Adios Panama!

12 02 2010

Nikki and Samuel casually lounging on Wizard Beach in the Caribbean

Nikki says: “Just a short hello with highlights! This is our last day in Panama, in the city of David. (Next time you hear from us we’ll be in Costa Rica!) 

We put some big days in, a couple 100 k days (i think that is about 68 miles). One of these days ended by meeting a family who had a laughing parrot! We got some great footage. Later they put me to the test in cooking for their entire family… a little stressful but the toasted ham and cheese sandwiches came out great!

After putting in a couple long days my ankles started swelling like balloons! Well maybe like baseballs. Any who, we decided to leave the bikes in David and bus up north to some Caribbean islands called Bocas del Toro. I am not sure if it was drinking coconuts on the beach, getting off the bike, or thinking about the possibilities of boating in a canoe carved out of 1 tree trunk, but my ankles went back to their normal size.

Bocas del Toro islands, Panama

Surprising: The islands were Rasta communities…Not surprising: they had beautiful beaches and great swimming and surfing. We did see many canoes made from 1 big tree trunk…that was so cool! Sam and I hiked over one of the islands to hang out and camp at the beach. After a day or two we were itching for out bikes and headded back to David. Today we ride to Costa Rica, and the holiday Carnaval starts. This holiday is celebrated by most Central and south American countries. Men and women throw water balloons and spray shaving cream at each other. Sam was told that it is the time during the year that god turns his head, he does not judge your actions and the devil “runs in the street.”
Wikipedia says: ‘Carnaval is the main celebration in the country. It is held 40 days before the Christian Holy Week, running through the weekend and ending on Ash Wednesday (February 21-24 in 2009). … streets compete with separate queens, activities, parades and musical performances.'”

Nkki riding through northern Panama


Nikki’s Email Home

4 02 2010

I told Nikki she has to show me her email or I’ll loosen her handlebar screws when she’s not looking. “It’s for the trees!” I say. “Okay,” she says. “I like trees. And I like not crashing too.” I don’t believe her though. I mean, I know she likes trees but why would you pull a stunt like a front-flip in downtown Panama City traffic, laughing the whole time, if you didn’t like to crash? 

Here’s one of her emails home: “Things are going great… my bike came in on Sunday Sam and I got it, built it and rode off into the sunset.. well actually into Panama City which has a lot of thieves so maybe the secrets of Alibaba… who knows… there were more than 40 thieves we saw… none actually stole any of our stuff though… Sam is really good at whipping out his pocket knife and cleaning his nails when he feels someone is un-trustworthy.

We stayed at a sweet hostel in Panama City and got ready for the next day’s ride… the next day we biked a road with bridges to 3 separate islands and then to the top of one. On the way I acquired more bruises… Sam says i can’t practice my front flips in traffic anymore. I told him i would try my best.

On tuesday, we left the city and had a big day of biking. We stopped at some bakeries and had some great ice cream too… was not sure if I hurt because of my fall or because of a sunburn.

That night we slept in a family’s yard and hung out with their kids and livestock. I keep practicing my Spanish with the kids. They are awesome to chat with because they will speak slowly for you and laugh at/with you.

Yesterday was the best! We rode early and went to the beach! It was sooo beautiful although I was really looking forward to that cold Atlantic refreshing ocean it was more like a bath, but still refreshing… palm, coconut, and mango trees everywhere!  The ocean is blue and the sand like salt and pepper!

Sam and I got some drinks and played music (Sam has a guitar and a harmonica. I have a soda can with some seeds… we sound great!)  we rode a little longer and stopped at this beach that a local recommended to us which was beautiful. We met the family that lived near the beach and they said we could camp on the beach near their house as well as eat dinner with them!! They were sooo nice. 

Later that night sam yelled from the ocean that I had to go swimming. I went in and whenever you disturbed the plankton they would glow! It was the sweetest thing ever!!! So I am in total darkness with stars above and below when I swirl my hands or kick my legs it was like fairy dust under the h2o (it reminded me a lot of Avatar for those who have seen it…)

So that is my story so far. I am not sure how often I am going to get internet so I love you all and don’t worry too much. What will be will be… live for today, love today, and love all.”

Photos and videos soon to come!

Arriving in Panama!

24 01 2010

Porvenir Island in Kuna Yala. If you're sailing into Panama you can stamp in on this island.

Hey everybody, stories-a-plenty are soon to come but for now I just wanted to let you know I have made it to Panama with help from Captain Jean and her 33 ft. sailboat.

So much has happened since I last updated I can’t wait to get it all typed up, but for now I have to go.

But before I do, I wanted to let you know the final photos from Colombia have been posted, as have the newest photos from Panama. Here are the links:

Colombia Photos:

Panama Photos:

I have a few free days before my friend Nikki and her bicycle arrive from Arizona, so updates and videos will be coming very soon!