This entry will just be about three topics, which are worth to mention during the transition of Costa Rica and Panamá: dogs, because you will meet a lot of them; garbage, which seems to be a big problem, and the streets.
Already on my first day on my bike, I got in contact with the „best friends“ of the human, the dogs. There are small ones and big ones, some of them our around and others trot around, but there are the others, whose hunting instinct is still alive. And when you are the rabbit on the bike, they will chase after you. So what to do? We have been told different strategies to get rid of them and so we tried them out. Sometimes a single loud noise like a HEY could be helpful, but in some other cases the rabbit had to pedal faster to throw of the threatening barking haunter. From a german woman, who rides her motorcycle, we got the hint to throw stones and so I did. I put some stones into my bag at the handlebar and on an another uprising of the hungry dog the rabbit took its stone, threw it and put the attacker to flight. I had the impression, that the attack of the dogs are more likely at roads besides the main roads like the Panamericana, but just today there was another beast directly next to the two-lane motorway, waiting for the rabbit to come. Don’t get my wrong, I like dogs, but I don’t want to be a rabbit for them.
I have been to Singapore, where you will have the impression that someone have licked the streets like a plate full of your favourite sauce. But here in central America it seems as if just everything is thrown away without any sense for the environment. Along the Panamericana there is a sea of garbage next to the road, combined with gummy from broken wheels.
And if there are some dark clouds soar up to the sky, it might not be a house, which burn down. No, it is the garbage, what the people try to get rid off. We slept in our tents on the property of a young couple right next to the border between Panama and Costa Rica. Very friendly people. I asked them, where to put our garbage and the cute son pointed to the garden, but I couldn’t find the garbage can. And so the boy showed me a hole in the corner of there garden full of all sorts of garbage. I was a bit surprised. At least I got to know that around one year ago they started to collect the garbage in some regions, although this might be burned as well.
In Panama they put a lot of effort into the extension of the aorta, the Panamericana. Two lanes for both directions and quite often a comfortable edge line, which I really appreciate as a cyclist. So there are long parts of the main motorway which is under construction. Under the heavy sun we greeted the workers and gave them high-five.
The street sign, which were showing the distances to the next towns in Costa Rica, are gone along the streets in Panama. Therefore a lot small crosses can be found next to the streets, as well as painted blue hearts, symbols to keep awake the memory of the people, who died on the streets in accidents.