Ever since I started travelling in 2010, I never carried more than two surfboards in my board-bag, but this March I somehow ended up carrying THREE from Morocco to Madrid (by land and sea) and then from Madrid to Panama City (by air and land).
Even carrying only one board can be a big hassle at times. Carrying three was a real nightmare, especially when one of them was my wooden 5'8 Egg which weighed about 7kg by itself. Don't ask me why I did it. I could not sell any of them and, perhaps, I just wanted to break my own personal record of luggage-dragging.

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And I did break my personal record this time with all the three intact! What was actually stunning during my journey with the three lovers from Fez in northern Morocco via Madrid to Panama City was that I was very very sick. I nearly fainted a few times on my way as I had my joints aching, a dry cough, chills and a fever: my fever reached over 39 twice, which made me seriously think that "Did I finally get Malaria? Am I gonna die soon?" - considering the fact that I was bitten many times by mosquito while in Senegal.
It didn't turn out to be Malaria in the end, but it was definitely something viral and acute enough to cause such a concern. I still feel not very well as of today.

!!!!! Note !!!!!
To Dr. Juan Manuel and the nurses at Hospital 12 de Octubre in Madrid;
Thank you so much for saving me. Although I could not get the results of my second blood-test, I'm very positive that it was not Malaria as Juan told me. Without your help I couldn't have continued my journey. My sincere gratitude to you all.

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Anyway, Panama City is blazing hot as ever and it's my second time to visit this super tropical country.
Apart from recovering from the illness, I had one important thing to do before heading off to remote places in Panama for surfing. It was to send my wooden Egg back home in Japan.
Honestly speaking, it wasn't easy to make this decision and shipping my cute chubby Egg back home was like breaking up with a girlfriend.... I did think about taking her with me all the way from Panama to Mexico, but it just didn't seem practical at all because my main focus in Central America this time is to go surfing all those major spots that I surfed in 2011, plus many more different and unknown spots. Needless to say, I'll be travelling by public transport or taxis, no flying nor car rental.

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It took me a few days to find a good reasonable courier in Panama City. The Panamanian Post didn't have any good reputations amongst local people. UPS and DHL were costing me more than USD800. However, FedEx was offering USD420 for the shipment of my board. A deal was made!

Now one burden is off my shoulders, I have no girlfriend to take care of and I've got nothing to lose. I'm only hoping that my Egg will land in Japan without any problems and that it will arrive home with very little tax on it from the greedy Japanese customs.

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I got this in my fortune cookie at a Chinese restaurant the other day.
Yes, I will soon be crossing and surfing the great warm waters!


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