At the Tocumen airport we found Girag Air Freight at the cargo terminal and ended up talking to a very nice lady. This was the place we needed. For 901.38 USD, they took care of everything. The bikes will be in Bogota Thursday, as tomorrow is a holiday. We just had to make sure there was minimal fuel in the tank, battery was disconnected and there was nothing loose on the bike. We had to drain the jerry cans too so we offered to give our fuel free of charge to an employee who was more than happy to fill his car with 4 gallons of fuel. Never offered a thank you ... not to me anyway. Maybe RobC got one. That was 16 USD worth of fuel!
Girag Air freight.
We spent the better part of 2 hours waiting for the paperwork, then 45 min waiting for the customs official to sign our bikes out of Panama. None of the 4 women in the office offered any help or even told us who the right person was. Wasn't their job. It was a guy standing in line that pointed her out. Wow. Bikes taken care of, we were off to the other side of the airport to see about flights and hotels. Tocumen is a suburb of Panama City that surrounds the airport almost like a ring road around the runway. It was dirty, garbage along the streets, construction (wasn't apparent what they were doing) and dilapidated housing, yet the school kids on their way home were dressed in their best clothes.
We decided on a hotel in the center of the city. 75USD a night (split two ways) that way we were close to any sightseeing. First things first, I strolled out into the night in search of some refreshments and found a messy, dirty corner store where I bought a 26oz bottle of rum, 2L bottle of Coke, bag of ice and 2, 500ml bottles of water for 12USD. We booked our flights for Bogota on COPA Airlines. That taken care of, we could relax. Later, we decided to search for a coffee shop and discovered the neighborhood we were in was not of the highest caliber. First clue, prostitutes on most corners. Nice. Ended up back at the hotel restaurant for coffee where the staff also went to the same school of hospitality as those individuals in Coronado. Must have satellite campuses all over Panama.
I am adding some videos that are a bit outdated only because I could finally upload them to YouTube today.
Road to the CR/Panama border:
First 50km into Panama was like this. Awesome!