Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Stahlratte

     After leaving Panama City we took a ride toward the Darien Gap then turned north onto a curvy mountain road toward the Caribbean through Cuna Indian Territory. We arrived at Carti where we were to meet the Stahlratte to load our bikes for passage to Colombia. There were five motorcycles to be loaded and a couple of no shows. The loading of the bikes went fairly smooth,  just a little nerve wracking when you see your motorcycle dangling in the air over the side of the boat. After the bikes and supplies were loaded,  we were shuttled out to the Stahlratte, then took a quick ride to a remote Cuna Indian Village.  The San Blas Islands are inhabited by the Cuna Indians.  They told us there are around 365 islands in this area.  Not all are inhabited but the Cuna Indians maintain control over the islands even though the Panamanian government owns them.  We were dropped off on this particular island where the Cunas set us up in their huts for the night as well as cooked us a typical Cuna supper.  After that we got to watch them perform some tribal dances and called it a night.  Next day we returned to the Stahlratte and had to wait for several more backpackers to arrive.  Once they showedup we took a short two hour ride to an area where there were several deserted islands where we anchored for two days.  Here we broke out the snorkel equipment as well as the rope swing off of the deck.  We all pretty much spent the two days in the water. The first night we had a party on the island with kabobs and a fire.  The second night was a lobster feast on board.  Once we took up the anchors it was a thirty hour shot across the water to Cartegena, Colombia.  Needless to say,  I was laid out for 28 of the 30 hours because I get seasick.  I had some dramamine and one of the backpackers gave me a patch but none of that helped much.  I got up just long enough to eat,  then back to the rack.   Luckily,  I just felt like puking but never did.  We finally landed in Cartegena where we have been for two nights.  The first night was to get our landlegs back the second day was to get our bikes off of the Stahlratte, clear customs and get insurance.  That little endeavor took until about five in the afternoon but we are all legal and ready to ride. 

Conor and Jay from Minnesota met us in Panama City for the ride out to the Darien Gap
The road through Cuna Territory towards the Carribean
More hills and curves
Our first view of the Stahlratte

Getting ready to load bikes and supplies

Gear and saddlebags off waiting to load
Safely on board...relax now.

Cuna Village on an island
Our hut for the night,  I could stand up inside

We wandered around the football field sized island getting kicked out of places we weren't supposed to be and getting turned down for pictures of the people.
Did you ever see "Slumdog Millionaire"?  Remember the outhouse over the river?  There are about thirty of them on the island.  Care for a swim?
        This is the "public" bathroom we got to use. We didn't.
Some of us opted to sleep on the dock because it was cooler than the huts,  that is until it started to rain.  After a long night on the island we were picked back up and ate a great breakfast on the  "Ratte". We definitely ate well on board.  Once the backpackers showed up, we took off towards the deserted islands for two days of fun in the sun.
This is the island where we had the party  
There were twenty three including the crew on this trip
Judy on the rope swing from the deck

My back up point and shoot happens to be waterproof so we tried it while snorkeling
Supposedly this is a flounder,  we thought it was some kind of strange creature we found.

Fresh lobster for dinner,  notice the lobsters don't have claws 

I climbed up into the crowsnest for some pictures, 

After we took off on the 30 hour seasick ride the wind picked up and the crew raised the sails.  I was sick as a dog but I did manage to come up and take a look at it. They just wouldn't fit in the frame of the picture

Finally, Cartegena is in site
Headed for land on the dinghy.  We met Tony back in Palenque, Mexico.

Captain and crew bringing motorcycles in on the dinghy.  Good luck unloading an 800 lb motorcycle.
Safely in Cartegena, Colombia

It took all day getting ou bikes imported and legal so we didn't get to do much yet.  Stay tuned for more from Cartegena.

1 comment:

  1. OMG I bet you were having a fit watchin that bike walk on water LOL Holy smokes, that had to be a jw dropper. It does appeat that they have done that a time or two. Happy sails,
    your sister