Bike Tour To Panama City: Videos, Route Change, Caught In A Storm

    October 11, 2013 | By | Reply More
    Cloudy days are still beautiful

    Cloudy days are still beautiful

    My plan at the start of the day was to see how far I can bike down the Pan-Am before it would rain. I would have to find a place to sleep at a fire or police station, school, or on a farm. I knew this could be a challenge between David and Santiago. Remember, I don’t have a tent. I just need a roof over my head.

    I wanted to get as close as possible to Santiago. Since I wasn’t sure of how hard the route was with hills, I was going to make up my plan as I go. That’s what makes this adventure exciting!

    This video shows you what it’s like to cycle on the Pan-American Highway. Afterwards, I pull up to a restaurant to have lunch. Click to watch.

    View behind La Isleta Restaurant

    View behind La Isleta Restaurant

    One of the restaurant owners gives me a tour of their small farm and shows me the view in their backyard.

    Route change

    I tell the restaurant owner that I might have difficulty finding accommodations between San Felix and Santiago, so I ask for his advice. He tells me get off the Pan-Am and take this newly paved road along the coast to a town called Sona. The route has ocean views and was constructed within the last year. He said the road was perfect for cycling on as long as I could manage the hills. He also mentioned that I would be able to find a place to stay along the way, especially in Sona which is the half way point between the two towns. There are more small villages to explore on this route than if I stayed on the Pan-Am. This road runs parallel to Pan-American Highway from Guabala to Santiago. It starts after the immigration check point.

    It always helps to ask the locals. They know best. I didn’t have to know the entire route or plan ahead of time, someone was there to point me in the next direction to get me closer to my goal.

    Caught in a storm

    Centro Misional Jesus Obrera Iglesia Catolica

    Centro Misional Jesus Obrera Iglesia Catolica

    I was cycling for a few hours and I still didn’t see the road that I was suppose to turn on. Apparently, I must have missed it.

    It started to rain cats and dogs, then the thunder intensified. I was thinking, shit, I better come up with a back up plan fast. The afternoon was also getting late. I had no place to stay.

    I saw a restaurant on the other side of the road so I pull into it. I ask the customers there if they knew of anywhere I could crash in the area. I was ready to ask the restaurant if I could just sleep somewhere on their patio. The customers told me to go to this church up the hill.

    Luckily, the church had a place for me to crash. It was like a hostel dorm without the bedsheets, but I was grateful to get out of the rain and have a roof over my head. Click the video to see what the room looks like.

    Oh, by the way, subscribe to curiousnomadtv on Youtube. :)

    San Felix to Tole 34 km

    San Felix to Tole 34 km

    Things worked out pretty smoothly despite what had happened. I remained cool because if I really couldn’t find a place, I knew I would be okay with sleeping at a bus stop shelter or vendor stand on the side of the road. I had emergency food to last me for a day if needed.

    The journey keeps getting interesting the more I push myself beyond my comfort zone.

    This day it took me about 4 hours with a lunch break to cycle 34 km. There were a lot of hills and I took my time.

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    Category: Stories

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