Thursday, October 13, 2005

Hotel Costa Inn, Panama City

My legs, from just a few days slogging through Darien mud (and about seven falls). Flesh-eating organisms, or what? Having spent a year in Vietnam, brother Jeff is very familiar with this stuff. After cleaning up and drying out, it's definitely better today than it was.

A day of R&R. The most important task has been the clean-up process, doing laundry, assessing damage. I have taken apart all my gear. This is the first time things have been really dried out in months.

It is luxurious to use a washer and drier, go downstairs and get some food when I want, enjoy the air conditioning and TV. It's so easy!

As far as damage:

Both side panniers are tweaked (the telescoping sections got cocked by impacts and are firmly stuck. The right pannier is shattered along the bottom and its top right mounting hook was nearly ripped off.

The right front turn signal lens broke (but the break-away turn signal mount performed well.)

The mud guard mount broke (again).

Nothing too terrible.

My experience in Darien has me re-thinking the South American leg of this adventure. With the bike performing so poorly in mud, I may have to pass on the plan to cross the Amazon. I understand mud is common along those highways.


Called Jesse Luggage in Arizona today to see about getting some of their heavy-duty aluminum panniers shipped down. The cost for shipping alone was quoted at over $800 for two bags! Prohibitive.

Tonight's the bike rally night. I drove out to the causeway and stopped at the motorcycle rental shop to see if the ride was on. Talked to the brother of the fellow I met last week. He assured me they would be coming by around 8:30.

Continued out to the "Kiyuico Restaurant" at the yacht harbor. Sat out on the wooden deck at a corner table right under some large speakers. I wasn't talking with anyone, so it didn't matter. Listened to the music, which included Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" then switched to a live concert recording of popular Mexican vocalist Vicente Fernandez. Enjoyable.

Had some beef brochettes and cerveza and waited, but no motorcyclists showed up.

Reflecting on my latest adventure, it has become quite apparent that I did not take learning the Spanish language seriously enough. I missed so much because of my poor grasp of the language.

Driving back in on the causeway, I passed a group of twenty or so motorcycles parked in front of a different restaurant. "So that's where they went!" But I just kept driving. Down the road, I convinced myself I should go back and at least say "hello" to the people who were so welcoming to me last week. I turned around and went back. But when I drove up on the sidewalk where they were all parked, I saw this was a Harley crowd! "Wrong group." I snuck away.

Back to the "Rey" market for supplies: freezer baggies for water-proofing stuff, cashews, tuna, a new phone card, and a razor (yes, I finally broke down. Well, that hair stylist had done such a crappy job!)

What are these marketing people thinking? Razors with names such as "Mach 3", "Turbo", "G-Force", "Xtreme" and "Champion". We're talking about a friggin' shave, for godsakes! The Mondavi experience really made me sour on marketeers. The business school programs that turn out marketing drones to create demand where there is none should be the first to be axed.

Back at the hotel, I listened to the TV as I puttered around. It struck me how incredibly self-promoting "CNN" is. You're watching their programming and still, much of the airtime is filled with commercials about what a great job CNN does!

I realized the need to get back to listening to "Democracy Now" and "NPR" on the internet.


Jkampion said...

I gotta tell ya, this is not the kind of foto that's going to attract the babes. Cooties!!!!!!

timtraveler said...

I thought they were really into that "reality show" stuff?

Drew Kampion said...

And this is only Stage 1 ... !

timtraveler said...

Wise guy, eh?

(Yuck, yuck, yuck.)

ManicMarauder said...

Saw your link over on the advrider site. Awsome ride and story man :)
Heal up quick, and good luck getting a lift into SA!

Anonymous said...

Cheer up Tim ! I do hope things get better
Assistant to Jean-Pierre Giraud

E. BAIG P. said...

Hola Soy Emilio el de Cancun, BMW 650, Restaurante LA PLACITA, Zona Hotelera, sigo tu viaje, suerte, saludos

timtraveler said...


Thanks for your concern! I am doing better, relaxing in a hotel!!!

All the best,


timtraveler said...

Mr. Manic Marauder!

Appreciate your comments - thanks for checking in!


Drew Kampion said...

See? Show ’em sores, wounds, bugs, and any kind of horror, and people get all interested and talky! These spore-littered legs have pulled more comments than anything so far! Sheeeze! -- Drew