24th January 2004
Well here it is guys, the first
We have cast segments in the first two of the four
travellers and will have the other two cast by the end of this
week. After that we are on our way and I will book my return
ticket for the end of August with a bit of luck.
Still a few hurdles to cross yet but so far
all of the toys are working as planned. - Regards Tim
Pittaway '88 S4
8th October 2003
Check out this photo of the
heavy lift of our second form traveller. Two down two to go.
Just need to get them working now and build a deck. Each
traveller is 400 Tonne. - Regards Tim
Pittaway '88 S4
1st September 2003
This is a link to the video camera recently
installed by MOP in the West Side of the project. http://www.mop.gob.pa/video/video.htm
11th August 2002
I have been in Panama almost three months now and Sydney feels a long way
away. I am now almost fully set up and have my own apartment, phone, 4WD
etc. and can generally get about the place without getting lost.
Panama is great and there is a great selection of restaurants and
things to see and do. Things are not really cheap as everything is in US$
but you have to live so you tend to stop trying to convert. I have tried
heaps of good cigars, good wine, good food and have managed to stay well
away from the nightclubs which abound here. You must either get smarter
with age or just realise how hard it is to earn a quid and how quick it is
to spend it in joints like that.
bridge has had its problems and has been beset by delays due to lack of
design from the client which is the Ministry of Planning. We still only
have three approved for construction drawings which are all for earthworks
so we are charging into that working 24 hours, 7 days a week. Hopefully
they will get themselves sorted out quickly to enable us to continue with
major piling for the tower foundations. All of our piling equipment from
Germany has been on site for months.
location of the site is very impressive. It is situated about 30 km from
Panama city along the line of the canal. There is dense jungle on each
side and you feel that it is such a shame to have to clear it. There is
plenty of wildlife including one 2 m crocodile that lives in a little pond
beside the road on the way into the site. The whole site along the canal
is a security zone so the general public never get the opportunity to get
in and have a look. It is fascinating driving around on jungle tracks in
the 4WD and driving up hills to get a great view up the canal. The ships
are huge and when you see them between the trees you could swear that they
are cruising up a jungle river.
I have read a lot about the construction of the Panama canal and being here
on the spot gives you a great appreciation of what was achieved at the
turn of the century. The French lost 22,000 men during construction and
the Americans around 4,000.
This enormous toll was mainly due to malaria and yellow fever,
both of which have been pretty much eradicated in this area (thankfully
or I would be on the next plane home). The yanks discovered that the
humble mozzie was the carrier and subsequently dealt with the problem.
Panama is currently in a bit of a recession as the USA left Panama
completely in 99 under the terms of a treaty signed in 77 aimed at handing
complete control of the canal over to Panama. It was a gradual wind down
but it is a pretty big hole in the economy when 80,000 Americans just
leave the joint. It is rare to even see an American tourist over here now.
Imagine all of the small service industries that surrounded the American
administration and military bases. They had control of an area called the
Canal Zone which was about three miles each side of the canal for the full
length. There are abandoned bases, admin buildings and workshops
Enough of history. My family is well and the kids and Huey have gotten
used to me being away. I manage to call every day and email is great for
quick communication. Hope that you and all the gang are well also. I visit
the site now and then to stay in touch.
miss the 928 and really wish I have it when I go on Sunday drives up the
coast to the beach areas. My old Hyundai Galloper 4WD just is not quite
the same and is totally puffed at 120 k. Having said that the roads here
are just not made for performance cars. The potholes are huge and when it
rains heavily (which is almost every afternoon) roads flood everywhere.
The rims of our low profile tyres would just be mangled in no time. I have
been in normal sedans with the water coming in over the door sills so I am
thankful for the 4wd. Some of the road deviations are just through mud.
Bring on the Cayenne.
There are a few Porsches over here but you could count them on one
hand. I have seen about three 996ís two Boxters and a brand new Turbo.
There are a few older 911ís but again I have only seen about three,
which were all pre 964ís. There was one 944 and sadly no 928ís. As you
might have guessed there are some seriously wealthy people here and the
gap between rich and poor is a gaping chasm. I notice that there is a
Porsche dealership here but this is definitely not the place to buy a
second hand vehicle.
Geelan from Autohaus Hamilton is doing a great job of looking after mine
and I am grateful to him for taking time out to do it. It is definitely
way over and above the call of duty. Come to think of it those guys have
really provided a complete service for me from the day I first gave them
the car to maintain back in 99. Hope the business continues to grow.
Unfortunately I do not have internet at home yet and at work I always
get too busy to sit and write. This one is coming to you as I sit at work
on Sunday. (I generally do half a day most Sundays and Saturdays are a
full 11 hours) We have great cable access at work (really fast) and a
pretty sophisticated internal network with our own servers, hard firewall
etc. Things will get really fancy when we move out to the site office,
which is currently under construction. Here we will need to set up a
series of microwave dishes to service all of our needs. Our really big
requirement is to be able to send and receive AutoCAD drawing files and
images which can get pretty big.
There is heaps to see and do over here, I just need to fit in the time
to do it. I have already been surfing (my standard is extremely limited)
and might even get a board custom built. There is heaps of historical
stuff going back to the Spanish times and endless nature stuff like jungle
Enough for now, regards to you, Jacky and all the gang of Landsharkoz.
Tim Pittaway, White '88 S4
Bilfinger Berger AG
Sr.Project Engineer Construction Operations Segundo Puente sobre el Canal
(reporting from Panama for Landsharkoz