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Thread: 05.2009 Panama, Costa Rica & Nicaragua

  1. #1
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    05.2009 Panama, Costa Rica & Nicaragua



    So we had a mandatory drug search at the Bogotá airport, pretty obvious procedure for Colombia that is no.1 country in the world of drug trafficking:




    When the check was carefully performed by military personel they planted the bike and wrapped it into plastic:










    And secured it.



    And so we crossed the infamous Darién Gap with an airplane.

    The view to the Darién from the airplane:






    Someone summed up Darién Gap well:

    "Jungles, swamps, guerillas and corrupt military - all in the most intense 90km on Earth.

    You might have wondered if it's possible to drive between North and South America - for surely there must be a road between these two continents! Well, as it turns out, there is absolutely NO ROAD connecting them, and all travel advisories clearly say "Don't Go", even if you feel somewhat suicidal. I am talking about the wild and wildly dangerous Darien Gap."



    We made it to Panama City and got our bike sorted through the customs.

    Had a mishap in Panama City mad traffic tho - I turned into a one-way street from the other direction and a cop on a scooter immediately stopped us wanting to fine us.

    By pure luck there was one drunken alcoholic on the street who came to "chat" with the cop that in the end helped us out - the cop just got bored and returned the documents.

    That's the guy who helped us:



    A must in Panama is obviously the Panama canal and we did took a chance to visit it.


    There was an old train leftover in front of the visitor center.




    Canal itself is quite nice. Pity we didn't have a chance to see big ships passing through it tho.




    Canal's service boat.




    (click to enlarge panorama)



    Some panoramas from Panama City (click to enlarge each one):









    In the city there are funky buses:












    Had a blast on one of Panama's white sand beaches (click to enlarge the panorama):




    And spent a wild-camping night somewhere in a river bed (click to enlarge the panorama):




    It was bloody hot and humid though. Couldn't sleep much in that hot hell. Also the moonlight was so strong in the night I could take a pic in the moonlight:



    A video from Panama:

    (HQ button plays in better quality)


    Crossing to Costa Rica next day was relatively painless after all the horror stories we had heard from other travellers about Central-American border crossings.

    Palm plants greeted us in Costa Rica (click to enlarge panorama):




    Roads in Costa Rica had been repaired multiple times.




    And trees fallen on dirt roads blocking the traffic.



    We got a flat in Costa Rica from a nail:




    I tried to repair it with the tubless plug kit 3 times, but every time after some time riding it started to leak again :




    So the only choice was to repair it from the inside in a tire workshop:





    That repair finally held air in long term.






    Central-American countries are so small - you can ride most of them through in easy 1-2 days. Thus, soon enough, Nicaragua already greeted us where we hopped on the Ometepe island formed from two volcanos.




    Ferry to Ometepe.




    Port panorama (click to enlarge)




    Nicaraguan sunsets.








    "The two towers" - Ometepe island from distance. (click to enlarge)




    One of the Ometepe volcanoes seen from the island.



    Left our stuff at a hotel and the Ometepe offroad sessions started:










    Church in Ometepe.



    Ometepe villages and landscapes panoramas (click to enlarge each one):










    Ometepe jungle.








    Volcano.




    Ometepe trails.




    And petroglyphs.








    Buses in the island's main town had "callers".


    Streets there:






    Cowboy.



    A video I put together from Ometepe island:

    (HQ button plays in better quality)



    Left from the island to Granada. Nice colonial town. A nice thing was to lift our trusty GS inside our hotel room with some friends' help:









    How often do you get a chance to have your beloved GS in your hotel room aside the bed? (click to enlarge)


    Some colonial architecture from Granada:


















    In the same church there was displayed a marriage proposal where it was written: "If you have someting against the marriage of those two people, please notify the church immediately":




    Women carried stuff on their heads in Granada:














    And men had siesta time in the streets with that kind of heat


    Looks weird in the eyes of a European, but in fact with this kind of afternoon heat they have here, even I'd lay down after lunch.

    Cheers, Margus

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Csongrad, Hungary. Central Europe
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    OK punctures suck, but what happened to the k60!!! That tyre was a TKC 80.
    Stunning ride by the way

  3. #3
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    Superb photos and writeup as usual. Thanks!

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