Although there still is no single, connected highway to drive the length of Panama and into South America, National Highway #3 cuts across the country in the other direction. It traces the length of the Panama Canal and ends at the Caribbean city of Colon, were my parents launched our first crossing into South America. We try to find the port, on the off-chance of finding a safe, affordable crossing today. But the verdant jungle road dumps out into a traffic snarl interrupted by shirtless men jumping on cars, “negotiating” demands to leave you alone. That pledge we took that if either of us got a bad feeling about a place the other never questions it? Without a word, we turn around and head back into the safer jungle. A stop to watch tugs and container ships restores the Panama I remember – a lush sliver of wonders between two continents.
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 teresabrucebooks.com 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.