Our friend and fellow blogger, Kris Cunningham (author of The Panama Adventure), is embarking on the adventure of a lifetime when she flies to Seattle tomorrow with her bicycle. From there, she’s planning to ride through three U.S. states and seven countries back to her home in David, Panama. You can read all about it on her new blog, The Silver Wheels Blog. She lays out her plan in this excerpt:
I’ll bike down the Pacific coast of Washington, Oregon, and California stopping for a while in Santa Rosa to see my other daughter and family. Then, I will continue down the Pacific Coast to the Baja Peninsula, take a boat over to the mainland of Mexico and bike down to Guadalajara. From there I will probably fly to Cancun (Mexico is huge!) and then bike down the Caribbean coast through Belize. I will probably bus from Belize City to Guatemala City, and then bike through El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and back to Panama.
John and I were avid cyclists in California and we’d been itching to do a ride after purchasing new bikes here recently. On Sunday, we finally got our wish when we joined Kris in David for a send-off ride.
We met Kris at 8 a.m. in hopes of avoiding most of the stifling heat of the Chiriqui lowlands that we knew was coming later, and headed out on a lovely country road through sugar cane fields and rice paddies. Along the way we passed many Panamanians out for a stroll or a ride on their own bikes, and all were quick with a “buenos dias” and a smile. Early Sunday morning for these rural Panamanians is a time to catch up with friends and hang out with family, and the relaxed vibe was nice to see.
After a delightful 15-mile ride south we made it to La Barqueta Beach, quite a bit further than we’d originally intended. After catching our breaths and enjoying a cold drink at a beachside restaurant, where we ran into a pack of extremely decked-out cyclists on very, very fancy road bikes, we headed home. Needless to say, the decked-out cyclists lapped us pretty quickly, although they gave us a half-hour head start!
The ride home was a bit more . . .torrid. With the temperature soaring into the 90s along with the humidity, we took our time and made plenty of stops – including one to sample some delicious ice-cold sugar cane juice flavored with lemon that was offered by a very friendly lady at a roadside stand. She was pretty impressed with the distance we’d covered in the heat, especially when she originally thought we’d come all the way from Boquete! Still, we feel pretty good about 30 miles after a whole year without a significant ride.
Kris: as we used to say in our sailing days, fair winds and following seas. Your adventurous spirit mirrors our own, and we know you’re going to have a marvelous experience. We look forward to following every mile of your journey!