Friday, December 21, 2007



I am staying in a charming hotel, Posada Amon, at the intersection of Calle 5 and Avenida 9. The Posada is an old building, once a private home. The owner is correctly old fashioned in forbidding guests to bring women into the hotel. She doesn't approve of sex tourism. Nor do I. She warns me against walking after dark (her husband was assassinated last year). The owner of the bar restaurant where I chatted last night with the film maker insisted I take a cab back to the hotel, three hundred meters!

What else? The Internet connection is snail pace. Posting the previous post took three quarters of an hour. Getting into Hotmail took nearly an hour. I don't have this much patience. I will write once I am in the US and bring the BLOG up to date, Venezuela, Colombia, Panama.


I took the bus from Panama to San Jose, Costa Rica - my wife´s advice. She believes I need a break from the bike. The road is a serpentine climb through mountains and volcanoes. Reach the San Jose valley and you are in a permanent traffic blockage. The city is corrugated tin and razor wire. Ask if the city is dangerous and you are told, "Very dangerous..."
So why visit?
God knows. Sex tourism is high on the list. Immature mature visitors from the US balance on bar stools and suck on beer bottles. Over-painted women a third their age cling to their arms and laugh at jokes which they don't understand.
Last evening I was fortunate in finding an Iranian Frenchman for company, producer of educational films. He has lived in Los Angeles, California. He is an optimist. He believes that the voters of the US have recognised Bush type politics as the dead end of the wrong road, that the US will change, recover its liberal roots.
I have my doubts.
I doubt that the US has liberal roots.
The Founding Fathers were my fellow Brits and deeply conservative.
So were the leaders in the war for Independence.
They were racist. They were religiously intolerant.
Many were slave owners.

Monday, December 17, 2007


I am in Colon. Management at the Harbor Inn welcomed me literally with open arms and a free room in a hotel where prices have risen to where they should be: $35 for a double with a/c and a large bathroom with hot water. If you value safety, The Harbor Inn remains the best buy in Colon.
How was the voyage from Cartagena? Interesting.
The owner of the yacht was competent and entertaining. His help was a disaster: one of those charmless alcoholics that frequent the US yachting fraternity. You may have met the type. They retain a belief in their superiority as Americans while further damaging the already tarnished image of the United States. They believe and declare that all women are whores and are bewildered at being bereft of companionship but for that of their ilk - with whom they quarel perpetually when in their cups.
We lost our mainsail to a squall.
Our treasure then turned off the engine in the night and lost the key.
So, yes, perhaps we are lucky to have found the shore.
I head north tomorrow to catch a flight to New York from San Jose, Costa Rica. Christmas at my beloved daughter's home, time to sleep, rest my rear and catch up with the BLOG. Or so I thought. Now my editor has sent the page proofs for OLD MAN WITH A BIKE. She wants them returned by the 16th. Page proofs don't rate against the pending birth of a grandson.
So here is a Happy Christmas and prosperous New Year to my readers from a very fortunate and privledged Old Man.