South America Blog

   This is the journey I have always dreamed of,  to ride my motorcycle across the Americas. 

   Follow me as I travel south from Texas to the tip of South America on my BMW GS.   

    Here's a view of the  Map 

Getting to Panama City

Approximately two hours after arriving in Cerro Punta, the rains started.  On my way to the village I noticed that many of the roads had washed away.  When I arrived at the hotel I learned that the rains had caused severe damage to properties and mud slides had caused three deaths.

The next morning I got up early to start a 350 mile ride to Panama City.  The rain was still heavy with no sign of letting up anytime soon.  So my journey started. I rode down the winding road with some spectacular vistas of the valley, despite the pouring rains.

Once I reached the Pan American highway, I headed south trying to enjoy the surrounding countryside.  About thirty miles south of the city of David, in the heavy rain, the GS suddenly died. It just quit without warning. I coasted to a quiet stop.  I had lost ignition to the motor. I immediately knew what the problem was.  The hall sensor or ignition trigger had shorted out from all the moisture in the air.  There are times that one can get lucky; because once the sensor dries, the bike will start.  However, due to the wet conditions, I knew that was not going to happen today.  Luckily for me, I have been carrying a hall sensor around with me for years, knowing that one day it would come in handy.  Today was that day.  My concern was that I was on the side of the road in the middle of the jungle in the pouring rain.  With no options, I started to break down the GS, hoping that the cars and lorries[MSOffice1]  could see me.  I have replaced many hall sensors in the past but always in a nice clean shop. This time I had almost no road shoulder and traffic was flying by creating mini hurricanes.  It took me approximately two hours to install the new hall sensor.  Better yet, the GS started right away.  I was afraid the GS would not start since it was pouring rain and the new hall sensor had gotten wet as I installed it.  But, I was back on the road.

In total it took me about six hours to reach Panama City.  I immediately encountered an issue – the main road into the city was closed, so I had to travel thirty miles out of my way and work my way back to Panama City.  I was very tired, hungry, and I had a bad sore throat.  I felt like my brain was starting to lock up.

I was trying to locate some friends and I just could not locate the building in which they were staying.  I asked several people if they knew the location of the building I was searching for, but it seemed that no one knew of it.  Finally, after an hour and a half of searching, I was able to locate their place.

What a day!