Always great to meet up with other riders - these guys from Oklahoma

Two of three bikes have arrived

Always great to meet up with other riders - these guys from Oklahoma

Finally, our bikes have arrived in Panama from Ecuador. The normal tortuous bureacracy as every department the government has needs to affix their stamp before we can ride them out of the airport gates. And – lest we forget to mention – another $1,000 US to set them free! So that’s $1,200 US for each bike to fly from Quito – bit of a stomach churn really, we should perhaps have just put them on a boat in north Colombia. Oh well, put it down to experience. There is a golden rule really – minimise the number of times you getseparated from your bike on these journeys, it can prove to be very expensive!

However at least we’ve got our bikes now. Poor Dave, who has flown in from NZ to join us has found his only got as far as Miami! He’s hoping that it will be on the once-a-week flightfrom Miami to Panama tomorrow. So do we! Then we can get back in the saddle again and hit the road.

Met a trio of  US Harley riders yesterday, who have shipped their bikes to Ushuaia and are now riding back to their homes in Oklahoma. See their site here. Big bikes these boys have and it has taken its toll. Three of them are already gone as a result of a bad spill down near Bariloche, Argentina involving a couple of bikes. The culprit was one of those speed bumps that many towns in South America have. In this case the bump wasn’t painted yellow and the first Harley jumped up as a result, but the second one into the fray slammed his brakes on in anticipation, turned sideways and hit the bump sideways! The ensuing rolly poly did neither bike nor rider any good. 7 broken ribs plus internal injuries to lungs and spleen. It reminded us of similar injuries one of our buddies Brian Thompson received in Peruvian Andes when we rode those  in 2002. Very sobering. Good luck to the 3 guys of this group still heading north to the US.

So roll on tomorrow and roll in Dave’s bike. Please.

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