The day my bike flew to Colombia…

The day my bike flew to Colombia…

[UPDATE: MOM corrected me: my bike and I flew to Colombia…I corrected the heading. Thanks MOM!]

January 28, 2010

Well today is an exciting day…my bike flies to Colombia!

But first, many errands, which I HATE!

1. Go by Suzuki (ugh!) and pay them (ugh!)
Turns out that Adolfo insisted to them when we got there that they change the gas in my moto. While Adolfo went out and bought me gas, the mechanic did an unbelievably thorough job of draining every last ounce of gas from my tank and carburetor. Yeah, it was painful to think of having to pay them for the (mis) service…and as it turned out, they gave me a bill for $26.50. Did I ask if that was just for draining the tank or for the labor of the previous day? Nope! I gaave them my credit card, signed, and got the heck out of there!

2. Pick up food for dinner.
Hostal de Clayton has a kitchen, and since I will be transportation-less in the middle of nowhere, I stop and buy eggs and cheese and milk–lazy bachelorette’s easy meal!

3. Get more chain lube.
I’ve taken to using “White Lithium Grease” in spray form because it sticks like mad to the chain, and because I can usually find it in a hardware store. Carlos Cucalon turned me onto it when in San Salvador as a good substitute for the normally crappy chain lube most motorcycle stores sell.

4. Chase down a “lonely Planet South America” book.
Most important since my hopes of finding a northbound traveler who wanted to exchange Central for South America fell through.

5. Repack
In such a way that all is secure on my bike, and my valuables are with me, and I have the “essentials” for a day or two without my bike.

I accomplish all this in my astonishingly small time allotted, and voila’! I am ready and waiting when Adolfo comes to collect me.

I finally get to meet Mrs. Sanchez

See? 981 degrees in Panama.
At least my hair is still pink 🙂

After moving the bikes a few times, a friendly but useless visit to the Aduana, with  me not having any official “exit” to Panama, we arrive at the cargo bay.

How come Marta is not wilting? She looks g-o-r-g-e-o-u-s. It’s just really unfair.

Adolfo chastises me that I am not supposed to take pics in here, but hey, no one is stopping me…

Finally after MUCH sitting around, about two hours worth (and Marta is still not wilting!) comes the moment of truth.

No, we do not want buckles rubbing on the  painted tank.
No, we do not want the tie downs attached to our clutch cables.
No, we do not want the bikes touching each other.
No, we do not want the tie downs strapped to anything but the frame…

Voila’!

Awww, shoot. I am sad to leave my bike.

…but happy to have taken the easy route to crossing the Darien Gap.

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