An Oh No Start to the New Year


Rather early on the first day of 2013, we left Bocas del Toro, our home for the past three weeks or so. We were heading to Panama City where our friends, Ellie and Todd are about to fly in, as we speak. Ellie and Todd will be joining our funlovingliving adventures for the next few weeks. Okey, let’s not get ahead of ourselves!

We got on the boat from Bocas to mainland Panama at Almirante, where our van, Honey, had been parked. We found her just like we left her – A big relief (when your van is like your baby)!

Full of excitement of being reunited with our baby and with new adventures ahead of us, we hit the road! The roads were smooth, the tunes were good and life seemed all good.




After about an hour and a half drive, we decided to stop for a quick refreshing drink before embarking on the rather steep mountain pass over to the Pacific side and the Pan-American highway leading to Panama City. When we went to start Honey, she is not keen. Not at all. Our beloved van is completely dead and we are somewhere in random Panama where we do not want to be very long. Some friendly passer-byes come to help us. We all believe it is our starter that has given in. We have had some minor troubles starting earlier and took the van in to the mechanic in San Jose, Costa Rica, for this reason. They said all is good and we took their word for it. As we were now stopped, we regretted it! The friendly passer-byes got ahold of a local police officer who took up the job of finding a tow truck for us. We decided we wanted to go to David (on the Pacific side) rather than being stuck on the Caribbean side, where there really is not much and what is there is is sort-of shady. It started pouring rain and went from really, really sweaty hot to really quite cold in a matter of minutes. It rained like it only does in the tropics. Buckets and buckets at a time. Not quite the start of 2013 we had hoped for.

We waited and waited and waited some more. As it was starting to get dark, the truck was still not there and I was starting to get worried. What do we do if it doesn’t show up??

Luckily, we didn’t have to find out. The truck came just a little later, after having struggled across the mountain from David to us. Now he would have to do the drive back.




The drive we had ahead of us was, well, horrible. More than once did I think we could die, right now, right here, in Panama. The tow truck didn’t have much for headlights and what it did have were looking different ways. It was extremely foggy to the point where we couldn’t see anything ahead of us. It felt like we were driving in a bubble, except we weren’t! We were on a rather skinny road. I squeezed Kyler’s hand so hard I must have stopped the circulation. As we hit pot holes I let out little sounds, while trying not to, at the same time. In the side view mirror, we could see the van shifting it’s position. It was sketchy, scary, hot, cold and terrifying, all the same time. After a four hour drive, we finally made it to David! Ahhh, what a relief! After another hour or so of unloading the van off the truck, packing some essentials, looking for a place to sleep and unwind, we went to bed exhausted. Unfortunately, Ellie and Todd will have to do without us for the next day or so, as we sort out the van and eventually make our way down to Panama City.

Alright, it’s 7:00 am, we will make some breakfast before day two at the mechanic shop. Let’s hope we get this show back on the road!


2 thoughts on “An Oh No Start to the New Year

  1. Sally O'Byrne

    What a miserable start to 2013! Were you able to communicate with Ellie or will they arrive and be vainly looking for you? I once landed in Nairobi and my friend Joe was not there – that was the start to one of my life-long adventures. Best of luck to you two and Honey.

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