09/27 2 records broken today. The mountains running down the middle of the country provided a healthy dose of never ending hills once I made the initial climb. 6124 feet is my new number to beat for elevation gained in one day. My Dad won’t like this but I broke my top speed record at 44.4 mph. Panama is only about 40 miles across in this area. I was within 12 miles of riding from the Caribbean Sea to the Pacific Ocean in one day.
The climb up into the mountains wasn’t bad but the hills after that were relentless. Fortunately traffic was light and there were a couple places to grab some water. I didn’t even stop for lunch so I’m looking forward to dinner tonight. A sign indicating the continental divide (3,600 feet) was at the top of the first big hill and the views back to the Caribbean Sea were amazing.
At about the halfway mark I arrived at Lake Fortuna. Not sure how much of it was natural since a massive dam held the water back but it was pretty nice looking. There were a few touristy shops selling all kinds of food/drink so I bought some candy. The surprise of the day was at a checkpoint. The guard actually asked to see my passport. It ended up being kind of a pain because my stupid Pacsafe money belt broke (both zippers) so now it’s kind of buried in my front pannier.
The weather cooperated all day except when I started the big descent. Rain came down in buckets right up until I found a cheap, little motel to stay at ($10). My detour into Chiriqui Grande for a hotel could have ben avoided. Not too far after the turn toward the mountains was a little motel. Oh well.
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