TEQUILA! (Volcan to Lajas to Coronado – Panama- and back home.)

I came back from Panama yesterday, April 30th, and hope to make this a relatively short post. Let’s see if I can. 🙂

First thing I want to mention is that, once in Volcán, it is definitely worth a short ride on 418 to Bambito and Guadalupe. Bambito has a lovely forest feel to it, and it is hugged by Reina de la Noche (Trumpet) flowers, so the aroma must be intoxicating at night. 🙂 Guadalupe is a beautiful agricultural area. You can enjoy the view to Cerro Punta on the way and back if you loop around. I did this on Tuesday, April 25th, thanks to a suggestion by my friend Mario Amador.

Mario also recommended taking a winding alternate route down to route 1 rather than route 43 (though this is OK, and I took it on my trip back to Costa Rica). I went to Potrerillos and La Gualaca first. I am glad I did. Wikiloc Here.

I don’t have many good photos, but it was an enjoyable, solitary ride. Quite peaceful.

I then went down to the coast to spend the night at the beach at Playa Las Lajas whose entrance reminded me of Esterillos Este, Costa Rica.

I enjoyed a beautiful sunset.

On Wednesday, I headed down to Chame, to my sister’s home in Playa Coronado, early in the morning with the sun rising over the cattle fields. I was quite bored with route 1, as it is straight and not very interesting. Worse, I thought I should go the speed limit, which was 100 kph for only a little bit. The rest was 80, 60, and 40, going back and forth. Yes. BORING. 🙂
(On my way back, I stuck behind faster cars who slowed down when police where ahead. This helped.)

At Playa Coronado, I enjoyed hanging out with my sister, my brother, and my sister-in-law by pool. My brother has cancer, which is the reason I decided to go.

On Saturday, I left to return to Costa Rica, and took an alternate route (5) down to the left from Santiago, through Soná, and out to Tole, to get to La Concepción. This was not spectacular, but the last half was nice, especially around Quebrada Piedra that had views of the bay.

I hit downpours on the way to Volcán, where I rented a less-expensive little cabin for the night.

The next morning I took the regular route 43 from Volcán to Río Sereno. I had wanted to do another alternate one, but due to the rains, I decided best not. A friend of a friend told me they were doing road repairs along 5 kilometers of it, so I feared mud.

In any case, it was nice to see everything in the early morning light and in this new direction. It really is a beautiful, scenic area with lovely wide views. (No photos this time.)

The day before I had discovered that my customs permit for Panama had a wrong license plate number for Sahara. Damn! I was lucky only the guard on the last checkpoint heading back to the border noticed it. Who thinks of checking these things?!
I sure hope I do in the future. It could have caused me many headaches I am sure.

After having coffee at Costa Rica immigration with my friend Gerardo Gomez and new friend Zelaya (both motorcyclists), I took a gravel road through Sabalito to visit my friend Susan England. It went up and down and was quite loose in parts, but I made it to her house just fine. Kind of a fun way to go to Río Sereno in the future, if I could retrace my steps.

The last little curve to Susan’s house stressed me out a bit, but I stood up on the way out, and this made it way easier. Leaving, there was one curve uphill that made me glad no one was coming down it! 🙂 As I often think on curvy gravel roads! Hahaha.

I then took the lovely, scenic Paso Real down to Palmar Norte and stopped for a rest and quick lunch at a nice mediterranean restaurant with an ocean view near Ojochal (Boca Coronado).

I hit rain and fog on the way home, but was glad to make it before dark.

Mission accomplished!

I enjoyed riding the Chiriquí county of Panama and would love to return with friends for a few nights, especially to ride over to Alto Boquete then route 11 over to the Bocas del Toro islands. Fingers crossed we do that, perhaps this September or October when the weather will be dry on the Caribbean.

Yeah. Life is good…when we love what we love: riding!


Dates of trip: Monday, April 24th to return Sunday, April 30th, 2023.

For some reason, the song that popped into my head while riding back was…TEQUILA! Hahaha! Finding it on YouTube revealed this image. 🙂

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