San Carlos, Panama

The past few days have been rather unusual.  Namely, the lack of hills!  Yesterday and today’s average speeds were 13.4 and 14.0 miles per hour, the likes of which haven’t happened  since the flat days along the coast south of Los Mochis last December.  It has still been hot, but fortunately the wind and clouds mean that I haven’t been sweating buckets.  In fact, for each of the past 3 days I’ve filled my two water bottles up and that has sufficed.

At the beginning of April in Antigua, Guatemala, Paul and I were looking at a map of Central America when he informed me that we had at least 1,200 miles to go until Panama City.  I was a little skeptical, after all, wasn’t Central America kind of tiny? I was honestly not looking forward to these 1,200 miles.  I didn’t know much about Central America and the places to visit, and the heat made me think I’d never make it.

Yet somehow we made it this far and are only 50 miles away from Panama City.  Lots of early mornings, sometimes up at 4:30 or 5, lots of time spent on the side of the road on a long uphill waiting for our heartbeat to slow down to a safe rhythm, lots of soft drinks (much more than usual).  It will be hard to forget the sweat, but there were highlights that made the past 2 months worth the effort.

Yet this isn’t only almost being done with Central America, this is actually the end of North America as well!  What next?  Some how get to Colombia (not Columbia, cyclist bloggers take note, misspelling, of geographical names in particular, is a pet peeve of mine, but I guess that is my problem!), by either boat or plane, but all that still needs to get worked out.  For now I’m just excited to be arriving in Panama City, where my high school physics teacher and his family live, and are letting me stay with them.  Should I still refer to him as “Mr. Worthington” or “Sir”?  Either way, Paul and I have an ongoing disagreement about a certain knot and its suitability for hanging hammocks, which I’m hoping can be tie broken (the disagreement, not the knot) by Mr. Worthington.

9 comments to San Carlos, Panama

  • Carissa

    Glad to hear you’re safely in Panama City and about to leave the continent! Hopefully you’ll make it back in time for my wedding next summer…

  • Andrew

    Just saw an article about you in the alumni magazine. It had been a while since I checked to see where you were. How selfish. It’s fun to know you! Happy ridding.

  • Linder

    Can Mr. Worthington take credit for inspiring you to study physics at North Park? If so I’d want to shake his hand and Linda would probably want to slap him.

    • Matt

      Yes Linder, Mr. Worthington can take credit for the interest in Physics! And I was a stellar student, so I’m not sure why you think that about Linda!

  • Scave

    hey matt! nice blog! try to drink some coconut water. very hydrating. :)

  • Ruth

    You have 27 gears? Also, congrats on crossing the divide again! Have you taken pictures on it each time you’ve crossed? Good luck on your last continent!

  • Karima

    whoooo South America!

  • hey matt,
    just wanting to give you a shout out. we are in medellin. arrived yesterday via plane. we will be leaving around sunday or monday. going to do some volunteer work tomorrow and maybe saturday if they are open. then we will do some sightseeing. today we are just getting our bike put back together and having a chill day. would be cool to meet you after several emails!
    belinda and roland.

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