When I left Cartagena at just after 6, Mario and Ana had already left. I got to ride through rush-hour traffic, which was full of buses and scooters weaving along in ways so ridiculous that I’m amazed that I didn’t see any accidents. The scooters are incredibly popular, even more so in the rest of the Caribbean coast, as they act as taxis. Everyone riding a scooter wears a helmet, and most of them have a 2nd one hooked onto a backpack. Their licence plate number is not only on the
I slept in in the hotel, enjoying the icy cold room – the joys of AC. I didn’t get to have a hot shower, maybe there’ll be hot water when I get up into the mountains. I’ve not had one since Costa Rica. It turned out that the tube I’d put in the day before had a leaky patch on it, so the rear tyre had gone down overnight. I couldn’t be bothered fixing it, so went out to find a place. The bike shop apparently only sold things, and directed me to a place where
Anything that had got damp in the boats the day before dried out overnight. I was up not long after 6 as we’d been told the immigration office might open at 7. With the daily boat scheduled to leave at 7:30, it wouldn’t have left much time to get everything organised. It wouldn’t have, if I’d been in a country like Japan where things run on schedule, where the immigration office wouldn’t have opened before 9am as the sign on the door said. As it was, at 7:30 the
I’d decided that the best way to get to Colombia, was to head to the coast and find the motor boats that take you along the coast. If I’d been willing to sit round for a lot of time, I could have gone to Colón to try to find someone sailing, but that could have meant me sitting round for days on end, which didn’t sound that fun. As it was, off to Cartí.
The last town before Cartí is Chepo, only about 65km from Panama City, that meant that when the rain drummed down I could
As always, I was up early and saying my goodbyes. As he had fed me the night before, I didn’t want to hang around for breakfast, so I stopped at a nearby place to get a plate of more uninspired fried things. It gave me the energy I needed for another 3 hours of riding through more hills, until I made it to the start of another big climb. Having run out of food, I stopped at a little store off the road and got to talking to some people at the bus stop. Just after I got there, the Panama City