When I close to Panama border, I can feel the change. Costa Rica is a little bit different from other countries in Central America. I have to wait over 30 minutes because of rush hour.
But it looks something is wrong. I realize that I didn’t stop at Costa Rica border and waited in Panama Border. So, I have to go to back to get stamp from Cost Rica. Usually, borders are divided but this time is different. Costa Rica border’s office is on a corner and that’s why I miss it. And when I am back to Panama border, I see many people make mistakes like me.
I think I forgot that I am in Central America because Costa Rican was so generous. It stars again that Panamanian men make flirtatious comments, hiss, honk their horn.
My destination city is David today. I see many people are practicing and I am excited to pass between them.
I ask to Fire station for a place to stay but chief says I can’t. But he introduces other fireman house. Chief gives me their helmet to take a picture. This picture is taken by him. It’s too heavy!
It’s the place I sleep.
His father was also fireman and he is also doing same thing now.
I miss the bag of first-aid medicine in his house. It happens so many times that I lost my stuff. I am trying not to forget my stuff but always it just happens. I got many medicines from host of Korean family in Mexico city but now I don’t have any medicine again. I hope I don’t lose my stuff anymore.
The next day, I have breakfast at here.
Panama is cheaper so I can buy many things with 10$. Wet tissue is really important stuff to me. I can use it after bathroom or before eating food when I can’t use water.
I can see local people wearing traditional clothes. It is glad to see.
Today, it’s also endless up and down. Some car stops to me and he who is owner of the hotel introduces his hotel. I heard the hotel on online from other cyclist. It costs 20$ without air condition but the owner lets me stay with 15$ with air condition.
It is a really nice place so I can relax very well for two days.
It is the picture of celebrating 7,000 km (4375 mi)! But I am so sad at that time because I see news of Korea about Election. I think something is going wrong. But I will never give up my right. I will keep trying to vote whatever.
Today, the road is also up and down. I see the people are selling traditional clothes on the road.
It is too hard today because of too much endless up and down road but the sky is really clean.
I do my best but I can only ride 78 km for 10 hours. It’s slower record because I can ride normally over 90 km for 10 hours. When I have a little problem with my bike, children come to me. Their eyes are so pretty so I decide to ask at their house for a place to stay.
Mother dog doesn’t look good but babies keep trying to get milk from mother without worries.
The second one from the left in the picture is Rosa who helps me a lot. Every child is her family. They bring me small hill to show scenery of Panama.
He is eating cashew. Rosa gives me it to try and it’s a little bit sour. Rosa says she doesn’t like it. Also there is a nut in inside.
I’ve seen it many times on the road and I thought it is spicy things. But it is not.
I play with Rosa and her cousins. It reminds me of my childhood. My brother also played with it. Sometimes, something reminds me of an age of 1980~90’s Korea.
And then we go to a brook and they dive into a brook. I get big present today that I am with them.
After playing with them, I set up my tent in their yard. They say something but I can’t understand it. So, they just show what they want to say by acting. I think they wanted to say I should set up my tent in front of their house.
I take off all stuff from my bike and I let her to ride my bike. She looks so pretty.
I take shower and everything is so nice with them. I want to give some present but I think to give money will be not good idea. So I decide to give the best thing I have and it will be good for them because their bathroom doesn’t have a light. But I find that it is broken because I drop when I give it. I am so sad. I only give animal balloons to them. Anyway, it is the most happy time in Central America that I spend the time with them. I am going to miss them so much.
Today, it is also hot and road is up&down. They in the picture call me and then give me free a watermelon.
I like stars and their flag has two starts in there so I like their flag.
Everything is so same that I feel weird. It looks like clone.
Today, my destination city is Penonome. I do my best to arrive in day time. I go to fire station for a place to stay but again I can’t. But one of them invites me at their house.
Many people in Central America raise chickens around their yard and it looks so easy because they can eat anything.
