March 09, 2010

The End of the Beginning

Well I am in Panama City.  Now I have to figure out how to get to South America.  For those who did not know, a review, there is no road from North to South America.  Between Panama and Colombia is a 100 km stretch known as the Darien Gap.  If you want to know more about it, enter Darien Gap in wikipedia.  The only part I needed to see was the bit about how an attempt to cross it with a vehicle took 136 days.  The purpose of my trip is not to climb some metaphorical Mount Everest, but to see South America, so I will do what everybody else does, find a boat or a plane that will take me there.  Apparently there is no regular ferry service.  If anybody reading this has any information lemme know, cause I know nothing yet.

A few words on Panama, hot, beautiful, US dollar is the currency, very modern and apparently very rich.  One slightly odd thing, I have yet to see a Norte Americano built vehicle in Panama, unless Bluebird buses count.  Even the 'Chevies' (the only NA brand I see) are really Daihatsus or something.

Other than that, Panama appears way more NA than CA, hardly any security guards, and they don't carry guns.  The Policia have radar and use it lots.  Everybody drives within 10 k of the posted limit.  Panama city is a traffic nightmare (to me anyway)  The small towns are more
Latin, but a lot quieter.  In another post to come I will describe the evenings in Central America and Mexico, just another indication, Toto, that we are no longer in Kansas.

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