Panama City


Chamé – Panama City

73,5km, 4:31h, Ø16,2, 749hm

total: 10954 km


When I woke up I saw that the tire of my trailer was flat! A piece of metal was stuck in my new 6 $ tire!!! I really expected a bit more for my money;-). However, I said hello and goodbye to a now different crew of fire-fighters and left at 7:15, after eating a banana for breakfast. Everything went well, I climbed the one hill I knew about and was happy that the hardest part of the day was over. Nothing could stop me anymore from getting to Panama City today – I thought.

Then, just after Chorrera, my shifter didn‘ t work anymore!!! I only had 3 gears left! I didn‘ t have many problems on this trip, but these last days just seemed to be a big challenge for me! 35km to go, how hilly could it possibly be? I just kept cycling, what else could I do?

1%, 2%, 3% grades were ok, but 4% in a medium gear was pretty tough. Two times it was steeper, so I had to push my bike up there. Cycling wasn‘ t much fun on the autopista from Chorrera anyway, because the shoulder was pretty bad. It had those RILLEN in it that make car driver wake up. And there were many of em, about every 3 meters! At some parts there was no shoulder at all.

I heard from other cyclists that the police stopped them when they wanted to cross the bridge over the canal because cyclists are not allowed there. Some could convince the police to go anyway, some got escorted by a police car and others had to wait for a pick-up to give them a ride. During the last days I‘ ve been thinking a lot about what I would say to them. But now, with my gears not working any more I knew I wouldn‘ t argue with them and just hitch a ride.

But, again, things were different than expected. The bridge showed up on the left hand side, a police car passed me, I kept going, one more curve – and the bridge was right in front of me! I kept going, waited for somebody to stop me, but it didn‘ t happen. So I pedaled hard to make it all the way up there without having to push my bike. There was a lot of traffic, but they all gave me enough room. Once I reached the top of the bridge I got out my camera and took some pictures while rolling down on the other side.

I made it!!! Finally I reached Panama City!!! The way this last week turned out to be, with loose spokes, flat tires and only 3 gears left I really didn‘ t think I would make it – at least not in the saddle of my bike!

A few minutes later I stopped at a gas-station for a cup of coffee and two empanadas. A woman who worked there asked me where I was going and told me that I had already passed the road to Casco Viejo, the part of Panama City where I wanted to stay. She told me how to get there and advised me not to stop on my way. I should just keep going because it‘ s a dangerous area. Once I‘ d get there it would all be ok because there‘ d be a lot of police around.

Well, I stopped to talk to someone on my way anyway, but made it safely to the hostel.



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