Hey everybody and welcome back to another issue of Jack’s Chat. In this issue, I am going to be talking about some of the newest places that we have visited in the last couple of weeks. But most importantly, my wrist has healed nicely and I no longer have a cast. I am stretching my wrist daily to get my muscles back in working order (due to not moving my wrist for a month) so I can resume using it like nothing happened. Now, back to the trip…
We headed south from San Jose, Costa Rica, and stayed two nights on the Caribbean Ocean beach in a very expensive hotel. Well, the second night we had to camp in the grass parking area next to the hotel as the rooms were way over our budget. And, it rained all night. The next morning, we packed up sopping wet tents and we were off to cross into Panama. The border crossing into Panama was a lot smoother than all of the other border crossings in Central America, each averaging around 4 hours. This border topped out at about 2 hours with off and on rain showers. Once we had gotten everything done at the border, we met some other motorcycle riders that were riding in the same direction as we were. And, one of the riders on the other bikes was wearing sandals in freezing temperatures and didn’t seem to mind. We got out of the mountains and into some lower altitude where it finally warmed up. By the time we rolled into the hostel, it was freezing again and we had to set up our tents that were still all wet from the beach. Once we got our tents up, we went into the hostel common area and got some tea going to warm ourselves up.
That night we all slept very well because we were exhausted from the day before. We all got ourselves ready and had some breakfast and chatted with some of the people in the hostel. We were lucky enough to have a room our last night there so that we didn’t have to pack up our wet tents the morning that we had to leave. Once we had left the hostel, we were on our way to go to Panama City and stay with our friend, Alison, and her boyfriend, Carlos. We got there, got settled into our room and had some lunch. We stayed there for a couple of days while we got all of our papers ready for the ferry ride from Colon to Cartagena. While we were there, we also called around to some medical clinics and hospitals to see who could remove my cast. They all said either “No, we don’t do that” or said that they would transfer me to another clinic down the road. Well, they did transfer me, but nobody answered. Then we started considering to just taking it off ourselves. And, that’s what we ended up doing…with a hacksaw…and, a Leatherman multitool. We got it off by cutting, prying, and moving it around. Finally off, I got my arm rinsed off with water, and it felt so good. But, the one thing that I couldn’t do was move my wrist. The muscles were so tense and bunched up from not moving I couldn’t move my whole wrist. I spend the next 3 days moving it and stretching it. The day we had to leave for the ferry dock, we packed up early and were off to Colon to catch the ferry.
After 5 hours of waiting and getting papers stamped and turned in, we finally got the bikes on and got our gear off. We went up to the top deck to hang out with some people we met at the customs office and sat up there while the boat pulled away from the port. About 1-2 hours later, we were out in open ocean. The boat rocked and rocked and rocked. My mom and I ended up putting on patches to keep us from vomiting. That night was an interesting sleep. We woke up to the boat going forwards and then backwards. I could barely stand. Once it was morning and got food, we were told that we hade to vacate our room 2 hours before the boat got into port so that they could clean. So we moved all of our stuff into the bar area that had nobody in it, and sat there for an hour and a half working and checking social media. They finally let us go and get the bikes ready to get off of the boat. Once we got off, we walked up to the customs to get ourselves into the country. Then, my parents had to go and get the inspection done on the bikes. The inspection took about an hour and a half. That night, we attempted to go to an Air B&b house that we had reserved. The owner had met us at the gas station across the street from the port on his bicycle and was going to lead us to the house. We went about 2 kilometers and we stopped at a “hotel” that he said he owned and asked us if we wanted to stay there or if we wanted to go to the other house. We told him the other house because we wanted to have the place that we had already paid for that had a kitchen and private rooms. He put his bike away and asked my mom if he could ride on the back her bike to the house. She proceeded to say no because the passenger seat was filled with a duffle bag. He flagged down a taxi and told the driver where to go. We followed them through some “ok” traffic and through this very sketchy street that lead to the house. We took one look at the house and at the neighborhood and asked him if the neighborhood was safe. He then asked us if we were going to go out after we got settled in, implying that it wasn’t safe. My parents and I talked and decided to not stay here and to go and find a hotel. We looked at a couple of hotels and they all were $200 or more. We finally found one that we were able to get for a good price. We stayed there for two nights and got a lot of work done.
The next day we went to some cities that were along the beach and that brought us inland. Yesterday we got to this awesome camping spot that has a bunch of animals and ponds with a lot of land. We plan to be here until tomorrow and then make our way to Medellin to stay with some family we have there.
That concludes this edition of Jack’s Chat, make sure to check back soon for the next one.