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Discussion in 'Latin America' started by Chiriqui Charlie, Apr 10, 2012.
Your panties were to tight!
Have you been to the Darien? No, it was not an ancient trading route. The indigenous people traveled by sea. You can not walk there. It has not been traveled by vehicle, ever. Not even the famous passages by corvair or land rover. People have travelled with vehicles and motorcycles, but not by motorcycle or vehicle. Basically, everything had to be winched, pushed, pulled, and ferried. No, the Darien will NOT provide economic benefit to the people who live there- at least not the people who live there legally. The indigenous people- in Panama, the Wounaan and Embera, need to be protected from commerce, not corrupted by it. They don't want outside influence. They've been resisting outside influence since Colombus.
A road through the Darien wouldn't require technological marvels, but it would require an awful lot of steel and concrete, and it would cost more than would ever be made. Do some simple math: how many yards of concrete? How many tons of steel? How many man-hours of work, from engineering to line-painting? And that would just be the cost of building. The heat and rain play hell on the roads in the Darien. The road that's there now gets washed away every time the rivers flood. A bigger road, with more heavy traffic, would need orders of magnitude more maintenance. Now compare that to the cost sea-transit. The maritime infrastructure is already there, for example, Colon 2000 has a passenger terminal in Colon. Vessels- such as ships and ferries- already exist, and can easily be put into service.
Even this ferry, that doesn't yet exist, was so-far easy to get started. From conception to implementation was how long- maybe a year? And the only hurdles have been political. If the politicians would let it happen, it would already be happening.
Basically I think that anyone who says a road through the Darien would be easy, that it makes sense, and that it doesn't exist only because of US Strong-Arm Politics... basically anyone like that is a fucking moron, but their moron-ness is easily cured with a trip to the Darien, especially during the rainy season.
Somewhere around here I posted pics of Yavisa after a flood. I'll try to find them.
Perhaps, but ya gotta admit the place is still mighty screwed up.
Anyplace that allowed foreigners to come in there and hose the mountains with herbicide is seriously and probably forever fucked up. IMHO
In the mid 90's I declined an in on a contract to fly crop dusters down there. They were spraying paraquat on hemp and coca fields! One can only imagine the suffering that caused.
Instead I flew US subsidized mail out to native villages in AK. Carrying mostly soda pop, frozen pizza, pampers and canned corn imported from Thailand!!!!
The lesser of two evils I reckon!
I gotta go for a ride, bye.
Here's a link to photos and stuff from the How to Cross the Darien thread. I can't find the original post but luckily somebody quoted it.
blah blah blah... If they managed to build the AlCan hwy; connecting the panamerican hwy is piece of piss. To think the US foreign policy doesn't directly dictate what goes on there in Panama is unbelievably naive. A buddy of mine worked fairly recently in Panama for a Virginia based, CIA backed Evangelical asshole airfreight outfit right there in Panama City. The average Joe has no idea whats really going on!
No reason you given so far accounts for why that last 200kms of PanAmerican hwy have never been completed. They could build a 200km causeway around the Darien gap if they wanted!
If they opened it up there would be plenty of traffic through there.
You would think as independent minded advrider Americans you would be promoting liberty, freedom and justice for all! Not subscribing the draconian backwards thinking, spoon fed to you by government sponsored MSM.
Bush Pilot: the alcan was built during WWII for strategic defense. Nothing in the Darien is worth defending. In fact, the Darien is purposely kept as a natural barrier.
I've met those CIA backed fake evangelicals. I hate them. And the peace corps. We can agree on that.
I can winch my ATV out of a ravine. I can winch it up a tree. I can make it into a boat. I can push it through a swamp. Afterwards, I can lie about it. The expeditions with vehicles through the Darien were for publicity, not to "prove" that anybody can drive it. The expeditions proved that it can't be driven. For example, the 1960's had a few attempts, and from Bayano to Yavisa they averaged 3 miles per day.
3 miles per day?!
That's about how fast I can winch my ATV if I use a manual winch and s 20 foot chain.
In any case here is the actual route from Colombia to Yaviza:
You have to go upriver the Atrato River until you reach the Cacarica River, an affluent of the Atrato. You go upriver the Cacarica until a point called Cristales where you disembark. There is nothing there, the last village you passed was Bijao, an afro-american settlement, lower on the Cacarica. The following day you hike in the jungle first to Palo de Letras, which is actually the border with Panama. Nobody there either, but a concrete milestone, and you continue hiking until Paya. This is a Kuna Indian village. Next day you continue your hike to Pucuro which is another Kuna village. From there you board a boat again and go to Boca de Cupe, another Indian village and from there to Yaviza. This is a tough and expensive 4 to 5 days journey. Probability to meet paramilitaries and guerillas: almost 100%.
