Fri 7th October
We woke up to some disappointing news today. Bob has been attempting to arrange our passage across the Darien Gap between Panama and Colombia for some weeks. He had found a 120’ German sailing boat, Stahlratte, that plies between Panama and Cartegena, can take up to 19 bikes and 22 passengers, and for about 700 dollars will take you, your bike on a four day cruise around the Islands, stopping for snorkelling on the reefs, BBQ’s etc and then depositing you in Colombia having completed all the necessary paperwork. Sound good. It did to us too, but unfortunately we heard today that although they have plenty of room for the bikes they couldn’t take us. Most of the rest of the morning was spent trying to sort out alternatives and it looks like we are going to have to take the more expensive and a lot less interesting or enjoyable route of flying the bikes and ourselves to Bogota. If you are looking for passage across the Darien Gap check out http://www.stahlratte.de/panama_cartagena_tours_en.html
It had been our intention to go off exploring the area but by the time we were ready to roll, time was getting on and it was blisteringly hot. No one felt inclined to don motorcycle kit so we wandered around Granada instead.
Granada was founded in 1524 by the Spaniard Francisco Cordoba and was one of the first European Cities in mainland Americas. The city relies almost entirely on tourism and consequently there is a stark contrast between those in the industry and the many others that eek out an existence on the periphery .
As we have seen in other cities, money has been pumped into the historical centre to attract the visitor.........
........ but just a hundred yards away much of the population still live in accommodation like this.
The 'Lago de Nicaragua' on the edge of the city, is more like a sea than a lake.