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  #1  
Old 27 Nov 2007
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Exclamation gatogato missing in Panama... does anyone have news???

I just got this message this morning:

Hello,

I work with Geoff Tayner's (gatogato) father in Des Moines, Iowa and they have been unable to contact him for quite a few days now. I was wondering if you had anymore info than we have right now. It seems that it has been over 9 days since the last contact and he was to be taking a ship to Columbia. Do you think you could ask around and maybe find out some info? His parents are pretty worried.

We are hoping he is fine and just doesn't have access to internet. Please let us know if you have any info. Thank you.

Derrick



Gatogato stayed with me in Nicaragua a week. he is a 23 y/o who was traveling on the cheap side and taking several risk that where not necessary. the one that comes to mind is him sleeping outside of Managua at a gas station with no guard on the bed of a pick-up truck

His website was last updated on the 12th of November. last i heard was that he was looking for a boat ride to Colombia and had heard of a guy that would take him for $250 including the bike. normal rate is around $550 and i told that $250 seem like a scam to me...

anyway... can any one help get news on him?
thank you!
S.
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  #2  
Old 27 Nov 2007
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Gatgato last posted here a week ago - which is more recent than his last blog update, no?
Last post on advrider was on November 18th and says 'hopefully catching a ship out of Colon tomorrow'

Hopefully he's somewhere in the Kuna Yala, blissfully unaware of the panic at home...
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  #3  
Old 27 Nov 2007
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Hopefully, he is here.......

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invite to Colan, Northern Peru
Anyone coming down from Ecuador, or up from Lima, I'm staying at a kind of 'animal shelter' for at least the next week and a half. I have the run of the place, it's two blocks from the ocean, one street from the main drag. You can't miss my white Chevy van, parked outside. If you do, just ask for the animal place. It's a tiny resort town and the tourists don't arrive for another month, yeah! The only downside is there's NO internet here. So don't write me an email, just stop by.
Lorraine
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Hi Lorraine, I am currently in Panama City and am waiting until Monday to catch a ship to Columbia. If I make it to Peru before you leave I would like to stay with you. Thanks for the invite.

Geoff Tayner

The above are copied and posted from posts on this site, I hope this is where he is, having a with Lorraine, In any case your in our thought and Prayers fella! Hope your safe

Martyn

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  #4  
Old 27 Nov 2007
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Update

The last his father heard is a customs guy recalled seeing him getting on a boat in Colon , taking a boat to Puerto Obaldia in the Darien Region of Panama with the intent to ride into Columbia . They are checking with the customs people in Puerto Obaldia to see if they recall seeing him come through. The customs guys advised that is isn’t advised to ride through this area as it is pretty rough. He was planning on camping or staying with people from couch surfer’s, with the intent of heading all the way down to Argentina .

If anyone has any info it would be great. Thanks for all your help so far.

Derrick
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  #5  
Old 27 Nov 2007
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If he went into the Darien Region he is taking a needless risk. It is not a safe region of Colombia. On the other side it is isolated so it maybe that he has no access. Dont know the sea conditions at the moment, but the boat from Colon would take approx 3-4 days depending on if they stopped at San Blas. If the sea is bad and its a small craft, you might add a day or two. Then Assuming a landing in Darien it could be another 3 - 4 days before he surfaces. So after 10 days I would start getting worried. Hope the dude is ok.
Just a suggestion but his family could check with Colombian Customs if the bike and his visa were registered. That way they will know at least if he arrived in Colombia.

Kev
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  #6  
Old 28 Nov 2007
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My last crossing from Panama to Cartegena took 8 days due to bad weather, maybe's he's still in San Blass. Either way, hope the dude's all-right, regardless of his bad desisions on leaving from Colon and entering the Darrien.
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Old 28 Nov 2007
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Geoff Tayner

