Nicaragua to Panama


So you find yourself at an overly guarded airport, a crowded station, at some dirty docks or in a taxi’s rear seat with the world and a bag by your side. And again you are moving forward, leaving something behind to go elsewhere. Means of transportation become an important part of your life when you like to get around.

Recently I spent a short month in Central America. Rental cars, powerboats, airplanes and buses brought me and my girlfriend from place to place.

It was a rainy afternoon on a small Nicaraguan island in the Caribbean Sea when we spontaneously decided to join the illustrious crew of the Fishers Hornpipe, a 38 year old sailing boat on the journey to Panama. Drifting through blue waters accompanied by playful dolphins came close to the romantic picture many people have in mind when thinking of the Caribbean. So we left Little Corn Island, enjoyed the time aboard and cruised south to enter Panama at Bocas del Toro.

A few days, boat rides and kilometers later we immigrated to Costa Rica to spend the last week of the trip at Playa Cocles. Accommodated at a family run guest house a stone’s throw away from the beach we basically just ate, surfed, read and slept. To explore the coastline and nearby villages we decided to rent bicycles. Riding the bike to get coffee in the mornings, slowly cycling along empty beaches, pedaling in the shade of palm trees and watching my girlfriend’s smile every time she overtook me stirred up a pleasant and not less liberating feeling. I haven’t been enjoying this for quite a while. The last time I didn’t use any motorized vehicles for a whole week was too long ago.

Living in the middle of Europe leading a western lifestyle my carbon footprint is already oversized. Add my travels and it gets even bigger. Although it won’t be considerably reduced by a few days of riding a bike, I decided I want to have this feeling more often.

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