Warmshowers.org is a website that helps people traveling on bicycles connect with people willing to give them a place to sleep and a warm shower (and other amenities that you are able to provide like a kitchen or washing machine).
It started with the two young women who cycled from Mexico City to Panama City. They stayed with us for a couple days and it was fun and very inspirational. (Their story is HERE) Ever since, I have been thinking about bicycle traveling myself.
Then, recently, I just happened to bump into three other cyclists traveling through the area, and their story is HERE. I became even more inspired! I figure if I am seriously interested it would be helpful to meet others doing similar travels, there are hardly any warmshowers hosts in Panama, so I signed up.
A couple days ago I got a call from Bala who needed a place to stay. He is from India, lives in the UK, and started his travels in June in Alaska. His goal is to bike all the way down to the tip of Argentina. He spent Saturday and Sunday night here which gave us time to talk quite a bit, and he makes some fantastic curry! He said he has been staying with Warmshowers people all along his journey. He has met a variety of interesting people and never has had a problem with anyone he has stayed with.
Jeremy is expected in on Thursday. He was here while I was gone so he stayed with my friend Cedo. It sounds like they had a good time and she is looking forward to his return. He went to New York for a while and is snowed in at the moment, but hopes to make it out tomorrow night and return here to pick up his bike and continue his travels. He is from France and is biking around the world.
Tomorrow, Guillermo is expected to arrive here. He is from Argentina and is biking north to Alaska.
It is very interesting to learn about the community of bikers on the road. Jeremy spent Christmas in El Salvador with Bala. Bala knows the three who I ran into and has been talking with them on line. He says you meet other travelers all the time. Everyone talks to each other, shares information, and sometimes travels together for a while. That’s how the other three met, just out there on the road and they continued to travel together until Mike stayed in Panama City, and then Alain headed south in Colombia and Elif went east.
Who would have thought that there are so many people out there traveling on their bikes, or bicycle touring?! It is only a matter of time before I join them. I am working on getting stronger and getting my gear together every day. Meanwhile we sure are meeting some interesting people! I’m sure this will continue since there are only a few hosts in Panama, and only one other in Chiriqui.
If you want to meet some really interesting travelers, sign up for warmshowers.org.