Panamanians and the sea

This is a two-day post. In the below track the magenta lines are just route calculations, the cyan is the path
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After the long borders day yesterday, I’ve crashed for the night at a place in Chinandega with no internet. In the morning I walk up the street, iPad mini concealed in my pants to check on emails and stuff, to anther hotel and guess what, there are four distance bikes (3 KLR’s and a KTM) in the parking lot, hidden behind a building.

I go in, have a coffee and wait for them to appear, curious.

The first guy walks out, we introduce ourselves and guess what, he’s an engineer and all-around bike God, I tell him I’m having intermittent starting issues and he says no problem. How is it that people appear at exactly the right time? His name’s Eddie and he’s riding with Hugh and his two sons Blake and Colin. They’re riding from Florida to Panama. In fact they’ve spent many years in Panama.

So they have my starter assembly off Lucinda right away and get to work diagnosing the problem.

They’re headed the same way down the track to Leon so we ride off together.

The first thing that happens is we get busted for passing on a solid line. This is the first traffic violation I’ve had since the US. In fact  I was going to post that in Central America you can ride like a fool without fear, but apparently this isn’t true. So the cop is about to bust us big. He collects out licences and is about to confiscate them, to be picked up from a police station the next day, where we pay a fine. Eddie, who’s Spanish is fluent has a little chat with him and we get off by bribing him the equivalent of $12 each and get our licences back. He we are parked while they talk
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The downside of riding with others is no photo stops. So into Leon.
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Where I get a group shot. From the left, Blake, Colin, Hugh, Lucinda, Eddie
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And we decide to head to the sea. Busted again. This time Eddie does the charm thing and it ends up being a friendly bike chat
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There are cows everywhere
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And then the route turns to dirt and we have a long fast ride to the sea
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That goes like this

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Then down to to San Juan del Sur
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