Tuesday, February 9, 2010

End of the Road

The last few days we have gone from one end of Pamana to the other. And drank buckets of water, Gatoraide, orange juice, beer and pop. It is friggin' hot. I know, I know... what did we expect. Good thing I always stay level headed, pleasant, calm, and personable when standing in motorcycle riding gear ( aka snow suit) in 100 degree F , 100 % humidity afternoons.

We checked out the Panama canal yesterday morning and say some of the bigger ships getting ready while a few private sailboats went to the Pacific. Honestly, the canal was really neat, but the real story is not that they did it, but WHEN they did it. They built this thing 100 years ago, thousands dies of yellow fever and job related accidents. They built 1905 style temp train systems to haul away the dirt, a great deal of which was dug by hand. Can you imagine, digging a canal by hand in the jungle in 1904? Many of the workers were peasant farmers working under American direction in exchange for meals. My job is awsome.

We navigated Panama City in a rainstorm, got lost, got more lost. The cars and buses seem to leak more oil than home, and the streets were really slick. Piloting the bikes through town was awful close to work . Super safe though Mom, no issue there. No close calls, that is for sure.

We went onto a very small town called Santa Fe. I think there are other Santa Fe's in the world. This is the smallest one I think. And hot. Our masonary room was like an oven, so...... ( ok this is embarassing)..... I looked up the spanish word for 'fan' and went to the front hut and asked the kind lady if we could have a fan. She looked puzzled. She asked if the air conditioner would do. Air Conditioner? So... went back to the room and there it was through the wall, a new air conditioner. Worked great. The good news is I understood what she was telling me about the A/C.

Today we carried on to Yavisa, in Darien Province. This is the end of the road. From Alaska on down you can always drive further south, until you get here. There are 80 km from Yavisa to Columbia of mountain jungle and no plans to poke a road through. They call it the Darien Gap. There is a system of river and some people live out there. Trouble is some of those people are hiding from people in Columbia and other places. The heavily armed Panamanian Army is everywhere and we had to report in a Yavisa, plus clear 3 checkpoints. Nobody goes into the jungle legally unless they report. Of course the flow of drugs and illegal people is a huge problem.

The actual town was very calm, at the end of the road there is a foot bridge connecting the houses on both sides. we saw people swimming and washing in the river, mining beach sand, and so on. A howler monkey wandered into town and the local kids were teasing it as their parents told them to leave it alone.

We kinda, sorta stood out again. We ordered lunch of ?? and ??. Who knows, but it was not bad.

After a few hours it was time to head north. We will take a different route back through CA, more to the Pacific.

The bikes ( knock on wood) are working well. Pushed hard in the heat they haven't missed a beat aside from a long ago fixed electrical issue in Mexico with my bike. The tires we mounted in Texas will be shot when we get back to Texas and we will reload with new street tires to cross the states. But there are many miles before Texas.

Sail boats in the locks at high level.

Twenty minutes later they are ready to sail out at the outlet water level.

Entering Darien Province.

Our new best friends. I actually don't normally take photos of guys with rifles and pistols. These guys are on our team. They guy on the left with the headband and sunglasses said nothing and didn't let go of his gun but smiled a few times, and waved as we drove away.

End of the Road, foot bridge across Tuira river

Bathing and washing clothes in the river

A howler monkey gets chased in Yavisa

Tuira River

Scooping sand from a canoe into buckets to take to shore.

Welcome to Yaviza

End of the road is 6793 miles (my bike reads miles) from Fredericton on the route we took.


  1. Nice work boys! Safe trip back through CA (which I just figured out wasn't California...). Keep the stories comin'!

  2. Yay!!! We are all very excited on Woodfield Crescent!! Drive safe, take some more pictures and as mdawe said, safe travels back.


  3. Good work men, not too many more days now and you won't have to pet the monkeys anymore. Stop in Boquette in the mountains just an hour or so before the costa rican border. The BEST steaks in CA. A german steak house across the road from a little hostel when you're coming into town. It's about 30km off the Panamerica, but well worth it.

  4. Atta go guys, keep keeping the rubber side down.

    Awesome, what an experience it must be.

    Need new Corbin seats yet, price is no object?

    Love the bong, I mean blog.

    Jeez, you would think the poor buggers would have at least rated shovels.

  5. felicidades caballeros you made it down!!!!!! kool photos and writing. move'r on up!