I order a piece of chicken for my breakfast but I only get fries. I think something is wrong. After a few minutes, I see they put pieces of chicken on cupboard. So, I order one piece. Me gusta pollo! (I love chicken in Spanish. Haha)
It’s Penonome where I stayed for a night.
It looks so cool that a bike has a license plate.
When I close to the ocean, I can see big buildings. I feel so contradiction to see big buildings because I’ve seen so many poor houses.
Many groceries run by Chinese because 100 years ago many Chinese came to work for the Panama Canal and they didn’t back to their country but they decided to live in Panama. I’ve heard that it’s very competitive to run groceries now because there are too many groceries.
Today, the road is too uphill and downhill. There is McDonald and I will meet my Couch surfing host in there.
I meet my host. He worked as pilot for 26 years and he has been over 130 countries. It is very pleased to meet him. He is 72 years old but he is still traveling all around the world. He has lived in Panama for a year and he has a plan to walk in Santiago, Spain next month. I see another cyclist who is going to the South America and we go to his house together.
We go to have dinner together. I’ve seen Atlas brand on grocery’s wall and finally it’s time to drink.
It is the best dinner with my host and another cyclist who is Andre.
The next day, Andre left and I decide to stay two days more. He will go to Colombia by airplane. But I don’t know how I can get to Colombia. I’ve heard that there is dense and gangs between border so I can’t go to by land but only by an airplane or a boat.
There is beach and it takes just 5 minute by walking from home. My host is doing yoga.
The house is in front of the beach. It’s so pretty.
It’s my footprint. It’s just gone after a few minutes but it is forever in my mind.
The left is owner of house and the right is my host in the picture. We go to a Spain restaurant for dinner and it is so good that I want to go to Spain right now.
The next day, it is hilly again. Do you know what the title means? If you already knew, you must study natural sciences or engineering. 2 to 26 is that 67,108,864 . It is really hard to ride a bike in Central America because of hot weather and HILLY everyday so I have to do something to overcome it. Mental arithmetic helps a lot to me when I ride a bike on uphill.
When I reach at Panama City, it rains. I go around over 10 km (6 mi) because I go to the wrong way.
There is the Panama Canal.
I should have had to go to American Bridge not to go around. Where I come?
It’s so hilly, raining and too many men do Latin’s bad culture which I hate like hiss and etc.
There is Panama downtown.
New building and Old building is mixed around hostel where I stay.
There is also destroyed building. The neighborhood of hostel is the most dangerous place in Panama City so I should not go to there in the night although there are polices standing.
It’s in front of hostel. I stayed at Luna’s Castle for 13$ at first day but I saw many cockroaches at the kitchen. So, I move to Casco Viejo hostel the next day and it is 11$ for a night. It is cleaner and quitter.
Traveling is now my life. I am doing everything on my way which I did at home before. I stayed for a year in Canada with working holiday visa. I was in Canada since July 2009. I did tax return paper by myself last year and it is time to do 2011 tax return. I hope everything is okay about my paper.
The first day, I just slept because I was too tired to do something in Panama City. The second day, I researched about tax return of Canada and how to go to Colombia. The third day, I made tax return paper and went to city by a bike. But it was too stressful in Panama City because of many cars and many men who do bad things to me like hiss. Anyway, I printed pictures for a gift to give people who help me on the road.
When I came back to the hostel, I took taxi with a bike because of being too much stressful and raining.
The next day, I go to downtown by bus but men are doing same thing like yesterday. Anyway, I send Canada my paper and my Mexican friend the gift in a post office.
I look around the downtown.
It is so interesting building.
Frankly speaking, I don’t want to come to Panama City again by myself.
I visit the Panama Canal afternoon.
The Panama Canal is an 82-kilometre (51 mi) ship canal in Panama that connects the Atlantic Ocean (via the Caribbean Sea) to the Pacific Ocean.
