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  #1  
Old 24 Dec 2010
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Darien gap, how to make it through?

Hello, just trying a route planning. How can I make it through with motorcycle? Are there any directions from Yaviza towards Colombia by land? Any problems with authorities, bandits or something else except mosquitos, snakes, gorillas and the other jungle stuffs?

Alex

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Old 24 Dec 2010
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Maybe you should read this

Darien gap - Lonely Planet travel forum


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Old 25 Dec 2010
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Ask Helge of 10 years on two wheels.
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Old 25 Dec 2010
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ok, thanks. it seems delusion. still no roads there. it remained only to decide between the sailboat or cargo ship.
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Old 25 Dec 2010
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Thanks Redboots,
that is a intresting link.
A must read for anyone thinking of passing the darien gap!






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  #6  
Old 25 Dec 2010
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a while ago, and by bicycle, but interesting:

Crossing The Darien Gap By Bicycle Ian Hibell
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  #7  
Old 26 Dec 2010
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When I was down there, a buddy and I spent some time researching exactly what it would take to cross the Gap on foot. We have a high danger tolerance, and I'm always deeply skeptical of advice that seems to be written for the prototypical dumb tourist.

Nevertheless, after talking to a number of locals (including some that volunteered to guide us) and spending some time in a couple Darién villages south of Yaviza, we decided against the trip.

The first thing is that the danger level varies considerably with time. The FARC is not nearly as strong as they once were, but they're getting desperate - in the previous two weeks of my visit, they had crossed into Panamanian territory twice to hold up general stores. Desperate, hungry people with guns. But that was two years ago - it might be more quiet now.

We had a fantastic time going into the jungle by boat on two occasions; one a couple hours in to a village that was throwing a big party, and another about four hours in to Union Choco where we were a guest of the regional judge (who we had met at the party). Unfortunately the morning after our first night in UC (staying in the hut that Trujillo used to use when he helicoptered into UC "to think"), a couple Panamanian soldiers knocked on our door at 6am and informed us that they had orders to "take us to Yaviza". No more information, the judge had no idea what was going on, and phone calls to Yaviza (from the single phone in town) could shed no more light on the subject.

When we got back to Yaviza, we found the Panamanian army mobilizing in secret - they were basically starting a war and didn't want us in the way. UC was pretty far from the front line but apparently there was a CIA advisor present who didn't want any Americans seeing him. Shrug.

So... this is how it is. If you try to cross the gap, you have to hide from *everyone* - the FARC, the drug smugglers, the Panamanians, and hell, maybe even the CIA. It might be super dangerous, it might be just mildly dangerous, but there's no way to tell until there are guns pointed at you. It just wasn't worth the risk.

I will say, though, that we had a fantastic time going to Darién villages. It really feels like the wild west down there; a strange mix of huts on stilts, topless natives, cockfights, and haggling over how many gallons of gasoline it will take to get upriver. One of the highlights of my year on the road. Just go to Yaviza and ask what's going on. If you're lucky you can catch a cheap ride on a boat hauling ice or .

Jeff
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  #8  
Old 26 Dec 2010
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I have friends who walked the Darien in the late seventies. Things were different then. I don't know anyone who'd try it now, much less with a motorbike.

There is a truism in adventurous activities which states that no matter how clueless you are, you get away with most stuff you do, most of the time. It's the small percentage which is worrisome. If there's a 95% chance you'll survive with only minor injury or indignity, is this an acceptable risk? If you do it and survive, does that mean it's ok to do it again and again because it's obviously safe? Does that mean it's ok to go on the internet and proclaim it safe, because after all you did it and lived to tell the tale?

I've done lots of 95% safe stuff in my life. Personally, I find that the 5% possibility that I won't make it home looms rather larger than it used to, and I've learned to play it a lot safer than I used to. YMMV.

Edit to add: none of this is meant as a criticism of the preceding post. I'm just jealous.

Mark
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  #9  
Old 27 Dec 2010
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new airline

that may be of interest. I haven't called so I don't know if they take mc and how much.
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Old 28 Dec 2010
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Build yourself a boat powered by your motorcycle.

YouTube - fourstrokesofluck's Channel

A good read full of useful information: Amazon.com: Adventure Travel In The Third World: Everything You Need To Know To Survive in Remote and Hostile Destinations (9781581603811): Jeff Randall, Mike Perrin: Books

daryl
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  #11  
Old 29 Dec 2010
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Usually I live in third world country The only difference is climat.
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Old 29 Dec 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Rubtsov View Post
Usually I live in third world country The only difference is climat.
While the book has a third world spin, the tips and information can be used anywhere.

daryl
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  #13  
Old 30 Dec 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dlh62c View Post
Build yourself a boat powered by your motorcycle.

YouTube - fourstrokesofluck's Channel
I saw these guys bikes in Panama City. They were completely trashed. But what a story!
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Old 30 Dec 2010
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Passport Stamp.....

When I was down there (we crossed by boat - I recommend the STAHLRATTE -amazing boat, amazing crew, which you want when someone is winching your bike out of a canoe and onto the deck over pure ocean.....if your bike sinks there, no insurance company has got your back......) we heard of a guy who had walked the Darien Gap........you're right, the danger left has been greatly reduced as far as communication, hostile soldiers/rebels/etc.....but there is no way to stamp into either country legally after crossing the Darien Gap by land, so even if you make it, the first official who looks at your passport is going to send you back (by air, at your expense) to stamp out of the other country......so the chance of arriving alive has increased, the chance of arriving LEGALLY and getting to stay has decreased.
Take the Stahlratte. You'll thank me.....
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