Monday, February 11, 2013

Ironman Panama and cycling the Islas Calzada de Amador

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We jump in a taxi and ask to go to the Causeway.
Here you agree on a fare BEFORE you get in the cab.
I am getting better at this I think?  Am I??
He says he has no idea what this is.
But eventually he understands it is Amador Corridor.
As we get partway the road are closed.
He explains we can't get through.
We sit in traffic for a while, but then the police move the barricades and we drive on.
The Panama Ironman is on today.
So the driver decides to drop us at the start of the Causeway or demand more $$.
So we jump out and walk around.
The Ironman is in the final 1/3.
We head over and watch them come through the finish line and cheer them on.
There are a lot of Americans in the race we notice.

We get free bottled water and a bottle of sunscreen in the handouts.

We have heard you can hire bikes.
We try to hire a moped but they refuse us.
My son is too big for the back seat part.
So we settle on a tandem bike.
Off we head across the Causeway to the first Island.

About half way across the first Causeway, the wind picks up.
We are building up up quite a sweat and so my son decides to strip off his top.

A classic moment is when we are stuck with all the bikers.
Normally the bikes go on the wide walkway, but that is where the Ironman is on,
so we have to share the road.
It is quite a laugh.
A biker grabs my camera and takes photos of us too - we all have fun.
Secretly I am dead scared he will whip off with my camera on his bike!

On and on we head.
I am now getting worried as we have to get back.

After much negotiation, I convince my son we will have to turn around
after we reach the first island.
We stop and have a break.
when we turn around, well we can barely pedal.
The wind is soooo strong.
My son gets out and pushes.
He actually was quite the gentleman and wanted to push me all the way back.
We run out of water.
It is mid afternoon and we haven't even stopped for lunch.
The snack pack is completely consumed.
We have ages to get back.
Along the way people throw water on us.
They cheer us on.
They give us Gatorade from the Ironman volunteer stalls.
They even send people out to help push us along.

We finally get there.
Over 3 hours of riding and I feel my age.
My back is absolutely in pain.
My son is about to cry with starvation he tells me.
So we head for a restaurant on the water.
Being Ironman they are busy.
They have fun out of most drinks.
I can't even get a soda - I have to have beer with ice!
It hardly touches the side.

We sit here until nearly dinner time.
We enjoy a pizza and cool down.
My legs are no longer wobbling.
I look over and he is nearly asleep eating his food.
We take away the remainder and go and find a taxi.
After 15 minutes we hail down a little taxi.
It has a bike in it and some other passengers.
But we squeeze in.
We agree on the fare.
I hate to say it, but I would have paid double just to get back.
The lady warns me not to walk the streets at night in the area we are staying in.
Casco Viejo - this is the new old city.
Not the old, old city - Panama Viejo.
So confusing!
I have no intention of walking the streets - or walking anywhere.
I just want sleep.

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