Hello to all from busy, noisy, dusty, diesel laden, hot, humid Panama City.
A brief note before we head off to Santiago Chile tomorrow morning (Saturday). Mary is fully mended from her heat prostration and electrolyte imbalance. Amazing what a few days of rest and relaxation will do for ones body and mind.
Panama City has been interesting but like all big cities has its problems; the least of which is the traffic and pollution. We took a day trip to visit a few of the sites and the canal was the highlight of the trip. It is amazing what men of vision are able to accomplish when they put their minds to it. If we didn't know better we would think they planned our Odyssey trip.
The few riders who stayed on the route for the last few days arrived at the hotel last night and they where a sorry sight to behold. It would appear bionic person's do exist as they are riding bicycles around the world. The decision we have arrived at to rest our bodies when we feel the need was an easy one to come to, especially when you are waiting to get your loved one's out of a hospital after they have been interred for four hours.
The group had a meeting with the organizers last night and we where assured the past 27 days are the hardest of the trip. The journey through Chile should be somewhat saner but the camping in more soccer stadiums should be interesting. We will have a good climb over the Andes but we understand it is significantly less that the one we did out of San Jose.
Tomorrow we leave the hotel @ 06:30 and ride our bicycles 20km to the airport where we are supposed to board a chartered L1011. It looks like we will get a police escort part of the way as there is a little structure called the Bridge of Americas that we must cross and the traffic mandates some support. We load the trucks with our luggage at 04:30; eat breakfast at 05:00 then off we go. The plan is to arrive in Santiago by 17:00 in order that we may ride to the hotel on our bikes before dark.
Stay tuned for our Chile update, the Andes await our arrival and this time weather permitting we will meet the challenge and crest the mountain.
Dave & Mary (Team Moulds)