Happy New year to my ADV friends!! Thanks for joining me on this adventure.

Been having troubles with my knee and it has gotten worse. Just real painful to walk much, which is a real bummer as I want to explore around the places that I am stopping and enjoy the sights.

Frank and Petra were great and helpful about giving information about a doctor in Cartagena that I could go see. Have decided that I do not want to keep walking and cause more injury, so I will go when I get to Columbia. Will just have to see what they say. Difficult as I travel to get medical attention with the language barrier and not knowing how to find a good doctor orthopedic specialty. We will see.

Panama City on New Years Day was really empty and everything was closed down. But we found out that the Panama Canal Miraflores locks tourist center was open. The 4 of us grabbed a cab to check it out.

The visitor center is 4 stories, and they have observation levels to see the ships, a Movie on the history and building of this really important transit Canal for the world of shipping and cargo.

lots of people watching the ships pass through.

Pretty Amazing watching the ships align to the two waterways heading from the Pacific Ocean to the Caribbean …. it takes 8 -10 hours to complete a full pass of the canals. They operate 24/7….

Once the ships pull into the Canal they are hooked up to these special “tugs” that hold the boat in place as it moves through the locks.

The ships are huge up close…. fully loaded with goods.

Locks are the way they change the water height by 25 Meters.

As they continue on there way.

They pass miraflores, then into the lake and on to one of the next set of locks…..

Had to have a little snack and Petra was telling me to stay off my leg 🙂 Voice of reason was helpful 🙂

The Panama Canal has some serious additions being added to accommodate the Much larger ships that are now in existence that cannot pass through. The new canals (2) will be completed in 2014 100 years anniversary of the panama canal first opening.

Cargo and Passenger ships pass through. Mornings going east, afternoons going west.

Very cool to see the Panama Canal in action! almost 10,000 people work at the canal keeping it operating round the clock.

The city was very empty as we got back, and had to find a hotel restaurant as everything else was closed. Frank had some noises on his 1150GS and decided with some help to pull the final drive, grease the spines and se if that helped.

Had to improvise as we did not have the exact tools for the job. Needed some leverage to remove the side mounting bolts for the final drive. But after a couple fo trips to try to find “tools” we got it done!!

Found another place to get dinner, but the streets were empty as it was a holiday….. was sort of strange. James and I were all packed up with the bikes as we were riding out to Carti to meet the Stahlratte to get our bikes onboard. Will be interesting process……