Sunday, December 14, 2008

Waiting for the Ship

We are still in Panama City, but our vehicle will be shipped to Colombia on Wednesday, December 17. This means, we’ll drop it off in Colón on Tuesday, then fly to Barranquilla, where we will receive it on Thursday or Friday. From there, we’ll proceed via Cartagena to Medellín, where we will unload the camper and then head to Bogotá for Christmas with Marcela’s family.
Our enjoyment of Panama City is severely hampered by noisy traffic-chocked roads, the day-time heat and humidity, the lack of sidewalks, and our unwillingness to subject our car and ourselves to this traffic unless absolutely necessary. Still, Marcela’s friend Maria has given us road tours through the city last Sunday and Monday (Mother’s Day Celebration), when we visited the early Spanish ruins “Panama Viejo” (old Panama), which were destroyed by the pirate Morgan; “Casco Antiguo” (colonial Panama) with its narrow streets; and of course the Canal.
While arranging the vehicle transport to Colombia, we happened to meet the German couple Gabi and Rainer, who have been traveling since 2001. That was lucky, because the four of us banded together, which made obtaining a necessary 1-page document a bit less of a nightmare. Gabi and Rainer drive a purpose-built expedition vehicle based on a MAN chassis with their own custom-designed interior; it’s an impressive sight.
Right now, the arrangements for our arrival in Barranquilla are proceeding nicely with the help of Marcela’s brother and cousin, who have experience in maritime shipping and hotel accommodations respectively. We’re ready to leave here, and we are looking forward to our first update from Colombia!
As a teaser, the children of the “Institución Educativa Juan N. Cadavid” in Itagui, who have followed us since the start, sent us photos of Medellín’s Christmas lights, which are world famous. Just have a look at this... there are many more photos on the internet. We’re looking very much forward to getting there.

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