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)
by John Halkyard, Harriet Halkyard

Amazon Customer Reviews
Average Customer Review:
Number of Reviews: 9

Tonight is the night, May 8, 2006
Reviewer: Anne M. Carberry "Ready to Retire" (NC) - See all my reviews
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 adventure.
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.

Share the adventure!, October 15, 2005
Reviewer: S. Cook (California, USA) - See all my reviews
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!

Not Just for RVers!, August 23, 2005
Reviewer: Belize Traveller (North Carolina) - See all my reviews
I 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.

--Lan Sluder

Central America information, August 23, 2005
Reviewer: Jonathon J. Ward - See all my reviews
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
Reviewer: MLPlayfair (Ravenna, OH) - See all my reviews
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 page.

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 adults.

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 www.brindlepress.com.

A Rare Masterpiece, May 11, 2005
Reviewer: Timothy J. Barger "Publisher, Selwa Press" (Vista, CA United States) - See all my reviews
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
Reviewer: Midwest Book Review (Oregon, WI USA) - See all my reviews
99 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
Reviewer: Digital Dreamer "D Squared" (San Diego) - See all my reviews
Overall, 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.

A Great Read, January 26, 2005
Reviewer: Colleen A. Regan "Kathe and Colleen" - See all my reviews
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.