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Day 346 – 19th November 09

Posted by TravellingStrom on November 19, 2009

Thursday – El Porvenier, Panama

It was a dismal start to the day, another basic breakfast of toast and fruit and rain, yes rain again, not heavy this time, just a steady drizzle. On the Hostel Wunderbar, I found Guido to be a character, he is the skipper of the Seeadler, his partner Silvia seems to be now running the hostel around her 2 year old, this means there are places we cannot go, even the social area because of the kid, she needs to get her priorities right, we are the paying customers. If I was doing this route again, I would not be staying here. There were aircon rooms next door and there may be rooms available soon at the pub where we ate and drank, so they would be a better option. I personally did not like the place, I know a few others felt the same. Direct contact with the skipper via email and a different place to say, and it may end up a better option all round.

Anyway, we headed out and loaded all our gear and basically got moving as soon as possible, a wet dreary start, but we hoped to get out from under the rain clouds off shore.

We were motoring into a short chop and the wind and tide was at odds with each other, so that meant an unpleasant boat motion, which turned that very soon into upset stomachs. We had 8 passengers on board at this stage, Hayden and Mika from NZ and NL, Tom from US(biker), Michael from UK, Vincent from NL(biker), Jim from CAN(biker), Val from BRA(biker) and of course me from AUS(biker), I have already mentioned the skipper Peter(Bruce) from AUS and crew Bernice from UK. So we had a mixed bunch of bikers and back-packers and nationalities. As you can see, the conditions were not the most favorable and some decided to stay out in the rain because they were too crook to move.

We did get some sun but the boat motion was taking its toll!

By this time I decided it was beer time, the sun was out, so why not, we had two eskies packed with beer and ice and it would be a shame to waste it eh! 🙂

Ahh, but after lunch I succumbed to that fateful decision to lie down and grab some shuteye to catch up on the past two nights, with my head in a downwards position because all the best spots were taken and after a big lunch and the beers, this led to the inevitable and embarrassing moment for me of the old heave ho!!! Which some one very kindly(the bastard or bastardess) managed to catch on my own camera!!!

But, luckily for me it was just a sloshing stomach movement and not sea sickness(whew) and after a while, when we were amongst the islands, it was beer time again 🙂 The place we were planning on staying is the entry/exit station for the Panama border called El Porvenier, after this point is the independent area run by the Kuna people, more on that later.

We were soon the central point of traders who come out in logs to see if we wanted to buy anything, food, handicrafts etc.

There was still lot of lazing around, the only people who did not offer anything to the sea gods were Bruce and Bernice, so well done people 🙂 The beer we(well I) were drinking was called Atlas, another brand but we had to take cans on board of course, it tasted OK, as long as it is cold that is. But I could see the ice would not last and the on board ice machine was not working due to the generator not being on board, bummer, but once we eat some of the food, we can stack the fridge apparently 🙂

So, the plan was we stay here the night, tomorrow Bruce goes to the Aduana and gets us and our bikes stamped out of Panama, then we are in no man’s land, or international borders. At that point, he takes charge of the passports and is law. For this evening after a nearly glorious sunset through the rain clouds, we had a great curry dinner, mild not hot and we sat around and some of the others even managed a few drinks to conclude the first day of the crossing 🙂 All except Bruce of course, he does not drink, the other Bruce that is, not me and I was on rum by now anyway 😉

Day 0 miles and 0 km
Trip – 43,486 miles and 69,984 km



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4 Responses to “Day 346 – 19th November 09”

  1. carl said

    Richard .M8 i think you need to harden up a bit,fancy getting sick in a nice little gentle swell like that.You never got sick out on a club fishing trip,so it makes me think it must be the beer, and by the way tell vince to put some sunscreen on before he cooks himself.Keep up the good work m8.

    • Well, you are mostly correct Carl, lying down with beer and food sloshing around and my head below my stomach caused the problem, but good news it never reoccurred and I drank the same beer

  2. ybg said

    Rule number one when riding the waves in a small vessel like that. Keep your eye on the horizon, and the wonkies will subside. Lie on the deck with a towel over your head is a sure bet you’ll meet Ralph.

    But yes beer and grub while standing on your head will do it too. Still it looked like you had a good time.

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