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Wrecking Crew Diaries
1996 Panama - Mud of No Return
Days 17-20, Wednesday-Saturday, January 17-20

Days 17-20, Wednesday-Saturday, January 17-20

After a good night's rest the Four decide to stay another day in quaint Golfito, dreaming of a Panamericana sans the pot holes. Waiddaminit, isn't that a runway lurking among the palm trees? The Four locate the owner of a vintage Cessna, and for a few dollares they get airborne. First it's along the Río Fixaola, and then, grazing the tops of the jungle giants they follow the Panamericana highway, no pot holes, no oncoming trucks and buses, just heavenly peace. Their spinal disks relax together with the badly beaten muscles in the seats of their pants.

After touching down in Golfito the guys get back to the fishy business they left unfinished yesterday, and its the same all over again: a fine meal, bed, and sleep as deep as the pot holes that are still to come.

Day 18

No one is in a big hurry to see the washed out track too soon. It takes some time to get the caravan consisting of 2x2 cylinders, 2x2 wheels, the riders and a car in motion: San José is calling. But the jungle gods have other ideas: between us and San José the have put torrential rain (again), a couple of hundred kilometers of pista, and a little extra surprise: the "short cut" to the Panamericana turns out to be a dead end. The suspension bridge spanning a 30 metre deep canyon is afflicted with the Panamericana disease: holes, holes, holes. Holes in a wooden suspension bridge are bad news, more so, when the material surrounding the holes is wood of the rotten kind.

The Four manage to replace some of the timbers, but still no one wants to cross on a bike. So it's about turn, and back to the Panamericana highway on more conventional tracks. The little town of San Isidro sports a First Class hotel, and the Four check in, grateful and tired. Even the pink Daiquiris can't spoil the evening with their chewing gum taste now. The beds are fauna free, and longer than the usual 160cm. Good night.

Day 19

The Panheads thunder into a new morning, up the Cerro de la Muerte, the other way this time, no close encounters with trucks and finally past the clouds into bright sunlight.

Back in San José at last, early in the afternoon. True to the old Costa Rican saying: "When you drop in by chance into San José, and it's not too late, why don'tcha walk over to the corner bodegón. Wouldn't that be great, muchacho?" So that's what they did, drained a bottle of Centenario and found themselves ready to hit the best bar in town, old colonial style, good vibes, good rum, fine girls, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, almost like home at W&W, only there's no rum. De puta madre!

Day 20

The morning dawns, before the way home can be found, so the guys just sit down for a righteous breakfast, grab another beer and before you can say suicide clutch, the next night is over.