San Blas Islands visit - BMW G450X Riders Forum & Registry



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  1. #1
    Richard230's Avatar
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    While I was stationed at Howard AFB in the Panama Canal Zone during the mid-1960's I took a group tour to the San Blas Islands, located in the Atlantic Ocean, north of the Panama Canal, not far off the coast of Panama. While I could not ride my 1966 Suzuki B100P there, I could take an DC-3 airplane ride to a gravel airfield on the mainland near the islands, then travel by dugout canoe to a larger motor vessel which took the tour group to several different islands to visit these interesting people, who at the time kind of had at least one foot in the past. No doubt things look a little different now. Anyway you might find this selection of some of the pictures that I took during the trip to be interesting.
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    Richard - Current bikes: 2016 BMW R1200RS, 2018 16.6 kWh Zero S, 2011 Royal Enfield Bullet 500 Classic, 2009 BMW F650GS, 2020 KTM 390 Duke, 2002 Yamaha FZ1 (FZS1000N) and a 1978 Honda Kick 'N Go Senior. 

  2. Thanks Runmyownlife, TheMeteor, IanA thanked for this post
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  4. #2
    notacop is offline The original Schwartz Wald Troll
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    Pictures of the Military excursions. I made the trek by train to England from Germany to visit a friend in the midlands. Went to Pamplona for the running of the bulls in 1968 when the statue to of Hemmingway was unveiled. Only I wasn't a camera guy. Funny how the minds recall is a bit less specific on details the camera lens records.
    Pamplona was a sleepy place 53 years ago compared to what it's become now. Like your islanders, the place probably isn't the same.

    What was the deal with the jeep? gone derelict?

  5. #3
    Richard230's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by notacop View Post
    Pictures of the Military excursions. I made the trek by train to England from Germany to visit a friend in the midlands. Went to Pamplona for the running of the bulls in 1968 when the statue to of Hemmingway was unveiled. Only I wasn't a camera guy. Funny how the minds recall is a bit less specific on details the camera lens records.
    Pamplona was a sleepy place 53 years ago compared to what it's become now. Like your islanders, the place probably isn't the same.

    What was the deal with the jeep? gone derelict?
    I was told the story of the jeep but I can no longer recall it. No doubt it was someone who tried to get to the coast during the dry season and just didn't make it. Or it could have been left over from an Army joy ride.
    Richard - Current bikes: 2016 BMW R1200RS, 2018 16.6 kWh Zero S, 2011 Royal Enfield Bullet 500 Classic, 2009 BMW F650GS, 2020 KTM 390 Duke, 2002 Yamaha FZ1 (FZS1000N) and a 1978 Honda Kick 'N Go Senior. 

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    Thank you for sharing the pics Richard. Interesting view into the local people and their lives. And I loved the gravel airstrip.
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  8. #5
    Richard230's Avatar
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    Here are a few more comments that I picked up during the trip from my memory: The way their economic system functioned was that most of the men worked for the U.S. military in mess halls and the like. They sent their pay back to the chief on each island who then used the money to take care of the women and children. At least that was the way it was back then, or so I was told. Any extra money was turned into gold jewelry and worn by the women and girls instead of sending the money to a Panamanian bank. I was also told that it was typical for at least one big storm during the year to overwhelm the islands and wash away all of the grass huts and any accumulated debris. Then the natives would return and rebuild their huts with vegetation from nearby islands that had not been damaged.

    I will toss in some more pictures of my trip.
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    Richard - Current bikes: 2016 BMW R1200RS, 2018 16.6 kWh Zero S, 2011 Royal Enfield Bullet 500 Classic, 2009 BMW F650GS, 2020 KTM 390 Duke, 2002 Yamaha FZ1 (FZS1000N) and a 1978 Honda Kick 'N Go Senior. 

  9. #6
    notacop is offline The original Schwartz Wald Troll
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