Mike and I left Geoff in Portobelo on Nov 14/07.We had booked the Melody to Catagena on the 15th.He wanted to find a cheeper way to get to Colombia.I think he may just be unable to post because of no internet access.He wanted to meet up with us in Colombia,so I am also waiting to hear from him.I am sure he will turn up save and sound soon!........Wayne Adamson
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Old 28 Nov 2007
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Lorraine here, no, I have not heard from him either, but I would also quell panic. If he's taking an alternative route, it will take longer. This is the huge problem with email. If this was ten years ago, people would only expect postcards occasionally and no one would be worried for months. Hopefully, he's having the kind of adventures I had at 23!
Lorraine
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  #9  
Old 28 Nov 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lorraine View Post
Lorraine here, no, I have not heard from him either, but I would also quell panic. If he's taking an alternative route, it will take longer. This is the huge problem with email. If this was ten years ago, people would only expect postcards occasionally and no one would be worried for months. Hopefully, he's having the kind of adventures I had at 23!
Lorraine
Lorraine,are you the same(dog lady) that Mark and Paola from the Melody talked about while we were at sea?I am working my way to Peru and down to Argentina.I would like to meet you if our paths ever cross.............Wayne

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Last edited by adamsonwd; 29 Nov 2007 at 03:18.
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  #10  
Old 29 Nov 2007
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Hope this fella works everything out alright. I'm bad about not really contacting family folks back home when im away, but they expect something every day... im a once a week kind of person.

I'm planning a trip to the Darien Gap from Louisiana in May. I plan to go as far as I can, but don't care to get caught up in something risky like this guy is doing.... I'm only 21 but hell, I've traveled a decent bit of Central America already and have a pretty good knowledge of what to expect. I plan to see the interesting stuff and travel adventurously, but NOT take the unneeded risks like this fella.

Geoff, I hope you read this when you finally get back to civilization. You should realize that at your (our) young age, we do have a bit of naive-ness that we cover with our adolescent ego. You need to figure out how to balance that with your safety and your awesome experiences. There's no need to put yourself in a situation that can get you killed or screwed up for the rest of your life. Not to mention your family. Do you know how upset, worried, frustrated they are?

I had a two-day mishap in Nicaragua that caused my family to contact embassies and stuff... Nothing happened except a LACK of communication and a long bus ride.
Geoff, I contacted you through your website a few weeks ago... and you told me not to take the trip, especially not at my age and alone. I think you might have been using your experiences to tell me that? Why did you tell me that anyways?

Make it home safe, Vaya con Dios, and keep the rubber side down! Tell us the story when you get back.
Scott
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  #11  
Old 29 Nov 2007
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from Geof parents.
Quote:
The US embassy in Panama said there
is a record of Geoff leaving on a boat from Port Obaldia to Turbo on November
19th. Now the US embassy in Bogata is trying to confirm that Geoff arrived in
Turbo.
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  #12  
Old 30 Nov 2007
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PLEASE chech the latest development on ADV

gatogato missing in Panama. does anyone have news??? - Page 4 - ADVrider
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Old 30 Nov 2007
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I just sent a letter to Leonardo Cerrito, a captain that sails from Cartegena to Portobelo regularly. I explained the situation to him, maybe he can provide some intel. If anyone else out there is still in contact with their captains, maybe do the same and fire off an e-mail to them, this may help.
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  #14  
Old 1 Dec 2007
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Does anyone know any of these individuals?

This came from the Embassy in Panama.

there are no shipping manifests, but we do have a copy of the request for permission from the immigration office in Colon for the captain of the boat to take individuals from Colon to Turbo, via Puerto Obaldia. The captain of the boat is named Tomas Martinez, and he ferried the following persons from Colon to Colombia:

Rudolf Koppelman, German, passport
Rosa Vargas, Colombian, passport
Lisa Nosted, Portugese, passport
Geof Toynel (sic), Canadian, passport

We received information from Inspector Cummings of the Colon immigration office today that the boat stopped off in El Porvenir, Panama, en route to Turbo, Colombia instead of stopping over at Puerto Obaldia.

If anyone knows how to get a hold of the captain, or any of the individuals on the boat above, any information provided would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Derrick
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  #15  
Old 1 Dec 2007
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I hate seeing posts like these, brings back bad memories of my brother missing in Kashmir for a while. But again I also started travelling before we had the net so god knows what my parents went through.

Can I make some very 'basic' suggestions to family; you might have already done this ....

1. Check ATM records via his bank.
2. Get into his e-mail account.
3. Log onto Couchsurfing (as he seems to use it) and make contact with people there, I've just been on myself trying to see if there's any 'sign' of things that would help and there's a long piece about the ferry from someone on the ground who might be able to help with names of boats, captains etc. CouchSurfing - Panama
4. Go on other forums if you haven't already. I will post on the Thorn Tree now for you with a link to this thread.

Best of luck, I'm sure he's out there somewhere 'far' from a computer!

Kira
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