Panama: Bye bye 508erin!

At late morning we entered Panama. It was pretty easy at the border and after 2 ½ hours we were ready to continue. We were surprised of the good roads, because we hadn’t seen similar since travelling in US. Compared to other countries, where we had an average speed of 30 km/h, it was a really comfortable travelling. We passed the modern city David and found a nice campsite at the Playa Las Layas.

The beach was beautiful and the owner from California also runs a little bar. We prepared a barbeque at late afternoon and then we got settled at the bar until late at night. It was really fun and we liked this place, but we were busy to go on next morning. Close to La Chorrera we found a RV campsite, where we had enough space and the facilities to clean our van completely for shipment.

At 9:00 am we arrived at the shipment agency in Panama City to do some paperwork. Close to midday we did our last laundry in our travels. The dryer was useless and so we strained some clothes lines at the parking lot of the huge Albrook Mall. We had a date next morning at 6:00 am for the car inspection at the police station not far away. The security man allowed us to stay there over night for free. He was a nice guy and joined us for a few beers at night.

After two coffees we arrived punctual by the police station at 6:00 am. We took a ticket and then we had to wait until 8:00 for the inspection. An officer wrote down the chassis number and the control via Interpol started. They check, if the car is stolen or if there are outstanding tickets to pay. When everything is ok, you get after another six hours waiting one piece of paper, which is necessary for shipment.

Then we headed north and found a campsite close to Colon, where we will ship back our van to Europe in two days. Kali prepared the last meal in the van with the remaining goods at evening. Next morning we started to prepare everything for shipping (empty water and propane tank, packing backpacks, rearrange several stuff, …) Everybody was sad by thinking about the last actions with our 508erin in Panama. But we were glad to be fulfilled with so many great experiences nobody can take.

At the evening about fifteen people occurred and got settled at the pool near our van. They started to film a part of a music video and it looked really professional. We were talking a long time with the manager of the group, who was impressed of our van and the route of our travels. He invited us to be a part of the video, but we regretted. We only spent about two hours by watching the guys, which were performing for their video. It was fun and probably better than watching a movie.

It wasn’t late when we went to bed, because we had to be at the harbor early next morning. First stop was at the office of the shipping agency, then customs and after the drug and the damage inspection, one guy drove away with our van to the port. It was a strange situation to say farewell to our van. Good bye 508erin! 🙁 See you again in Europe!

When we started our travels, many people had doubts about the functionality of our 34 year old handmade motor home. After about 33.000 km in North and Central America with roughest roads, terrible heat, river crossings and much more strange situations, we were glad to say, that we (nearly) never had problems. Simply good old German quality! We were sure that our baby deserves the second Oscar for Lifetime Achievement! Thank you for riding us on the biggest trip of our life!