South America and back on a 250 Super Sherpa Minimalist Adventure

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by JDowns, Oct 2, 2012.

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  1. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    Hi TM,

    I'll check out the pizza near the soccer pitch in Puerto Lindo. I've got a few days to kill. I really like the area down the coast from Portobelo. Really laid back area. It's not going to be too much trouble killing a few days here.

    Muchas gracias amigo,
    Juan Lindo
  2. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

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    Aren't all the boat rides in the Atlantic? No one goes Pacific do they?
  3. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    No, you can go down the Pacific side. A couple of people have posted ride reports. The seas were even rougher on the Pacific side when I was over visiting cmnthead in Uverito. That's why I decided to try the Carribean. Plus there is more traffic on this side so less waiting. You can catch cargo boats near the Yacht club in Panama City that take you down the Pacific to Jurado and catch launchas to Colombia and a cargo scow to Buenaventura.

    As you noted, January is a rough month weatherwise it turns out.

    Best,
    Juanito
  4. legends117

    legends117 Adventurer

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    ...so, why are we looking for a boat? I have been following this adventure since John's original trek south, but I must have skipped the explanation of why, when we are on an off road motorbike, we need a boat to continue our journey to South America.. At the risk of being ripped a new one for being ignorant, could someone fill me in on the plan?

    PS, I did look at an atlas, but still cannot figure the puzzle.

    Thanks much - peace and blessings - JD (not John Downs, a different JD)
  5. SlowernOlder

    SlowernOlder Adventurer

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    Google "Darian Gap"
  6. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    Hi JD,

    There is a swamp between Panama and Colombia. It is the only break in the otherwise continuous PanAm highway. It is called the Darien gap. The only way around is by boat or plane.

    Best,
    John Downs
  7. Dracula

    Dracula Deus ex machina

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    ADV seems keeping many of us awake, following this story is like being in a James Bond movie for real. :clap
  8. Bike Holiday

    Bike Holiday Adventurer

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    :bowMisery Goat:bow Himalaya & South America epics:bow

    JD's brilliant painting of his journey just beautiful : ) look in about
    3 or 4 times a day :lol3
  9. TrevorHeath

    TrevorHeath Seattle to ??

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    John,

    I'm trying to follow along and am aware that a boat sank but what about the boats and hostel on this site?

    Is it not up to date?

    http://www.hostelwunderbar.com/sailing_trips.html#nb

    The prices seem to have gone up about a 100 bucks in the past three years......

    Trevor
  10. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    Hi Trevor,

    Yes, there are rico gringo sailboats that take the backpackers to Colombia. The problem is, they are charging 4-500 bucks for you and only a couple take bikes which are an additional 4-500 bucks. The Independence that was down in Carti was one of them. They wanted 900 to sail to Cartagena. For that kind of money, I would just fly the bike down and be in Bogota tomorrow. I am not a fan of sailing in rough seas.

    The Wunderbar hostel that Throttlemeister was warning me to avoid is the website you pointed to that helps fleece the backpackers with these usurious prices. When it was 250 for you and 250 for the bike 5 years ago this wasn't a bad way to go. But now that prices have nearly doubled, the only cheap way left to get around the Darien with a bike is to wait around for a Kuna cargo scow.

    I talked to an English lad named Duncan when I was up in Nicaragua and he took a coconut boat up from Colombia for 350 plus the passenger boats from Turbo to Puerto Obaldia. So around 400 dollars all in for him and his KLR. That is more like it. These boats stop along the way in Kuna villages and drop off propane, gas and beer etc, and pick up goods to sell up the coast.

    You need to speak some Spanish and be able to negotiate and take your time waiting for these boats. This is not a quick way around the Darien.

    Kindest regards,
    John Downs
  11. SavannahCapt

    SavannahCapt Been here awhile

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    "So around 400 dollars all in for him and his KLR. That is more like it. These boats stop along the way in Kuna villages and drop off propane, gas and beer etc, and pick up goods to sell up the coast."

    That sounds like a fun adventure. Well, of course I'm sitting here in my easy chair thinking about how fun it would be to read the report.:deal:lol3
  12. legends117

    legends117 Adventurer

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    En
    Ah...now I get it. Thanks for the explanation. ::thumb Having never been south of Alligator Alley, I was unfamiliar with this geographical formation. Seems like few have successfully crossed it without significant effort and expense.
  13. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

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    Plus if you run in to FARC you are fucked
  14. sandalscout

    sandalscout blah blah blah

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    You are just as likely to run into the FARC south of Bogota as you are on the Darien, from what I've read, maybe even more likely to.
  15. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

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    Oh OK then. Where did you read this, have you got a reference? I'd like to take a look, I'm doing a study of this journey for myself and my wife to do. (Not the Darien overland...what land?..no way would I attempt THAT journey).
  16. OldPete

    OldPete Be aware

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    Come on guys. :csm CSM

    Google FARC talks Oslo or FARC killings...


    Looking forward to the crossing JDowns. :ricky
  17. sandalscout

    sandalscout blah blah blah

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    I don't have any hard facts on this, but Glen Heggstad (Striking Viking on ADV) was kidnapped by FARC somewhere between Bogota and Medellin, as I understand it. I thought it actually occurred South of Bogota, but I was apparently mistakenly. Granted, this was 11 years ago. Googled "Farc Active Areas" and you'll see data from fairly recently.

    Yes, FARC had peace talks 2 months ago with the Columbian government. I can't find ANYTHING where they actually came to a deal though, did they?

    Don't get me wrong, I'd ride in Columbia, but better to be prepared and with REAL answers, than not having a clue.

    I can't wait to see how John gets around to Columbia either.



    John, I think I spoke up a long while back in this thread, but thanks again for posting this. All of the pictures of Panama are incredible. I lived there from Age 2 through Age 7, and while I don't remember much about it, I still look through my parents photos, and the contrast between then and now is incredible.

    Keep it up! Thanks
  18. x32792

    x32792 Cracker American

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    I don't believe there is any possible political solution which will limit kidnapping and dealing drugs -- When you're FARC'd, you're FARC'd.
  19. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

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    That's wha I thought

    Enough of this, back to your regularly scheduled program :deal
  20. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    Didn't go anywhere today other than walking around town. Checking out gringo swimwear. I've still got my flame trunks so no need to stock up on more casual wear.:

    [​IMG]

    A nicer shot of the church in downtown Portobelo:

    [​IMG]

    The local buses have style but compared to Guatemala and the Phillipines they still have a ways to go:

    [​IMG]

    Here is Captain Jack's where I'm staying up the hill from the church:

    [​IMG]

    The TV lounge:

    [​IMG]

    Cafe bar:

    [​IMG]

    Downstairs bunks in the brig:

    [​IMG]

    Compared to a submarine the accommodations are quite spacious. I look at it as good training for when I get kidnapped by the FARC. I mostly hang out in the back at the picnic table where nobody goes except the occasional German pot smokers. My office for this afternoon:

    [​IMG]

    These cheap backpacker hostels make most of their money on food and beer. If you go elsewhere for food they are quite economical places to stay. For instance instead of eating todays special of Spagetti and garlic bread for 9 bucks I went down to the store and spent a fraction of that. If you drink a few beers and eat three meals a day here it is still only maybe 50 bucks a day.

    Spent $ 23.80 on food and lodging today.

    Tomorrow is a festival in Portobelo. Something to do with Spaniards and Free Blacks. The Spanish are the diablos and wear big devil masks. Should be fun.

    There are a pile of backpackers waiting around to head to Colombia. I'll wait around until Monday and see what develops and take it from there.

    Hasta MaƱana,
    Juanito
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