All roads lead to Girag

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Now back to Panama City AGAIN!

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First we have to get back to the mainland so we had to wait for the ferry until 4 pm, which is of course very inconvenient as we will have to stay in Almirante again.

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They load us like a jig saw puzzle and we ended up sealed in. The nice thing about the delivery guys is they off sell their wares so there are lots of snacks for the 2-hour ride. This huge diesel delivery truck got stuck half way up the ramp to the ferry, as there was no traction. They needed to rig up a ramp system with pieces of wood in order to get him on. This boat travels so slowly there is not even a wake. The US coastguard was in town too.

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We were really dreading the hotel that we stayed at in town near the ferry, but luckily there is another somewhat better option at the other side of town and there is a not bad Comida China there too. The ride back to Santiago over the mountains was amazing this time in the sunshine.

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We headed back to the Vista Lago eco-resort where we had met Gino and Fiona. The “hiking” trails are well marked by colored signs or painted rocks and trees. There are some dangerous looking plants, but we did not see any of the other local poisonous creatures.

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Now for the last time back down the Pan-Americana to Panama City and again the police radar is amazingly every 5 km or so. Be warned do the speed limit. After 600 km in two days in 35 plus heat we are hot and tired. Luckily for us we arrived into the city on a holiday again so there was NO traffic.

We cannot say enough about the great service we had at Panama City BMW. This dealership is brand new and spotless. Roberto the Service Manager speaks perfect English and is a super nice guy. The fit us in without any hassle at all.






It was another very sunny and hot day in Panama when we headed to Tocumen. The traffic in the city is insane. The toll on the Corridor Sur was well worth the 30 min verses 75 min it takes to go the 18 km on the libre, but the into town side of the highway was packed.

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Once you get to the Airport you head to the Cargo terminal. There is a fair amount of road construction on the road that circles back around the far side of the airport. You will eventually see the security check point. Here the official basically just wants to know what your business is at the cargo terminal, which is cancelling your temporary permit and shipping the bike.

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You can see the blue sign that points to Girag going to the right. Driving down this road a few minutes you will see the first building with the cover over the road where you check in with the aduana.




They will tell you to go to Girag and return with the paperwork for the bike.



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Proceed past the second covered area towards the main cargo area. Follow the signs to Girag, which is ahead and to the right hidden behind the trees and trucks.







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We were storing the bikes here for the next 5 months, so we drove them into the lot for the official to inspect. Then they will be moved into the bonded warehouse. We will return to arrange shipping at the end of September. They want 100$ per month per bike, which is 40 less per bike then the Tocumen Storage company next door. Ingrid will check you in and will want to see your passport.

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The official will check the bikes and document any damage or scratches. He will want your passport title. He made his own copies. There are some other toys here. He then hands you the Girag registration paper to take back to the aduana where you started. Inside there is an older lady to process your permit cancellation. She was so excited to get our sticker for her collection.

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Then the sad part we had to part with the storage fee. They said we could pay when we came back, but we decided to pay now as we had the fee agreed on and were not sure what they would say in 5 months and we will have to pay for the shipping then too. With the bikes stored and unloaded we have our stuff to head home.

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There are only two airport hotels near Tocumen and wow they are not cheap, but they are nice. We stayed at the Riande which was very chic.

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for more see our ADVRider ride report Finding Freedom.

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