31 August, 2012

Day 58, 450km: Panama City

The objective today was basically to drive across Panama and make it to Panama City, which would be the final stop for North/Central America, there being no roads between Panama and Colombia.

It wasn't a very exciting road
 The road itself was pretty boring. Not much to see. That was an event-less morning. After 400km or so there were some hills so that finally woke me up.

Panama Canal
 The Panama canal is very close to Panama City. I took the picture above while parked in the emergency lane of a bridge over the canal. It is indeed ridiculously bad and I intend to get better views of the canal tomorrow. I red that there is a museum so I'm probably going there.

Panama City skyline
Panama City somehow reminds me of Hong-Kong. A small town by the sea that exists solely because of its location and geopolitical interest. But it's a very different town. Arguably much less charm. The bay road is nice but doesn't offer any view. Still you feel there's money being made here. All the big hotels are here and the city center smells business.

I was pretty excited when I arrived into the city center. That's it, I made my way across North and Central America. Pretty cool. South America, here I come!

In the morning I looked up hotels and ended up with two in my shortlist (there aren't many and they are rather expensive). I intend to stay at least two nights here, until I figure out how to ship the bike (and myself!) to South America.
So in my shortlist was the reasonably priced, well located, kind of old and without charm hotel (the reasonable option) and well, an unreasonable option. The hotel I stayed in the previous night was rather bad. No window in the room, waited 33 minutes before the check-in lady talked to me, no breakfast, noisy. So I was worried Panama City's hotels would be even worse.

The logic was "I drove 22,000km to come here, if the hotel is as bad as last night's f*** it I'm checking-in at the Intercontinental".
Picture number 1000 says my camera
Well luckily for my bank account, there first hotel was actually very good. I even have a room with a vestibule, so I can sleep away from my boots (they reek really bad after all these days of rain)! Yay!

Next I celebrated completing (roughly) half of my trip at the hotel's bar (thank god I wasn't alone, chatted a bit with Panamian business travelers) and caught up on the blog updates! Now I'll have to see if I can find dinner somewhere at this time of the day!

Wish you a great weekend everyone!


  1. check you email ;-) I am so envious you are still riding!

  2. Now that I see you arrived in Bogota, I think it would be nice to ride along the countries of the West coast, with maybe an incursion in Argentina, might not be necessary to go to Brazil...
    Then you could have the time to take your time, it's really a lot of stuff to see on this West coast!

  3. Salut Guillaume!
    Que du bon ton blog, c'est cool de voir que ça se passe bien pour toi! Et oui, ton trip a l'air chanmé! enjoy :)))
    Le bonjour de BKK