27 September – Day 67
Boquette, Panama to Panama City, Panama
Not too much to report from today other than that the roads in Panama City are crazy! I got a quick look at the canal / shipping ports on the way in and wow – it’s a big port. I’m looking forward to having a much closer look over the weekend.
It was a long day in the saddle today and close to our longest distance covered in one day through Central America. Not that Panama is lacking in scenery or potential stopover destinations, however the lure of South America and the chance to escape the ongoing heat, humidity and rain combination was enticing. That speeding in Panama has been noted as a potential show stopper was made worse by the inconsistent signage along the way… Basically I stuck on 100 where indicated and slowed for towns and built up areas. In the one area showing 60, I had just overtaken a car and was slowing down using the engine, low and behold there were the boys in blue, just off to the side in the shadows. A quick look for a radar gun showed nothing and although I was speeding I called their bluff as they guessed at least 20 over what I had actually been going.
The driving is similar to the rest of Central America in its haphazard, aggressive, five rows of cars in three lanes behaviour, although most notable were the number of accidents. We passed two rollovers and one in a ditch and witnessed a very near miss. Suffice to say that there is a distinct lack of actually driving ability in Panama. Be warned if you think about renting a car here. The usual drive around to check out a few hotels would have been a nightmare and we aimed for and stayed at the first hotel I plugged into the GPS.