Steep, steeper, steepestFebruary 26 in Panama ⋅ ⛅ 26 °C
Today was the day we were going to board a sailing boat in order to continue to Colombia via the San Blas islands. Everything was organized, Herbert and me were going to get to Carti harbour by bicycle and Michl was going to get picked up by the shuttle also taking the other tourists of our boat.
We left the cabins at 7am as we were supposed to meet the shuttle and the speedboat taking us to the sailing boat at 9am. We had looked at the route profile before. It didn't look too bad, a couple of steep rolling hills, but generally more downhill than uphill. However, when we started cycling, we immediately were hit by super steep hills. So steep, that we had to push the bikes several times which is even more exhausting than pedaling but was at least somehow doable. When we got to the harbour at 8:45am, we were soaked in sweat even though we only cycled for 20km. The shuttle hadn't arrived yet, so we had time to change, reorganize our luggage and prepare the bikes for the boat. After an hour of preparations, we got nervous as the shuttle still hadn't arrived. I asked around to get some information but people weren't helpful at all. As our phone had no signal, I asked another tourist if I could use his phone to call the shuttle driver. The driver told us that we were waiting at the wrong harbour and had to go to another one which was luckily only 15min away. So we quickly packed the bikes again and headed there. At the harbour, again, there was no shuttle. At least, the people knew the boat and the driver, so we assumed we were at the right place. Again, we unpacked the bikes and wrapped them with cling wrap to protect them from salt water.
As there was still no shuttle, I asked around and found out that the car had broken down. They didn't know what time it would arrive. So we waited some more time. A little later, Michl arrived. He also got nervous after 2 hours of waiting to get picked up and had asked our cabin host to drive him.
The shuttle finally arrived at about noon. Apart from the 3 of us, there were 5 other people on our boat: Olaf and Caroline, both single travelers from Germany, Amanda from Washington DC and Andrew and Dhana, a couple from California. After several tries to fix it on the way, the guys had to change the car eventually. All of us could finally go onto the speedboat which took us to the Wilson, our sailing boat, within about 30min. For some reason, the speedboat driver thought he could make up for the delay, so people, bikes and luggage got shaken a lot.
On the Wilson, Erwin our Austrian captain, welcomed us. Everyone got a place to sleep, luggage was safely stored and the bikes attached to the sides of the boat. We also went for a swim in the sea - finally some water after our cycling adventure in the morning. Alejandro, the Colombian assistant on board, cooked a Bolognese for a late lunch. Afterwards, we sailed under engine to our first island where we anchored, went for a swim again and had a mouthwatering curry for dinner. We will definitely put on weight on this trip 😀
The captain offered to take everyone to a bar on the island, but apart from Andrew and Dhana, everyone was too tired after the transportation chaos in the morning and preferred staying on the boat to enjoy a cool beer and the stars before going to bed.Read more