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Monday, October 31, 2005
The Diary: Wednesday 5 October 2005 to Wednesday 12 October 2005

Wednesday - went to the BMW dealership for a press and TV presentation about our trip. Then to the SOS Childrens Village, a charity that Kevin and Julia raise money for. Our group presented over 2,000 dollars. Toured the village and met the children. Fascinating work.

Thursday - took bikes to the cargo airport for their flight to Ecuador. Removed mirrors, screen, disconnected batteries and drained fuel. Kevin dealt with lots of paperwork for us but it takes ages as there is only one person doing the airway bills and they make mistakes with the VIN numbers! We hopped into a taxi back to the hotel. It had been rescued from the scrapyard the day before . . . or so it appeared!

Friday - day off to explore Panama City. Lots of no go areas. Traffic and fumes are horrendous. Took all our clothes to dry cleaners. He said he could smell them from ½ mile away! Group meal at night at a local restaurant with Panamanian dancers.

Saturday - visited Panama Canal today. SOS Childrens Villages took us out in their minibuses. Went to Miraflores lock and visitor centre. Watched a ship go in the lock and come out. Very interesting.

Sunday - Kevin told us our bikes had flown and were already in Quito. We went to the airport today and caught our flights to Quito. South America!

Monday - its got to be a world record. GlobeBusters cleared 13 bikes through Ecuador Customs in just one day! Collected the bikes late that afternoon. Pouring with rain and had to get the bikes back to the hotel in rush hour traffic, but feels great to be back on the bikes.

Tuesday - Took bikes to BMW for servicing and more new tyres. Lots of unsafe areas in Quito. Lots of security and armed guards, even at BMW and the hotels.

Wednesday - Visited the equator today. The owner of the hotel has a Ducati and he led us there. The equator is only about 15 miles south of Quito and has a huge monument to mark the spot. That afternoon prepared the bikes to leave Quito the next day.

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