Pretty memorable trip. I'll be posting more photos and thoughts. Here are a few to whet your appetite.
The trip started with a six-country bus marathon over three days. It truly tested me physically and mentally. This is sunrise at the Costa Rica-Panama border. I have not seen many sunrises, but this is definitely up there as one of the most beauteous.
The ultimate goal of this trip was to reach the southern terminus of the North American portion of the Pan-American Highway. This is literally, literally, the end of the road. Whether you're in Edmonton, Boston, Oakland, or Texas, if you kept driving south, you would end up here.
And I touched the Darien Gap! On the left is Yaviza, where the highway ends. Once you cross this footbridge over Rio Chico, you arrive at the beginning of the Gap. Indians harvest plantains, go five hours in those little dugout boats, and sell them in Yaviza. That boatload of plantains you see on the left will be bought by a middleman at the harbor for $100.
After my bus trip, I spent a couple of days in Panama City. I saw two boats, including this Panamax LPG tanker, cross the Miraflores Locks.
On my last day, I took a train from Panama City (Pacific) to Colon (Atlantic). It took just an hour and four minutes. The track parallels the canal. This is the Gatun Lake portion of the canal.