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Old 15 Jul 2005
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Darien Region

Just thinking about the idea of riding to the end of the road in Panama before shipping on to Columbia. I believe it is a beautiful region of Panama but wondered if anyone has any recent info on how safe it might be? What are the realisitic chances of something happening? Have thought of hiring a couple of guy{s to ride with us, is that a good idea?
Any thoughts on the matter much appreciated.

Chris
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Old 15 Jul 2005
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Hi Chris!

I rode a part of the road in January. I crossed one military check point. They take your Passport number. I wanted to visit Kuna Tribes in the area without any touristic things. I want as far as "Ipeti Kuna" ??? if I remember right.

The only menace until this point was the mosquitos with Malaria. I did not like to see peoples with tanks on their back spreading insecticides around. Everyday they shoot stuff in their "house" to survive???

They told me to leave the area before 5PM if I did not want to be the special meal of the day for the infected mosquitoes!

Good Luck!

Patrick

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Old 21 Jul 2005
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I rode my Honda XR650R to Yaviza (the end of the road) in 2001. The last twenty miles were very muddy, I barely made it through on the XR, and I helped push a couple of 4WDs on the way.

Yaviza is a nice small village with a restaurant and not much else for services. You can walk around the streets and over the foot bridge to the other side of the river where there are a few more small homes. You could probably hire someone to give you a boat ride up the river.
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Old 22 Jul 2005
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Thanks for the repies guys. Just t o update everyone or anyone who wants to go down as far as the en d of the road the low-down is.........

All the way from Panama City to Meteti the road is pretty good. As you get within 45kms of Meteti the road is good graded dirt or stone with a couple of mud sections but nothing that would stop anyone. The road further on from Meteti to Yaviza get progressively worse as you get closer to Yaviza. Its 51kms and the first 15kms aren´t too bad , even now in the wet season. From there on the road becomes mud and more mud like you wouldnt beleive. Without the panniers etc I got to within 12kms of Yavisa and no further. The road is hell right now. However, I´m riding and Africa Twin which is a big girl. Someone on a much lighter bike could get through but it would still be tough. The bottom line on the road is that it doesn´t matter if you get to Yaviza or not. Its one hell of an adventure and well worth struggling through 2 feet of mud for a long long way. I´d do it again!

As for safety....... currently the area is quiet but as you ride to Meteti talk to all the military guys at each of the checkpoint. They will advise on the situation and if it is bad they will say so or even strongly advise that you turn back. They are all human and helpful. Remember the situation down there changes almost daily so do ask. There are a few side roads (if you can call them that) off the PanAm down to Yavisa. I took a couple but didn´t get far. The locals advised that these roads are more dangerous right now. Finally, the mosquitos aren´t too bad at all but the area from Meteti onwards is rife with dengue feaver at the moment. Be careful.

Its all worth it.
Chris
PS. there is a good hotle in Meteti just after the military garrison on the left. Nowhere after that.
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