Cheating Big Time…


Changuinola – Almirante … and from Almirante to David by bus…

27km, 2h 8min, Ø 12,6km/h, 475hm


It rained almost the whole night. At least every time I woke up I heard the rain on the roof. It was very loud. When I got up this morning it was dry, but when I was finally ready to leave it started to rain again. In less than 5 minutes I was totally soaked. Since wearing my rain-jacket just makes me sweat so much, I didn‘ t.

When I climbed one of those steep hills (> 10%) a thunderstorm started and it rained so hard I could hardly see (though I was only moving a little bit faster than a snake making 4km/h!!!). So I stopped on the side of the road, sat down and put the footprint of my tent over me – not that it mattered, I was wet anyway, but that just felt like the right thing to do. So I just sat there and waited, and waited, and waited. After about 20 minutes which felt like hours it didn‘ t rain so hard anymore and I climbed the rest of that hill. Unfortunately it wasn‘ t the only one… Later, at another roadside-stop two Panamenians came over to chat for a while. They were very friendly and I wasn‘ t even scared of the machete the woman held in her hand;-).

When I reached Almirante I knew that I couldn‘ t make it to Chiriqui Grande today, about another 70 km away. Realizing that my plan to make it to Panama City in time was doomed to fail. Well, it was a pretty ambitious plan anyway, especially after a 5-week-vacation with too much beer and pina-colada, too much pollo frito and Wakims‘ (no idea how to write his name, sorry) super-delicious food – especially in the combination with almost no exercise!!! And when I booked the flight I didn‘ t realize that it‘ s on a monday and I probably won‘ t be able to find a bike-shop to get a box for my bike on a sunday. So I have to be in Panama City on friday to look for a box saturday and do some sightseeing on sunday. But also I know that if I‘ d had more time till my flight I would have stayed longer in Puerto Viejo.


However, when I drank a ginger-ale in front of a store in Almirante it started to pour again and I found myself starring at the bus across the street on which it said, “Changuinola – David”. Only a few minutes later my time-problem was solved and my bike was tied up on the roof of the bus. To transport the bike was no problem but I had to pay the same fare for it as for me, so it was 14$ total for a appr. 160km ride. It was a 3-hour bus ride through what would have been beautiful but hard terrain on the bike. Somewhere high up in the mountains it started to rain and a strong wind blew – I was glad that I wasn‘ t cycling there!

Seems like I‘ m looking for excuses here, maybe I am. Sometimes I just forget that it‘ s my game and that I‘ m making the rules…


Dropped off at the busstop in David, Panamas 2rd largest city was kind of confusing. I looked around for hotels, checked rates and finally ended up in the Hotel Iris right next to the beautiful plaza, the Parque de Cervantes. I almost thought I was in Mexico again! There was an elevator so bringing the bike into my room at the second floor was no problem. I took the cheaper room without AC. I walked around to find a grocery-store, then ate a sandwich and some grapes for dinner and watched TV – unfortunately I was too tired to go down and sit at the Plaza for a while which I regretted at the same time.


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