I dunno...it seems fairly obvious to me that if you can push, drag and pull a 4 wheel vehicle through a terrain with no constructed road, that it's not much of a stretch of the imagination that it wouldn't be that difficult to build one.
Of course they didn't drive through the Darien...there's no road! The stunt just shows that a constructed road is likely feasible.
There's a whole host of reasons why the road hasn't been built including economics, politics, disease control, security, environmental, demand, indigenous rights, etc. I doubt there is one single reason you can point at and say this is why it hasn't been built and rather, it's the sum of these issues that keeps the road from being built.
It just bugs me cuz since reading about the those early jeep and land rover expeditions I've wanted to see the Darien Gap and I know now it aint gonna happen.
I gather you have to be suicidal to venture in there now.
Kinda sad how America's misbegotten war on drugs has turned the region into free zone for narco terrorists.
I'll go see what I can, without gettin' kilt, I reckon, hopefully the ferry service will be a reality and all the little bureaucrats on both sides remove their heads from their posteriors.
So far in this thread for those of you that dont want to sift through 12 pages:
The ferry to Colombia might happen.
Bananaman and Gaston are not the best of friends.
Sailboats are having trouble getting bikes into Cartagena.
Bananaman and Gaston are still not friends.
The crafty Germans of the Stahlratte say they can get your bike to Colombia.
Its unlikely that Bananaman and Gaston will become friends.
There is no road through the Darien although people have winched stuff through.
The USA is the cause of all that is evil and unjust in the world.
bush pilot might want to consider switching to decaf.
Bananaman and Gaston will never become friends.
The ferry to Colombia is still not a reality and there is no road through the Darien.
Nice summary. I get confused sometimes reading these great Latin America threads that go off the rails.
Nothing like a concise Crashreport several pages in to help me follow a ferry tale.
I'll take back every nasty thing I've ever said or thought about Gaston-the-spammer if he ever actually rides a motorcycle either from Miami to Alaska, Miami to Yavisa, or anywhere in Colombia to Ushuaia.
Wow this sounds like fun, if not for the paramilitaries and guerillas. I still don't understand how you're supposed to get past them.
There's an old idiom that go's: There's none so blind as those who will not see. So here we go again
The US has had it hand in telling others what to do for so long its not even funny. CIA has always used drug money to fund its dark ops. When I was in the Army in Cambodia in the early 70's we were not there (according to our US government ) but my peers and I were. A list of persons would come down that were to be shown extreme prejudice. I'm a Patriot and Love my country but things are not always what they seem. One day your a friend the next you hesitate you want to go your own way and your no longer our friend and it's on like donkey-kong.
sorry for the hijack
**Famous sections of the Pan-American Highway include the Alaska Highway and the Inter-American Highway (the section between the United States and the Panama Canal). Both of these sections were built during World War II as a means of supply of remote areas without danger of attack by U-boats.
Man, it even rhymes... you should go for it, you really don't need any more reasons!
Our agent in Cartagena tells us that the restrictions for transport of motorcycles on sailigboats are due to the weakening*of ships-stability because smaller boats (sailingyachts) are not built for deck-cargo and they are not safe with 1 or*more motorcycles on deck -- also catamarans are not really built to carry cargo*on deck.
Another thing they don't want anymore seems to be the unloading of motorcycles on public jettys...
So since the Stahlratte is big enough for deck-cargo the only problem might be to find another place to unload.
MaRc_FROST, have you thought at all about paying attention and gathering information before posting? You seem to think you understand how all this stuff works, but it's clear you really don't. In such situations, asking questions works better than stating uninformed opinions. It's not about expressing yourself with utter conviction; it's about knowing the limits of your own knowledge, then stopping short of the line.
The Stahlratte folks have been doing this for a long time, and they've earned a certain amount of respect over the years. You haven't. You're not in a position to make anything "crystal clear," nor to instruct them to drop you a line to suit your pleasure.
You have an opportunity to become an asset here, but that doesn't happen overnight. One option: do a search on this site. Read up on sailboats and motorbikes. You'll see.