178hm

Believe it or not – I really left Puerto Viejo, after 5 weeks! I still can‘ t believe it myself, but I‘ m in Panama now.

At 8:30am the rain stopped and I hit the road. I had to go back 5 km (a mix of dirt and paved road) to the main road. During the next 15 km there were some climbs, but after that the road was mostly flat. It was a beautiful ride through banana-country. 

I wonder if summer-vacation started today for the kids here cause I passed several school where there was loud party-music and kids were eating cake. But I don‘ t know. 

To enter Panama you have to cross an old bridge which has a railroad track in the middle and wooden planks on both sides of the track. The bridge crosses a river and the fence is partly missing. It was no problem to push my bike across the bridge after I got my exit stamp at the costa rican migration.

On the other side of the bridge is the panamenian migration. Though Ryan told me that this border is one of the most relaxed he has seen I didn‘ t expect it to be that easy! The lady looked at my passport and asked me where I was going. Then she wanted to know if I had a departure ticket which is required. I said „yes“. She wanted to see it. That‘ s where I expected the trouble to begin and thought, „Not again!!!“. I probably have a border-trauma since the honduran-nicaraguan border ;-). However, she asked me to step to the side and wait a few minutes after I told her that I didn‘ t have a paper ticket. Then she asked me again, I told her my flight dates and the airline, she stamped my passport, gave it back to me and that was it! No questions about the bike, either. Obviously they ask sometimes for documents that show that you are the owner of the bicycle. In Panama bicycles even need a licence-plate. But so far I only saw one bike that had one.

Yes, so that was that. I still couldn‘ t believe how easy it was while I pushed my bike down the damm on which I was. Just when I was looking for a road sign a car stopped and the driver told me which way to go.

The road to Changuinola is still new and has great pavement – and the car-drivers know that, too, and obviously enjoy going fast!

Around 1:30pm I arrived in Changuinola and decided to stop for the day. It turned out to be a good decision, because it started to pour for quite a while after I checked into a hotel. Usually I ask if I can see the room before I pay. That‘ s what I did today, too. But the guy at the reception didn‘ t understand me. I asked for the rate and what to do with my bike. All good. But when I asked if I could see the room he said „no“. I asked why not. He didn‘ t tell me. I asked again. He showed me the fridge and asked if I wanted a drink. „No“, I said, „I just want to see the room.“ This time he told me they didn‘ t have any smoking rooms. I said „that‘ s perfect, but why can‘ t I take a look at the room?“. Another guy who worked there joined our conversation, I repeated my question and pointed to my eyes, like I did before. And suddenly it was no problem. The guy who didn‘ t understand me showed me the room and we both laughed about it. Of course the whole conversation was in spanish, but so far everybody understood me. Oh well. The room is pretty big, has AC, TV and even a hot shower! I don‘ t even remember when I had the last hot shower, so that was a nice treat.

Walking around the main road a bit I talked to the cop for a while who already waved to me when I was looking for a hotel. He asked me if I had my passport with me, what I didn‘ t have. He said it‘ s required in Panama, but this time no problem. So far really nice people here in Panama.

I found a grocery store and then ate fried chicken and rice as an early dinner. There is 1 hour time difference between Costa Rica and Panama. It should be a 7 hour difference to Germany now.

That‘ s it so far. Although it‘ s only 9:30pm now I‘ m gonna hit the sack.

CU Anja

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