Survivor Panama

After MIA for 9 months, has been found and will stay around for the forseen future.

After racing La Ruta I headed straight to the small caribean village of Puerto Viejo to rest in the comforts of Costa Rica. 4 days later it was off to the islands of Bocas Del Toro Panama where the rains started to come and stuck around for 7 days, causing flooding and chaos which the locals say they have never experienced ever. Bye day 3 both the highways leading to Bocas were shutdown, the main one for 1-3 months after 40 or more mudslides swept over the mountain road, and the other leading to Costa Rica flooded heavy and is down as well. To boot the planes were unable to fly and the internet and phone lines went down leaving the visitors and locals of Bocas stranded. US helicopters have been flying supplies into the more remote regions and a Barge full of diesel is on its way to fuel the towns electricity which is down to its final 3 days of fuel. Not having internet may sound like a minor detail but when the only way to get money out on the island is through 2 internet connected bank machines there is a problem. One Canadian girl had to sell her $350 ipod to a local for $100 so she could pay for a bed to sleep on and some food. When the locals started taking taxis to the grocery stores to load up on food and supplies us visitors started to get a little worried. Yesterday the weather began to improve and now it is only raining 8-10 hrs a day, down from the 23-24 hrs as before.

One thing which this weather has been good for is the surf. The waves have been huge and the locals have been soaking it up. My American friend Reed and I have been out 3 times now and have been pounded like a couple of ptarmigans sitting on an avalanche slope. All the surf spots in Bocas are only reachable by boats, where you will get dropped off in the middle of the ocean and try to arrange a time with the boat captain to pick you up again. A little sketchy when your spanish skills are that of a 2 yr old. Yesterday a large swell came through and I got raggdolled into a reef and eventually washed up on shore where the only way back was a 4 mile hike to town with bloodied feet from the stinging coral. Possibly a sign my surf skills are being overmatched.

Planes are flying again but are backlogged for days due to this being the only acces off the island… unless you have a bike. After a good rest following La Ruta I am getting anxious to get back on the bike as training for next yr will commence Dec 1. Tommorow is the preview, a 140 km ride across mudslides as I will try to reach the pacific via a trek over the abandoned mtn highway.

3 Comments on “Survivor Panama”

  • Evan November 27th, 2008 6:12 pm

    Cory! you are one crazy dude! great story, looking forward to hearing about the rest of your travels. good luck!

  • BikingBakke November 27th, 2008 11:32 pm

    Cory – soak it up, awesome stories.

  • Ronald J December 2nd, 2008 2:30 am

    Cory you are crazy. but is a new experience for you!! just keep in touch and lets take a ride before in SJO before you come back to Canada

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