The border crossing with Costa Rica and Panama was another pretty easy crossing. There was a little running around with getting certain papers, but the whole process with both borders took less than an hour. The online guides were pretty accurate. Between the borders there were huge duty-free malls. These weren’t the typical duty-free shops you see at airports and such, but real malls and full grocery stores. I tried to find a replacement for my lost GoPro 5, but had no luck.
I was hoping to make really good time because on the map it looked like I would be on a big 4 lane highway. Unfortunately I did not and couldn’t make it my destination that night. The entire time there was construction so 2 lanes were always closed and you were constantly slowing down for additional construction. So I made horrible time. I even got pulled over for speeding but to my surprise he just let me go. I just acted like I couldn’t understand anything he said and it worked.
I ended up stopping about a 100 miles short in Santiago. There wasn’t much to remark on this little town which doesn’t seem more than a commercialized width in the road other than the fact that the hotel has been the most expensive so far on my trip and it was pretty shitty.
The next day I left early to make sure I could get to Brandon’s place that day. Brandon is a good friend of mine from work in Jordan. We had planned on meeting up earlier and I have been looking forward in meeting up with him and his family.
Last night I received some bittersweet news. It looks like I might get a chance to sail across the Darien Gap. The Darien Gap is a stretch of unpassable land between Panama and Colombia. There are no roads and is full of some very dangerous people.
The two ways of crossing is either by shipping your bike/car across in container and flying commercial or taking you and your bike on a sailboat across. I’ve always wanted to sail across but since I never knew my time schedule and didn’t want to be rushed, I never was able to book anything. So this is great news, but it means I may have to cut my visit with Brandon short.
The following morning I made it to Brandon in Rio Hato very easily. Of course right after I leave the town, the construction ended and I ended up making fantastic time. I would have saved a night at an expensive hotel if I would have known that. Rio Hato seemed like a very sleepy condo town. To help culture his children while enjoying the benefits of tax free living, Brandon has been living here in a rented condo. They basically have the place to themselves and he’s saving a good amount of money. Seems like a good idea to me.
It was nice being around people again. Riding can get very lonely sometimes so it was a nice break to relax and socialize. I’ve gotten more news on my possible voyage across the sea. Looks like I might get the last slot but if I don’t show up and meet the Captain by tomorrow, I may lose my position. I’ll know more tomorrow.