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October 1, 2014

Panama City - David, Panama


I could call it "The NOTSOCRAZYRIDENORTH"....

Up until late last night, I was still determined to head to Carti in the morning to catch the"Stahlratte" to Columbia. But, hehe, what a difference a night makes...

Honestly, I wasn't really all that fired up about it any longer. The more I thought about it, the more I could feel, I was forcing it. Knowing, I had to be back in California well before December 1st to prep myself for "showtime", I felt, one month time wasn't cutting it. I knew it, but I didn't want to admit it. Knowing and admitting, two different things.

Time, expense, headaches... it just didn't feel like the same trip any longer.

My dream of spending Christmas and New Years in Rio de Janeiro with my wife began to fade quickly. All of a sudden, spending the holidays in Cedar Rapids or Boise, Idaho alone in a hotel room on a 30-hour layover became very real.

Sure, I could continue my trip, leave the bike somewhere in South America, return at an unknown time and continue to Ushuaia. Only problem, where do I leave the bike?

Two possible scenarios, I had met a German traveler, Johann, at my hostel in Panama City . He was nice enough to get me in touch with a Columbian family, who he had previously stayed with in Bogota. I could possibly leave my bike at their house outside Bogota. Great idea. Only problem, my bike would be exposed to the elements. I was not too excited about that.

The other option, a friend of mine, Lionel, who has a condo in Chile. Since he lives there only part-time, the soonest I could leave my bike with him would've been mid November. Too late for me, and too rushed to make it to Chile in time. So, a no-go.

I had to make a tough decision... fast.

Plan B became Plan A, turn around and ride back home, damit. The advantage, I can take my time, prep myself mentally for my return to the polyester suit job and "Big Bertha" stays with me. That sounded better to me.

So, here I am tonight, staying in David, Panama in a placed call Wynn, Hotel and Casino. Nothing like the Wynn in Vegas. Well, almost! My room has dirty baby blue walls with neon ceiling lights, shining down on a pink flower bed spread. But the room has TV, a/c, cold water shower, and a window. Sweeet. But it really does have a casino...just like the Wynn in Vegas .

I just picked the first hotel that came my way. And that was it.

As for my two nights in Panama City, all I really did, was, wash my clothes, made some photocopies and had a cappuccino at the Amador Causeway along the Panama Canal this morning. Seems funny that I rode to PC for a cappuccino and then turned around and rode back. It happened that fast. Oh yeah, almost forgot, and crossed a few borders in the process...

Btw, the PanAmericana (Carretera) between Santiago and David in Panama is being widened from two-lanes to four over a distance of almost 200 km. A major project with crazy traffic, heavy construction vehicles exiting and entering the roadway and lots of dirt, debris and delays. Just thought I mentioned it, in case someone is headed that way.

As for me, I am planning on finishing this trip. All the way to the end. This is just a break, an interruption, really. Nothing more, nothing less. I don't let a job get in the way of my dreams, never have, never will.

In the meantime, I will report from the road on on my way north.

See you soon in Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego!