Post 2000 2

Albatross Island was another top secret US military spying operation, abandoned. The police escorted us there. Nothing for miles around. Just this sign

Way down a small road the building and the setting strongly reminded me of a short story by JG Ballard The Terminal Beach. 

This is what it looked like when in operation, a gigantic top secret antenna that could listen in on anything in the western hemisphere. That’s the same building in the middle.

Now it’s surrounded by low pampas

A hundred yards back from the sea

And destroyed inside

It was all apocalyptic.

The cool ride in, and inside the building:


Further on that day more abandoned complexes

We said goodbye to the police and headed off to another, crazier destination: Battery Baird, deep in the jungle

The ride in


This is about half of it from above

The other half from below

These are cells

This is a cannon battery, designed to protect Fort Sherman and the coastline. Here’s a photo of a cannon here from WW1


The calculations for targeting were made from here

Going into a passageway was interesting. We explored with Eddie’s iPhone light. It was pitch dark. The shots are nice and bright from the camera flash. Bats flew around our heads

Some tunnels went deep into the hillside

Some tunnels were incredibly narrow

There were wasp or bee nests everywhere

Looking into the mouth of one of the nests

And in one doorway was this beautiful spider. Huge, maybe 3 to 4 inches across. It’s quite famous. Nephila clavipes has perhaps the strongest and finest of silks. It’s being experimented with for numerous applications. A thread is 6 times stronger than steel of the same diameter. Needless to say it’s venomous. It’s web was huge, filling the doorway. I didn’t disturb it.

Then we were off, to yet another destination, through the coastal forest, which looks like this

We got a short mud ride in as the road had washed out

To the mouth of the Chargres River where Fort San Lorenzo was built by the Spanish around 1587. Now the really good news is our pirate hero Henry Morgan, who has looted and burned to the ground every coastal Spanish fort we’ve visited so far, looted and burned to the ground San Lorenzo in 1670 despite being vastly outnumbered. This is really excellent news and if I get another bike I’m going to name it Henry. The river

The fort, the part that didn’t burn to the ground

It had a moat around it. Henry must have have looked at it and laughed.

Then we rode back to Fort Sherman and to the beach

It had been a very long day. In fact we didn’t make it back to Panama City until way after dark, exhausted.



2 Comments so far. Leave a comment below.
  1. Trine,

    Have you thought about stopping and spending some time in one place for a while? Just to chill out and experience the local life (a little closer than when you’re just passing through). Curious.

    • I spent a long time in Antigua!
      In the States I stayed in Maggie Valley NC for a week, then Junction TX for a week. Both were great riding towns with good people. They were good stops. Since then there hasn’t been the right mix of things anywhere that’s made me feel like staying for more than a couple of days. If what I’m doing isn’t bike-centric I feel like I’m not following the game plan, and being on plan makes me feel good.
      I’m stuck in Panama City for a while getting a few things sorted out though. Not happily.

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