Jerry during a gas stop, prior to the accident.
The first batch of photos I took were very sad. It was at the beginning of the ride right after we crossed the border into Mexico. We had been on the road for a few hours and sudendly the rain showed up. Also, Jerry and Doug were behind, for some reason they were held at the toll booth. About 30 minutes later, cars pulled us over and said that there was a motorcyclist down on the side of the highway. I have to say one thing about the rain in the Mexican desert, it is not very friendly rain..... all I can say for now. Also, the highways are covered with oil!!! tons of oil, Central America roads are all covered in oil, very dangerous. Jerry is a truly amazing man. I am very lucky I have had the honor to meet him. He lives in Illinois and I believe that we will be able to ride again once he has recovered from his horrible neck injuries. This was by far, one of my longest days of riding.
So the Ben broke my camera when he dropped it, he was always breaking, loosing something or dropping his bike. He was full of adventure though. As a result, the Panamanian escort took me to this place that only merchants can enter or if you have a family connection. I was able to purchase another camera but had to show them that it works just as good as my other one. I was very happy with it so I had to test it while at the store.
I will create a photo gallery and the captions for each photo are at the bottom once you click on the photo.
The ride through Costa Rica to the border of Panama was exhilarataing. I enjoyed the country as it has an American/European flavor with modern conveniences. We departed Jerry's house yesterday and rode through the Pan American highway as we have been throughout most of the ride to Panama. The highway was full of obstacles as usual but the best part was riding through this vast forest with elevation of over 15,000 feet. As we rode up the mountain, we encountered a very dense wet fog, slippery road conditions but to me, I felt at home because it was cold. The fog was so thick that my helmet windshield was covered with water as if it were in a downpour. Very strange because my body was not wet, just the windshield. It was cold and I had to use my heated hand grips. The guys did not enjoy that portion of the ride at all. On the other hand I loved it with the magical twisting roads, huge plant leaves that were twice the size of me and my motorcycle. Finally the smell of fresh air was so welcomed to my lungs as through all of central America the pollution has caused my lungs to feel the stress. While riding along the this highway I kept seeing small fires everywhere. I quickly learned that these fires are the result of people burning their trash.
As usual, I am up at 3 am trying to share some thoughts. We arrived at the Panama border around 3 to 4 pm yesterday and I was delighted not to be approached by what I call the "human vultures". I call them this because on all the entries into the border in all of the countries, we were approached by these people that just want to sell you their services and try to steal your papers. The border crossing are difficult as it is with all the paper processing and confusing directions, but having those people attack you like that just adds so much stress. We had to take shifts guarding the bikes because they try to steal things from your bike.
By the way, I started writing this blog somewhere in Panama but was so tired, I had to put it aside. Not only that, the internet was so slow, I could not upload the pictures, very annoying.
On that day, that is where we were. I loved riding in Panama because the speed limit was enforced and my crazy cowboys were in control. The roads are also much better than any of the other countries. It is very wet in Panama as we rode it under downpours. However, the next day was super nice weather. Panama is another country that I would visit besides Mexico, particularly the Oaxaca area.
This kid fell in love with me. He wanted me to stay with him. Very typical of the Latin men in all Central America, so many wanted to be with me. I guess a woman riding a motorcycle with a bunch of crazy guys is very intriguing to the Latin men. Ok, I am single and sometimes my personality of being a single woman comes out and the men take notice.
Very easy border crossing. No human vultures. For the guys it was a different scene as security stripped their luggage and inspected them all. They did not ask me to do anything, perhaps because I wear white pants? Look clean, the guys I was with had leather vests and looked like trouble...... Not only that, being the single woman that I am with a personality like mine, the Latin men just loved me. I am a native speaker and know the right words for them, LOL!! When the boys were stripped down, I just enjoyed the show and they were very jealous. They kept asking me, "why are you not wearing your vest with the colors?" Well, duh!!! My response was, "look who is getting stripped down and having all your stuff inspected at border crossings?
See, just a bunch of guys that love beer, food and riding their motorcycles extreme distances. They mean well. Quite often they watched out for my safety. They taught me how to ride under those harsh conditions in Central America. I am very grateful to them for all the riding lessons and how to stay alive following them. They are very aggressive riders, remember, they are Latin cowboys and the best of the best of riders. I have never seen any riders in the US ride like they do. Truly amazing!!