After all that good news, what possibly could go wrong? What possibly could stop us from getting the hell out of Panama City after 20 long, sweaty, days? Well, it turns out, its long story.
We spent 3 sweltering days getting the truck ready, working to build the bed and to process the title paperwork. Let us be the first to say there was a lot of waiting around for the paperwork. All we wanted was to take Pablo for a spin on the weekend and to experience something more then just city in this country. Hell, we hadn’t even been to the canal yet!
In typical Panama fashion, the title and registration were not ready in time for the weekend. Honestly, the amount of trees, no wait, forests, that the bureaucracy in Panama requires to complete anything official…….but we digress. After some quick thinking our friends drew us up an authorization to drive around under their registration over the weekend. By mid afternoon on Saturday we were on route, our first taste of the canal, of the PanAmerican highway and of freedom! We cannot describe the exhilaration!
Pablo was purring down the highway, like a satisfied kitten, then 1 hour outside the city there was instantly a bad sound and we just as instantly overheated and shut down. Only after cooling down and refilling the radiator did we see one of the cooling lines into the turbo had popped. Not an exciting thing to see but after attempting a slow drive back into the city, our tails between our legs, we had to get a tow back. We might add that our two truck driver was literally insane.
Sunday AM, we get the call, the truck is ready. Once again, we are so excited, Pablo sounds good, looks good, and rides smooth. Lets get the hell out of this city! But Jefe Pablo, he really just wants to go where he wants to fucking go. You can’t make this guy do anything that he doesn’t want to do. He is el Patron after all, we are simply the drivers. We only made is 15 minutes this time before he started heating up and this time it was really no bueno. The mechanics determined that we have a serious issue – the engine had warped during the overheating.
So, here we are 20 days later. We have a brand new (refurbished) engine, and a deep seemingly endless hole in our budget. A new engine wasn’t exactly in the contingency fund. We are choosing to look at the positive side of things however. What if the engine had blown in Honduras? What if Procars wasn’t a phone call away? What if the motor blew when Brett returned back to Panama and not immediately before? There are a lot of good luck snippets in our bad luck story.
Brett flew back to Canada for 20 days, I was also working on export paperwork which would take two weeks, so this was the most opportune moment for this most unfortunate event. We are happy to report that as of April 30th – we are reunited in Panama and have both successfully left Panama City in Pablo.
Paperwork nightmare continues, but is that necessarily a bad thing? Now we have 2 weeks and a great ride to travel and explore Panama for real. Considering we have only experienced Panama City and the Ecolodge in Coronado, we think this forced adventure is a great turn of events so that we learn to fully appreciate the beauty the country has to offer.
So cheers to our first night in our humble abode, and cheers to two weeks of exploration!