crossing the darien gap really cheap

Discussion in 'Americas' started by MoustacheMan, Sep 26, 2010.

  1. MoustacheMan

    MoustacheMan Been here awhile

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    alright guys I am 2 days away from Panama. Rather then pay $250 and be stuck puking for a few days and trying to keep my gear from getting robbed in unlocked bags, I would like to pay an indigenous person to canoe with me across the gulf to Turbo (less then 40 miles) I have gps nav :). Or even better find someone with a boat with an outboard. Do they speak spanish there? Is there anyway possible I can get my motorcycle to Acandi Colombia? is there a trail? there is no road on google earth but idk. Its a drz400s I am very capable in the mud sand and whatever conditions. There is a coastal road that ends in Portabelo and then a series of river crossings. As I am looking at google earth I see houses all around the rivers. There must be a trail of somesort that I can take to Acandi, that would be one hell of a ride. I am a cheap bastard and enjoy challenges.
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  2. MoustacheMan

    MoustacheMan Been here awhile

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    when taking a boat to Colombia where do I get my passport stamped?
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  3. Sjoerd Bakker

    Sjoerd Bakker Long timer

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    You have done 111 post on ADV and it now is clear you have done absolutely O searches on this topic . Okay, ride east along the beach :D
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  4. MoustacheMan

    MoustacheMan Been here awhile

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    can you find me a thread where somone rode to an indigenous village and then paid for a ride? I cant. I did alot of searches about cheap crossings and they all went from Colon to Turbo on an open boat.
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  5. bananaman

    bananaman transcontimental

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    In a word: no. No, and no.

    Click on my sig line for info about the road east from Puerto Bello. You might see a photo of me in some mud.

    If you take the Pan Americana to El Llano, you'll find, right before you get to El Llano, a road to the left. You go across a steal bridge, and then you see the road. It's the only road. It goes to Carti. There you can get a boat to Colombia but it won't be cheap. At this time of year you might be running out of boats. It's best to follow the advice in the List of Captains thread, or the Crossing the Darien thread- both of these are at the top of the Ride Report Link Thread, which you'll see in my sig line.

    If you go to Meteti you can turn right and go to the end of the road. There you can get a boat to a small town. There you can find local natives familiar with smuggling. It will not be cheap. It will be at least $600 to get you to Colombia. And from there, I don't know where you'll end up.

    The coast is not rideable. You will see when you get there. It does not matter if you are on a small bike. You can not even walk. It is also against the law in Panama to try to cross to Colombia by land. The Panama Army will arrest you, take you back to Panama City, and let you go, if you are lucky. Otherwise they will arrest you and keep you for a while. I do not know how long.

    Be very careful who you let load your bike onto the small boats. There are many bikes serving as anchors. If you are at all uncomfortable with the loading process, make them stop.
    #5
  6. bananaman

    bananaman transcontimental

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    :rofl :rofl :rofl

    (Sjoerd knows his shit. He's a great resource... so you don't want to piss him off!)

    The beach, or, "beach" isn't a beach at all. It's mangrove swamp right into the sea; it's rocks and coral right into the sea; it's cliffs dropping off right into the sea. Up from the "beach" it's jungle, rugged mountains, swamps, rivers, and generally not passable- not by motorcycle, not by horse, not by foot. Inland is the same, with the added bonus of 100 degree heat with 100% humidity, with crocodiles, snakes, spiders, malaria mosquitos, drug smugglers, human traffickers, FARC guerillas, Paramilitary guerillas, and man-eating Indians.
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  7. lhendrik

    lhendrik Putins Puppet

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    Oh, come on, I could ride it on my loaded R1200GSA with a decaf latte in my left hand. Just need a positive mental attitude here. Are we not men? I say, prepare your estate and go for it.
    #7
  8. Sjoerd Bakker

    Sjoerd Bakker Long timer

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    Okay, I stand corrected ,you did search,... but failed to understand why there were no reports with the info you desired to hear.
    Bananman is the guy who tells you what it is you missed because he did it., I just tell you what I saw.Read his reports!
    To that end I also recommend this site,spoke to Sylvia while I was down there
    http://www.hostelwunderbar.com/sailing_trips.html

    Also read these reports by Andy and Maya who did the trip from Panama sending the bike by sea while they flew.
    In Portobelo look up Marco at his El Drake Bar and Restaurant- he also arranges boat transport to Colombia.
    This is Andy and Maya's report with the boat business setting out from Panama and the next one after shows the arrival in Colombia
    http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/tstories/andymaya/2009_04.php

    And if you want to see some purty pitchers of the land at the Darien gap see this thread.
    http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/south-and-central-america-mexico/panamerican-highway-yaviza-panama-now-41860
    #8
  9. cu260r6

    cu260r6 Been here awhile

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    I met one rider in Ecuador that has crossed on the pacific side. He'd ridden as far as he could and paid several small boats/canoes to ferry him to Colombia. It took him at least two weeks although it was pretty cheap at around $500. He almost capsized a few times and ran out of cash along the way, but it was an amazing adventure.

