Gatun Lake and Fortress San Lorenzo

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Today we started with a trip to the Tocumen airport and a visit to Girag Shipping. We arranged to bring the bikes back on May 1 for storage until the end of September, when we will come back to arrange the shipping to Bogotá.

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That done we decided to go Coast to Coast and rode over to the Locks at Gatun lake and then on to the ruins of the Spanish Fortress at San Lorenzo.

After a long somewhat rainy drive we arrived at the Gatun locks when a large tanker was in transit.

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What is really cool here is once the doors are closed and the vessel is raised in the lock you can drive across the canal towards the Atlantic.

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We sat along the shore and had a lunch break while the tugs guided several ships to the canal locks.

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Nearby are the coast and the Shelter Bay Marina. There is a USA military presence here and several Black Hawk helicopters. There is what looks like the ruins of a base too. You get a great view of Colon docks from here.

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Next we headed towards San Lorenzo and suddenly the road was just completely gone. There was a “desvio” of course.

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In 1502, Christopher Columbus discovered the Chagres River. Spain built Fort San Lorenzo at the river’s mouth from 1587 to 1599. In 1670, Henry Morgan attacked the fort left it in ruins. He invaded and destroyed Panama City the following year.

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For more see our ADVRider Ride Report Finding freedom

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