The Panama Canal History Timeline
1502 Columbus sails on his fourth and last voyage to the New World (Honduras and Panama)
1502 Spanish explorer Rodrigo de Bastidas visits Panama, which was home to Cuna, Choco, Guaymi and other indigenous peoples
1509 Beginnings of slave trade to New World
1513 September 25: Vasco Nunez de Balboa, Spanish explorer, crossed the Isthmus of Panama and claimed the Pacific Ocean for Spain
He was named governor of Panama and the Pacific by King Ferdinand
1514 1,500 Spanish settlers go to Panama
1519 – Panama becomes Spanish Vice-royalty of New Andalucia (later New Granada)
1522 First slave revolt in America occurs in Hispaniola
1566 Two million Indians die in South America of typhoid fever
1810 Overthrow of the king of Spain by Napoleon
1821 Panama becomes independent of Spain
Panama joins the confederacy of Gran Colombia which consists of Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia
1830 Panama becomes part of Colombia following the collapse of Gran Colombia
1850’s The building of the Panama Railway which is the first Transcontinental railway of the New World crossing the isthmus from Colon to Panama City
1880s France makes a failed attempt to build a Canal to link the Atlantic and Pacific
1903 November 3 – Panama splits from Colombia and becomes fully independent
US buys rights to build Panama Canal and controls the waterway for nearly a century
1915 15 August Official opening of the Panama Canal a massive achievement – the Panama Canal is 65 km ( 40 miles ) in length
1939 – Panama ceases to be a US protectorate
2000: 1 January Control of the canal passes from USA to Panama by the Torrijos-Carter treaty
Ownership of the territory that is now the Panama Canal was first Colombian, then French and then American before coming under the control of the Panamanian government in 1999. The Panama Canal has seen annual traffic rise from about 1,000 ships when it opened in 1914, to 14,702 vessels in 2008, the latter measuring a total of 309.6 million Panama Canal/Universal Measurement System (PC/UMS) tons.
Tunnel is very small so that trains (?) lead vessels.
When water level is same, then vessel can be moved.
Even it was the most amazing construction, about 5,600 workers died of disease and accidents during the U.S. construction phase of the canal.
The most expensive regular toll for canal passage to date was to the cruise ship Coral Princess, which paid US$380,500. The least expensive toll was 36 cents to American adventurer Richard Halliburton, who swam the canal in 1928. The average toll is around US$54,000
Many vessels are waiting to pass the Panama Canal.
I am very interested to look vessels because I’ve never seen it before.
It is the picture of the Panama Canal.
I take a bus to come back to the hostel. It is really cheap that it is only 25 cents.
There is a cheap restaurant around the hostel. It is only 2.25$ but taste is so-so. Panama uses USD as their currency.
I will go to Portobelo today. I wake up at 4 am to be ready. My breakfast is banana sandwich. I like pack of jam and it is better than bottle of jam.
I go around over 3 km (1.4 mi) to see American Bridge but it is foggy.
I am so sleepy around 11 am since I came to Central America. So, I take the rest and then somebody in a restaurant lets me take the rest at inside and one of people buys food for me. It is thankful.
When I ride a bike on uphill, I just look the sky and then I find a sundog. It is the perfect circle. I just get another big present from the nature.
Today is also hilly but I do my best to get to Portobelo. The reason to come to Portobelo is just only one that I want to find a boat to go to Colombia.
When I heard that there is no road between borders, I thought that there is a big river. But my thought was wrong. There is no river but dense and gangs. Everybody must never cross Colombian border although one is so brave. To cross border is like kill by themselves.
There is no reason to go to the south of Panama because of dense. I just come to Portobelo to find a boat but I am wondering that I can find a boat? I can find other people who go with me for more safety? I am not sure. But I just come to here. Panama road is totally hilly that’s why I did 2 to 26 (67,108,864) with mental arithmetic. I see a map and the South America will be harder than Central America. But I do want to go to South America as soon as possible. I hope there is luck for me.