    If you want to save time take a flight. If you want to save money take a boat from Carti or Colon. Both of those options are almost assured to get you there. The option my buddy above took had a smaller chance of success :D

    One other option I've never heard tried yet is the private air route. There must be tons of transport planes and smaller private planes around. If I had it to do over again I'd hang out at an airport for a few days, and I bet you could get someone to give you a lift for much less than Copa airlines.
    #9
  10. AdventurePoser

    AdventurePoser Long timer

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    I'll bet flying BACK to Colombia there are LOTs of empty transport planes...:lol3 :lol3 :lol3

    Seriously, the amount of knowledge amongst the inmates here blows my mind. I am not worthy....

    Steve
    #10
  11. viverrid

    viverrid not dead yet

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    It amazes me that "in this day and age" and all that, that the Darien Gap is still a gap. Since the days before the Panama Canal, western developed countries and corporations and people have tried to navigate Darien. If it wasn't a Gap, Panama would still be a department of Columbia.
    #11
  12. bananaman

    bananaman transcontimental

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    Without getting into a long discussion of geopolitical forces combined with technical logistics, I'll just say, "Go there and you'll get it."

    There's a reason why 99% of Panamanians have never been past the first police checkpoint after Tocumen.
    #12
  13. bananaman

    bananaman transcontimental

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    Don't forget your whale-foreskin lined goretex riding suit!
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  14. MoustacheMan

    MoustacheMan Been here awhile

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    so it seems like the days of $250 open boat crossings are long gone. I am 19 and sleep on the ground in the rain every night. I will do anything to save a few bucks. Is there anyway I can get a ride for around $200? I paid $50 to go from El Salvador to Nicaragua in order avoid Honduras. I know we are talking about a much longer voyage here but thats alot of money!!! I might as well buy a row boat then sell it in Colombia. How big are the swells in the gulf? Theres got to be a poor fisherman that will take me for a couple hundred bills right????
    I got a kick out of this thread. Real life captin ron. GOOD READ!
    http://afewmoremiles.com/2010/01/28/mutiny-on-the-bounty-crossing-the-darien-gap/
    #14
  15. MoustacheMan

    MoustacheMan Been here awhile

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    thanks for all the info guys. But I was reading alot about crossing and people were talking about $250 before loading fees. I really dont care about comfort I dont care if I dont eat for a week, I just have to get there cheap.
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  16. Sjoerd Bakker

    Sjoerd Bakker Long timer

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    :huh This sounds an awful lot like Blackspanker again... 19, no savings, wild impractical plans ....... haaaay ,ya don't suppose ??????:lol3
    why , if you are on a trip to explore Central america , would you actually pay $50 to avoid one of its nicest countries ( they are all the nicest :rofl )Don't eat for a week and see how you feel. then let us know:D And qwhy do you "have to get there"?
    #16
  17. MoustacheMan

    MoustacheMan Been here awhile

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    because I have read about 10 RRs where people had bad experiences with the police and boarder crossing in Honduras. Why spend more just to go through a little section of Honduras when I could get on a boat and not be shaken down?
    #17
  18. Lone Rider

    Lone Rider Registered User

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    If you can get to La Palma...

    There's an old guy who flys out of La Palma into Colombia. A gray-haired hippie dude named Mad Dog. His DC-3 fuselage is done in paisley, totally hand-painted, with big peace symbols on each side. The tail-dragger is rightfully named Mary Jane.

    Years ago, he tended boat for his dad, Chico, who used to take John Wayne (The Duke) and other Hollyweirds out for giant marlin and sailfish. Quite a history, and he has some great stories. But don't believe everything he tells you.

    His young Scandinavian wife, Sunrise, with long, light-gold flaxen locks, who can't be more than 26 or so now, helps run the flight operations. If she's not making beaded jewelry, or breastfeeding one of their three babies, she might be out on the muddy runway setting or pulling chunks of wood (as chocks) after Mad Dog lands or before he takes off. She also handles the CB radio chatter for that area each morning, with weather forecast and on-air flea market/stuff for sale.

    He does mostly cargo, and some locals refer to his airline business as Yaw Ways, because one of the two props turns a bit faster than the other.
    The hemp and iron wood gangway ramp for the plane is pretty sturdy.
    #18
  19. viverrid

    viverrid not dead yet

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    Seems like geopolitics would control. Technical challenges can be surmounted when there is the political will to marshall resources, being that this is a post-industrial age.

    But no, being as how I am in the early stages of progressive disability from a terminal illness, I will never see the Darien, it's not high enough among my priorities to be reached in the time remaining (it's a big planet). Venezuela is the closest I've been (way before I was ill).
    #19
  20. Lone Rider

    Lone Rider Registered User

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