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  #1  
Old 16 Mar 2007
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Imminent attempt on the Darien

Two Dutchmen are on the cusp of attempting to cross the Darien "on" pretty old XT500's. It seems the question of possibility and safety with regard to this is something often asked about and debated here, so it will be interesting to see what happens; if they can find their luggage, that is...

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Old 16 Mar 2007
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This looks worth following
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  #3  
Old 16 Mar 2007
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Yeah, for me, definitely more interesting than breaking the Pan-Am record. Curiously, there's no mention of guerilla, banditos or even the will of the Colombian government in their preparations. I look forward to hearing more. Go on lads!!
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  #4  
Old 16 Mar 2007
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Whoa!

I can't wait to see how this turns out. These guys rock.

Does anyone have a site or info on the last attempt? When? Did they make it?
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  #5  
Old 16 Mar 2007
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Helge Pedersen was the last one I know of to make it - and it took a long time. I talked to him the year he did it, and saw his slide show about it - no thanks. He also said he wouldn't have done it if he'd known just how hard it was.

Ed Culberson did it a few years earlier if I recall rightly, and wrote a book about it. Our books page here has his book on it.

The biggest concern right now is not the difficulty of it - it's that the drug traffickers own it - and don't like visitors.
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  #6  
Old 17 Mar 2007
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This will be interesting and I wish them the best of luck. Hopefully their luggage arrives intact.
Does anybody know if they have local contacts helping them on this trek? People that have traveled it before?
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Old 17 Mar 2007
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they are looking for trouble, they are crazy and i wish i was there with them
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Old 18 Mar 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SalCar View Post
they are looking for trouble, they are crazy and i wish i was there with them
Salvador, are you forgetting your healthcare
objectives? These boys are going to a need a right going over when they get back.

Seriously though, nice site you have and nice sentiments. I hope you are reaching your goals. Keep ya posted.
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Old 19 Mar 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stretcher Monkey View Post
Salvador, are you forgetting your healthcare
objectives?

they are going to need a lot medical help along the way - infectious diseases, cuts, bug bites, fallen nails etc etc. I´m not an MD but i´ll be happy to carry the necessary drugs.

jokes apart - I did a 10 day walk into the Guatemala jungle to see the biggest pyramid in the world. On that 240km walk I learned a lot about the healthcare in remote areas. I got to listen the locals healthcare stories, got to see how they live, got exposed to some of their healthcare enemies etc. I think crossing the Darien Gap would give me the same experience PLUS it would be an awesome adventure to be part of. Here is a picture on my jungle trip.


once they get in the jungle how are they going to update the website???
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  #10  
Old 19 Mar 2007
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The latest

It seems the boys managed to retrieve everything from customs in the end, but I think they will have to adjust to the pace at which things are done in Colombia. Their "team" have just received an SMS to say they are now in Honda on the way from Bogota to Medellin, (not sure why they are going there if they want to get on and do it), but in any event all is well.

They have wisely decided to attack the Darien from Turbo which is as secure an area to be hoped for, (paramilitary controlled). They still don't seem to have settled on a route on from there, which is also wise at this juncture.

darrien gap sms honda
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  #11  
Old 19 Mar 2007
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Originally Posted by SalCar View Post
.......... I did a 10 day walk into the Guatemala jungle to see the biggest pyramid in the world......
Is that El Mirador?
What time of the year did you go?
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Old 20 Mar 2007
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Originally Posted by Lone Rider View Post
Is that El Mirador?
What time of the year did you go?
the area is called El Mirador the pyramid is call Danta - amazing and magical place. here is the first post when i was leaving in the first week of october.
A Journey for Healthcare Access: Off to the jungle

did u go?
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  #13  
Old 21 Mar 2007
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I find that kind of attempt a bit stupid - the "Jackass" kind of stupidity, albeit with real risks, and with the same copycats.

The Darien has been a forbidden zone for 9 years and as far as I know, the only foreigners who have been there during that time are:
- the National Geographic guy from the "World's Most Dangerous Places" who got kidnapped along with 2 travelers in 2003: Magazine Reporter Recounts Ten-Day Kidnapping by Colombian Death Squad
- the Goliath guy who managed to walk through it in 2001 - but look at his pictures, he really had to disguise himself as a 'peon' to go incognito.
Peon / Pictures / Story

Three years ago, the authors of the little Darien Gap book who were acting as the central hub for people venturing in the area hadn't heard of anybody else besides these two guys who had attempted it since 1998... and neither one of them had to carry a 120kg load of dead weight through the jungle. After all, it's something to keep in mind: since you can't ride your bike through the Darien, what difference should that make to us bikers whether they are carrying a motorcycle, an anvil or a dead donkey? What's next? A canoe on top of Mount Everest? Yeah, great. Stupid, I'm telling ya...

Pierre - Photobiker
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  #14  
Old 21 Mar 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pierresas View Post
... and neither one of them had to carry a 120kg load of dead weight through the jungle. After all, it's something to keep in mind: since you can't ride your bike through the Darien, what difference should that make to us bikers whether they are carrying a motorcycle, an anvil or a dead donkey? What's next? A canoe on top of Mount Everest? Yeah, great. Stupid, I'm telling ya...

Pierre - Photobiker
Yeah, good point, succintly made, and nice to have a different perspective. I suppose half the fun might be in watching it all go belly-up. I don't know for sure, like any of us, whether there is any riding to be had in the Darien - I've never been there. I presume some trails must exist, and they seem to have some idea what they are doing:

"We are still contemplating the route. From Unguia we can take the route north to Cando/Candi at the coast. But that would imply that we have to create our own 60 km trail through the Panama jungle, in western direction. If there were existing trails, they would have been reclaimed by the jungle within several weeks. The other option is to ride through a valley to Boca de Guao. A dangerous place, locals tell us."

I'm quite partial to a bit of "Jackass", myself
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  #15  
Old 22 Mar 2007
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Awesome

I wish these guys all the best. Thats awesome. Id love it if they found a passable route. Its bogus that you have to fly or boat across the Gap. Well the San Blas Islands seem nice, but it would be nice to be able to Ride/Drive From the top of the americas to the bottom, it would help to encourage more people to try the trip and would make "Drive to Chile" seem like more of a doable family vacation. They should really put a road in.

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