99 Days to Panama: An Exploration
of Central America by Motorhome, How A Couple and Their Dog Discovered
this New World in Their RV (Paperback)
Amazon Customer Reviews<home> Average Customer Review: Number of Reviews: 9
With great sadness, tonight, I will finish
the book by the Halkyards. My husband and I were thinking of making the
Mexico to Panama trek with our dog and were reticent but now after
reading the book, we have changed our minds and are planning the
Thanks to the Halkyards for de-mystyfing the journey and thank you
for such a mellow read. I recommend this book to anyone venturing into
Central America. I hope that there might be a follow book book.
I enjoyed reading John's and Harriet's
adventure so much that I couldn't put it down and was sorry when it
ended. Aside from that, 99 Days to Panama is full of details of what to
expect when traveling by road throughout Central America. I think
anyone who enjoys traveling will enjoy reading about their experiences.
I hope to read about more of their travels in the future!
have to agree with nearly everything the other reviewers say: This is a
surprisingly fun read, an enjoyable armchair travel guide and as a
bonus there's plenty of hands-on information about border crossings and
other details of travel by road in Mexico and Central America. There
are color photos on nearly every page, an unexpected treat. Most guides
that cover the region don't offer much about car travel, and the few
that focus on it (the Pritchard book for one) are pretty awful.
What a wonderful story. It was beautifully written with great detail.
The authors go into great detail about what to expect.
My only concern with the book is that they did not visit the larger
cities of the region which would have been helpful for tips.
A real treat for the armchair
traveler!, June 3, 2005
I simply loved "99 Days to Panama: An
Exploration of Central America by Motorhome" by Dr. John and Harriet
Halkyard. I spent a whole weekend with the warm and friendly couple in
the pages of their surprising book and felt as if I had taken the
vacation with them myself. The book is charming and enchanting and hard
to put down. This is why I read travel books!
It reads like letters from a friend. Harriet seems to be doing the
writing, and I liked her instantly. She doesn't skimp on her advice,
telling us what towns to avoid, how much bribe money you'll need, how
much time will be wasted if you don't have the proper paperwork and
even if you do, and how to avoid getting robbed. A general map of the
couple's trip can be found in the front of the book with more detailed
maps in the appendix, so you can follow along at all times. Not enough
travel books do this. And there are color photographs on almost every
It's a lot of fun. Their adventures include serving as an ambulance
for a local family, riding on a boat through the Panama Canal, cave
tubing in Belize and hiking through the tops of trees in a rainforest.
As they drive through towns with curious names like Chichicastenango in
Guatemala and Double Head Cabbage in Belize, the respect of the
Halkyards for the local people and for fellow travelers they encounter
comes through. They make friends easily by giving out candy, balloons
and soccer balls to the kids and vegetable seeds and pens to the
Harriet engages us in her enthusiasm for the people and places she
visits, and she really has quite a way with words. In Honduras: "The
scenery we passed through was magnificent. Every turn presented new
dramatic sweeping vistas. I could stand and turn in a circle and be in
awestruck wonder in each direction." In Costa Rica: "The narrow damp
dirt trail sliced through the ultimate jungle that reached so high it
was as though the clumps of green at the top were in a different
world." At the Blue Hole in Belize: "It was a magical place. I could
imagine an ogre hiding in the rock crannies, or good fairies living
among the ferns and mosses on the cliff edges."
Besides being a fascinating memoir, the book is a very good read.
And it's a must-read for anybody who wants to go to Central America or
anyone who wants to travel in an RV. A lot of useful information is
included in the appendix, where the authors list all their expenses,
their secret hiding places in the RV, gas prices in different
countries, what to take along, how to travel with a dog, language
schools, information on motorhome maintenance (finding dump stations,
water, electricity, security, communications), camping places,
directions with GPS coordinates and much more. Their Web site is
January 14th of 2003, John and Harriet
Halkyard and their dog, Brindle, hopped in their 22 foot-long motorhome
and set off for Central America and a world of sleepy villages,
tropical lakes and warm, deserted seashores at sunset. A world
populated with dozens of vividly drawn characters: policemen, farmers,
shop keepers, people they helped out and people who helped them.
Harriet's clean prose, rich in detail, quickly involves us into the
joys, wonders and travails of their journey. Dr. Halkyard, a renowned
marine engineer, created the invaluable appendices. Part One discusses
trip preparation, expense budgets, border crossings, things to take
with you and even dog permits. Appendix Two is a gazetteer of camping
places, with detailed maps for each country and pictures and
descriptions of each location.
Beautifully designed and profusely illustrated with color
photographs throughout, 99 Days in Panama is a treat for any travel
reader interested in the road to Panama. However if you actually intend
to motorcamp through even a few of these countries, this book is easily
worth twice its price. The Halkyards have created a rare masterpiece of
a guidebook, engaging to read yet ultimately destined to end up
dog-eared and coffee-stained in the glove compartment of your RV as you
roll into Panama City.
An engaging travel memoir of
one couple, March 6, 2005
Days to Panama: An Exploration of Central America by Motorhome is an
engaging travel memoir of one couple and their travels from a Mayan
church to an off-the-cuff school presentation in El Salvador to
paddling upstream in Belize. Beautiful full-color photographs on every
page illustrate this absorbing account relating practical advice on
everything from how to travel in a motorhome with a dog to clear
directions for prime RV camping spots to staying safe on an
extraordinary adventure. A vibrant travel essay and an especial
treasure for armchair travelers.
Full of practical info and
inspiring detail..., March 1, 2005
as you read this book, you'll feel like a friend is showing you photos
and maps while telling you about an amazing trip through Central
America. The text is full of personal adventures. The photos and maps
are inspiring to the real or armchair traveler. On the practical side,
the authors even give you some maps with GPS coordinates. Good luck
trying to find this info elsewhere! Very practical and fun to read.
This is a great read if you are an armchair
traveler or if you are an intrepid RVer with intentions to travel in
Mexico and Central America. If you are the latter, you can fearlessly
cross the border toward your own adventure using theirs as a guide.
Reading this will encourage many RVers to head south and explore what
our neighbors have to offer. If traveling in your RV in the US has lost
its luster, this may be your next adventure.
There are great little stories embedded throughout the narrative; I
dare you to read it without chuckling or gasping aloud.