The highest bidder (Drive day 105 minus 14 years)

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1013d pnm pissed auctionWe are taking a detour off the Pan-American, winding through a peninsula called the Azuero. But we could be time traveling into 1950s American cowboy country. We stumble onto a cattle auction and vegetarian me is shocked to see that a side of beef on the hoof costs more than most Panamanians’ cars.

1013c pnm man talk

But its the bidding’s intensity, the scrutiny of heft, horn, hoof that is most unnerving. Not to mention kids glueing auction numbers onto the flanks of writhing, muscular animals that could skewer them in a heartbeat.

1013b pnm cattle auctionWhen we return to the camper, men are waiting to ask us about the stickers down the back of the camper we’ve collected in every country along the route. What seems ridiculously dangerous to them? Driving through Nicaragua.

Follow this bonus-material blog and ride along on a one-year road trip that inspired the memoir The Drive: Searching for Lost Memories on the Pan American Highway. On sale now. Get yours through the buy-the-book links at the bottom of the landing page on my website or here or here. Planning a road trip? Buy the audiobook here. Like The Drive’s Facebook page and tweet back at me @writerteresa.

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