gatogato missing in Panama. does anyone have news???

Discussion in 'Americas' started by salcar, Nov 27, 2007.

  1. theturtleshead

    theturtleshead Tits on a fish

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2005
    Oddometer:
    831
    Location:
    Medellin Colombia ain,t nowhere better
    Dang Tootin:lol3
  2. smokinjoe

    smokinjoe hippie kicker

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,003
    Location:
    B-F MO.
    You ride 'em like you stole 'em? You know...both of 'em. Problem is, you can only wear one of them out!:lol3
  3. theturtleshead

    theturtleshead Tits on a fish

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2005
    Oddometer:
    831
    Location:
    Medellin Colombia ain,t nowhere better
    It,s all a question of time and conviction Joe and I,m willing to try:freaky
  4. smokinjoe

    smokinjoe hippie kicker

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,003
    Location:
    B-F MO.
    Man, I hate conviction, and I've questioned it every time!!:lol3
  5. 100mpg

    100mpg Self Imposed Exile

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Oddometer:
    17,608
    Location:
    NA
    I smell a volunteer! Thanks for raising your hand Glen! :thumb
  6. Statdawg

    Statdawg Do U feel lucky ?

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2005
    Oddometer:
    1,331
    Location:
    Close to NYC
    I would like to help. I just don't know what format, style, that would be best for the rider or reader. It would be nice to put country info on one page then a traveler could just print it off. It can include Customs, media information links, bike shops and repair, it should include hospitals so we can look for someone there or use their services. We could grade routes from super easy to a place you have to shoot your way through. Danger places to avoid and great scenery and haunts for whatever. We could include email addresses of helpful inmates and local contacts etc, etc. There are alot of intelligent riders here to make this work, I am not sure of how to set up the information page.

    Keep it concise and to the point. :ear Any ideas ?
  7. bananaman

    bananaman transcontimental

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    7,886
    "29th October 2007 - GEOS commences Response Center operations in its new, ultra high tech Control Center and Operations Room in Houston, Texas. The building, which is one of the most secure in the USA, offers facilities for emergency management and business disaster recovery and continuity in an extensive network of nuclear bomb-proof bunkers 50 feet underground "

    from here: http://www.findmespot.com/

    and an entire thread on it here: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=282391

    for $150.00 to buy, $100/year for service, $50/year for tracking service, and $8.00 for $100,000 in extraction insurance provided by Lloyds of London.

    I really like the idea of a nuclear bomb-proof bunker where rocket scientists (read: nerds) with nothing else to do track you and find you so they can spill their pocket protectors trying to give each other high-fives.
  8. Lobby

    Lobby Viel Spass, Vato!

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2003
    Oddometer:
    30,205
    Location:
    San Antonio, Tx
    I just dunno, folks.

    The way Bananaman has described it, Panama is the most lawless place in the world and should be avoided at all cost.

    The cops are mean, possibly corrupt. There are entire towns without electricity and running water. Criminal activity everywhere. It must be a mess.

    Instead of riding to South America like I plan to do next year, I think I'll stay home and rent motorcyle DVD's.
  9. theturtleshead

    theturtleshead Tits on a fish

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2005
    Oddometer:
    831
    Location:
    Medellin Colombia ain,t nowhere better
    It is indeed true that these places like Panama and Ecuador,Colombia and Peru can be a bit wild at times.But that is also the reason why I as a Scotsman will never leave them.Here we still have the spirit of adventure,everthing can be an adventure from going to the shop or to the volcano,the beach or the Amazon the earthquakes the military coup,three presidents on the same day the wild wimmen the wild animals the wild nightlife the bad drivers the bad service the great steaks the great seafood sunshine everyday,no winter
    I could go on but Lobby and the rest of you need to come down and find out for yourselves
    Que Viva America Latina Carajo:clap
    Albert theturtleshead
  10. Lobby

    Lobby Viel Spass, Vato!

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2003
    Oddometer:
    30,205
    Location:
    San Antonio, Tx
    Nos vemos en Octubre o Noviembre. :freaky
  11. jb

    jb waystupid

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2005
    Oddometer:
    265
    Location:
    NOLA
    Sounds a bit like my neighborhood in New Orleans. :hide
  12. salcar

    salcar Riding 4 Health

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2005
    Oddometer:
    1,085
    Location:
    Nicaragua or Mexico or ?
    [​IMG]

    GatoGato's thread about the crossing of the Darien CLICK HERE :deal
  13. bananaman

    bananaman transcontimental

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    7,886
    Another word of caution before anyone else takes the slow boat to Colombia:

    If drugs are found on a boat, everyone gets arrested. If you're arrested by Panama authorities, you're going to go to jail in Panama for a very long time. Nobody cares if you're American of Canadian or anything else. The more drugs on the boat, the longer you're going to go to jail. And the more innocent you seem, the harder it's going to be for you to prove that you're innocent. You will be "guilty until proven innocent," not like in the US, where you're at least given a pretense of being presumed innocent. I don't know what the Colombians do when they arrest you- I've heard stories of summary executions. Not all the "authorities" who do the "arresting" are legit. They might be rival drug smugglers. They might be paramilitary. Even the Kuna have been known to kill drug smugglers. And the Kuna have even less compassion for outsiders. The Kuna have resisted outside influence with an iron fist. Nobody influences the Kuna. If you're lucky, and you're caught with drugs by the Kuna, all they'll do is chop off a hand. And if you think those little Kuna men are just little men- did you see the photo of them swimming and pushing barrels of diesel? I don't know why the Kuna aren't winning the olympics for swimming. They swim like fish. And they're super, super, super strong. I don't know why they're so darn strong. Don't try to armwrestle them.

