Click on the picture, below the waving flags on the left and right, to see relevant photo's of the individual countries and trips throughout the years!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Saying goodbye to the motorcycles in Panama

Day 6 (394 km)

     Woke up early, to see if we could make the freight terminal in Panama city, to drop off our bikes for Bogota, Colombia and after a fried goat meat as breakfast with flitters and something looked like coffee, we were hauling ass and not much later the motor police pulled as over, he was standing strategically in a curve behind the bushes with his not working laser speed device , it was set almost burned into a magic speed of 111km, in a not existing 80km zone, after arguing back and forward with the usual threats on his side, we agreed I would pay a toll fee of using his stretch of road for $ 15.00 each, shook hands wished each other luck and I knew he needed that. From that moment, we obeyed the speed limit much more closely and the whole road to Panama City was full of motor police, standing behind trees, so we stayed behind one of these direct busses from David to Panama and decided let the bus driver do the work of us obeying the speed limit.

Anyway around 1pm we rolled into the city with very heavy traffic and after some lucky road decisions ended up on the toll road to the airport and reached Girag freight terminal in Tolcumen International airport, parked the bikes and went in their office. Asked them if they still had a flight tomorrow to Bogota and could carry 2 bikes. The young guy said no problem, just pay $ 902.00 next door by the cashier, bring a few copies of the bikes and the bike will be Saturday midday in Bogota, but being the weekend we only good pick it up Monday morning.
     We could leave as much luggage on the bike as we needed; even left the gas and battery connected and told me carry the key, because they didn’t need it. After we repacked and put some clean clothes on (finally), we took a taxi @ 4 to the main airport, to see if we could get a flight out to Bogota that night.
     After we talked @ the counter from  COPA  and Avianca/TACA, it seems none of them were cooperative or even interested in our one way ticket request and said they were overbooked and later in the week it would be $ 472.00 one way, we walked away to see if I could find a decent internet connection, to do my own research!  Soon a guy from the Airport customer service desk approached us and I mentioned that the free internet from the airport is too slow and he said, you can use my office upstairs and use our fast internet and we followed him. He opened the door, set up his computer and in no-while was able to purchase 2 tickets through my frequent flyer mile program from United for $131.00 in fees and taxes plus turning in 10000 miles for each ticket and was able to book it for next day Saturday at 11 am.

Went back to COPA to piss them off about their lies of being overbooked and showed them the tickets and felt much better already!

Then he introduced  us to a friend, which was in charge of reservations around town for hotels and after mentioning to him our budget and wanted to be close as possible to the airport a shuttle bus showed up and  $35.00 and  2 minutes later we checked in, took a shower  and returned back to the airport to have dinner in their overpriced restaurant and drank a few beers to celebrate all went so smooth today and that we will be in Bogota 2600 meter high, tomorrow and was looking forward to the cooler air it should have or at least in the night.
     So to think about the trip so far, we drove almost 1700 km from Tegucigalpa in 72 hours to Panama City with only a $ 15.00 fine for speeding, no really mayor break downs, every night a good rest and were ahead one day of our schedule as planned!

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