Friday, February 3, 2012

Almost on the boat!!



Grabbed a cup of coffee and headed over to the doctor’s office to talk about my results and figure out what to do…. Yup you guessed it the doctor called in sick she was not there, they told me Manana Manana. Oh well nothing I can do, headed up to the hardware store grabbed a cheap tarp and walked back to the hostel. Met up with Clay and started packing up my bike, guess I have to deal with it when I get to Colombia.

We packed up the bikes relatively quickly and headed out of town. We decided to take the most direct route not thinking they would be expensive. We got to the first toll Ninety cents; we rode pretty fast nice roads not a lot to see. We were making solid time came up to the next tool boot, $2.50 each man that’s kind of steep oh well that’s the last one; she told us that for 2.50 we would skip the next one. Fifteen kilometers down the road another one, I showed our receipt she nodded her headed waved us through green light lifted up the gate, Clay went no problem I go to and I get yelled at. I stop she says something I cannot understand and then waves me through (I think) I head on and she starts to yell and hits a siren thingy LOUD NOISES!!! Haha A cop starts to walk toward me I cut over to the side of the road and wait with Clay. The cop talks to us saying we have to pay, “but she waved us through” “No she didn’t”, “you have to pay forty cents”. Another worker walks out wanting us to pay, “Okay, here is forty cents” he just looks at me like I’m crazy he says no $4.50, “each!” “No no” I pay $4.50 the guy collecting looks at me shakes his head says something to the cop, “Ten more cents”.  They walk away, crap that just cost us almost 6 bucks each to ride 50km, weak sauce. We take a turn off for Portobello, we go straight into a town all the old guys on the stoops are yelling we missed our turn; we get turned around and are making our way down the coast. We get stuck behind a herd of bulls, with big ol horns no passing for now. We pull into Portobello I grab a sandwich and strike up a conversation with a lady from Wisconsin. She and her two kids were driving with her now ex-boyfriend from the states to Brazil to move there with him. She decided she didn’t like him anymore and decided to stay in Panama for now. She was a doctor and I told her about my feet problem, she told me to go to the clinic there that they were awesome.

        I walk into the clinic take me about five minutes to find someone to help me. He claimed he was a doctor no name or anything stating doctor just a pair of blue scrubs. I lay down pull off my boots even after explain my situation and my results and telling him I only have pain in the mornings. He squeezes my feet asking if it hurts, nope. He has I sit in his office, writes a prescription starts to hand it to me saying it’s a pain killers, I look at him like he’s an idiot??? What?? No I don’t need pain meds, oh okay he writes another prescription for itching cream, what?? No I don’t need that either, oh okay he just stares at me. I finally can show him my results, he looks all surprised saying my uric acid levels are way high even though I know they are not. The average is 3-7 mine is at a 6.5 High average, High is 9 and over. He writes a prescription tells me to take it twice a day 12 hrs apart. He tells me two bucks and pockets it, then takes me to the pharmacy. I get give a packet of 60 Vitamin C tablets to suck on twice a day and that’s it, $1.90. I go back to the “Doctor” Really all I need to do is take Vitamin C? “Yes and no more red meat, take it easy on beans, and not too many beers”. UGH Okay I get on my bike and head to Puerto Lindo.

        We pull into town and head to the hostel where we made one night reservations (first ones of the trip). Go and check in saying we are here and would love to meet the captain of the boat. She tells us that the hostel is full and I ask again if she had talked to the captain about us sleeping on the boat. We had heard others had to load their bike s day before you depart and you get to stay on the boat to stay with your bikes. When I told her this she just laughed and called the boat captain. Than standing in front of us she made fun of us for wanting to squeeze a free night out of the boat while talking on the phone to the captain. Very mean old Austrian woman, I talked to the captain we arranged a time the next day to meet in the morning and load the bikes. We asked if we could camp in the open yard, nope she doesn’t want the place to look trashy “ugh have you looked at his place” haha. We head out check out another hostel, a 12 year old kid is running it, and it is gnarly but we could camp in his yard for 5 bucks but no safe parking sketchy area. I head back to the hostel to make sure she wasn’t holding us our reservation and had forgotten, clay headed off to find camping. I talked to the husband who was very nice, there had been a miss communication she thought we wanted the next night and they were full because the seas were too rough and two boat loads of kids had to wait an extra day. Then they offered for us to camp?? I took it because I needed to unbolt my panniers and go through them. It was a safe enclosed area. Clay had talked to the marina and paid them two bucks to sleep in the yard.

        We ran around town getting dinner supplies, made cheap cup of noodles for dinner and used the internet and went to bed.

Woke up this morning and headed down to Meet our captain Jebi from France to load our bikes. We waited at the docks for a little while then a guy all tatted out showed up in a rubber dingy and introduced himself. He explained that if we didn’t want to leave our bikes on the boat out of site over night that we can load them Saturday morning because we are not leaving now until Saturday afternoon. There are a bunch of passengers stuck up north due to the road closures. (Protestors shut down the highway) We found out that the Boat is over booked by 4 people. There are 12 beds and 16 paying passengers, although he said we can sleep on the ground with a mattress. He claims he has taken bikes but had no idea about our permits and getting those stamped out of Panama.. So we will see.  We also had to give him our passports and he holds onto them until they get stamped into Colombia; he is a surfer guy with just board shorts on taking everyone’s passports.. Sketchy? Not at all.. Just another adventure. The boat trip is going to be hilarious I think. To get our bikes onto the boat we have to load one at a time onto a small dingy, motor out to the boat and hoist them onto the boat with some type of rigging system. We shall see, I am excited and nervous all at once.  We walked around town picking up a few supplies for the trip and I did some research on line trying to figure out what to do about my legs.

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