    The Kuna are so strong, during the 1960s Lunar programs, NASA sent astronaughts to live with them.

    The Kuna are so tough, not even Colombian drug smugglers mess with them.

    The Kuna are also super, super nice. They sell their "molas" in the oly YMCA in Balboa, near the Bridge of the Americas and Panama City. If you want a real mola, buy it in San Blas. But the YMCA molas are just as good.

    One thing that GatoGato left out about the Kuna, they have gold. Nobody knows where they get it from, but it's somewhere in the Darien. They've been mining it, or collecting it, for centuries. Colombus and Balboa and a ton of other conquistadors searched and fought to find the gold but the Kuna keep beating them. All the Kuna women wear beautiful gold noserings, and when they get dressed up they appear with even more gold. The Kuna are different from the Embarra- the Embarra women don't always wear shirts, and they don't wear as much gold.

    The US Coast Guard still patrols the waters off the Darien. They're not as aggressive as they used to be, but they're still oportunistic. For example, if a ship is in distress, and the US Coast Guard is nearby, they'll "render aid." They'll also search the boat for drugs. Even if you're just a "back packer" or "adventure rider," you're going to be arrested.

    The worst American jails have nothing on the best Panamanian jails. Especially if you're arrested for suspicion of drug smuggling.

    The only places I know of that are harsher than Panama when it comes to drug smuggling are those countries in the far East that still execute drug smugglers.

    So, if you still want to take the slow boat, consider your risks very carefully. You might save a few hundred dollars. If you get through, you might have an awesome adventure to talk about.

    My suggestions: tour San Blas carefully, with a tour boat or with a private sailboat/yacht. Or get a job with one of the dive companies- they're always looking for PADI certified divers. If you're PADI certified, you don't even have to be a dive master to be a dive master. If you're not PADI certified, but you speak English, the dive companies will train you. Or you can get a job on one of the tour boats. Or you can volunteer with the Smithsonian, or any of many other scientific organizations. If you're smart, you might even be able to work for the Smithsonian. A good friend of mine worked for the Smithsonian in Panama and she has amazing stories- Indiana Jones stories. One of my uncles worked on an archeological dig on the coast of the Darien- I think they were looking for a lost Scottish community, one of those failed Utopia's that was thriving when the last ship left, and was completely gone when the next ship arrived.

    If you still want to take a slow boat- take a small private boat from one of the tiny communities along the Atlantic, closer to San Blas. You can ride to about 30 miles from San Blas. Depending on the roads and rains, you might be able to ride to within 10 miles. From there, ask one of the fishermen to ferry you closer to San Blas. Or ask them to take you (and your bike) fishing. The boats are small- maybe fiberglass, maybe a dugout kayuko. They'll probably be able to take you to San Blas. I've hired one for $70 from the last town before San Blas, round-trip. They took us to Cocolle, and picked us up again a few days later. From there, you should be able to continue hitching on small boats all the way to Obaldia, and from there, Colombia. This way might take a long time, and it's going to be dangerous, but the boats are too small to hide any amount of drugs, so at least you won't be surprised if you're searched and drugs are found. Of all the risks, I'd almost prefer to risk myself with the paramillitaries and rebels. At least they only represent one degree of risk- while the drug smugglers also risk you having to deal with being arrested.

    A few years ago one of my uncles went with a friend past San Blas to a river and then into the Darien- on jetskis. They had a 42 foot boat tow the jetskis to the river, and then they went up until they'd used half their gas. Along the way they met a nun who was looking for a ride out- so my uncle gave a nun a ride on his jetski. I really wish I had a picture.

    If you're on a small ship or large boat going from Panama to Colombia and the ship is in distress but doesn't call for help, then they're smuggling.

    Some of you might be wondering, why would a ship smuggle drugs from Panama to Colombia? Don't the drugs go from Colombia to Panama? The answer is, no. Drugs don't always go one-way. There are also drug operations in Panama. Colombia isn't the only drug-producer in Central and South America. Not all drug smugglers are smart- the regularly defy logic. And drugs like cocaine and marijuana are traded like any other commodity- they're just not traded openly in a public commodities exchange. The big dealers are moving drugs around the world in a pattern not unlike orange juice, coffee, sugar, oil... The big dealers don't represent very many risks to the casual traveller. It's the small dealers who are most likely to get one of us in trouble. But they're easy to avoid- no harder to avoid than, for example, the drug dealers in Washington D.C., New York City, or Chicago.

    The boats might not be smuggling drugs. They might be full of cash. Which do you think the crew will protect more?
  14. Brennan

    Brennan @OliveOilandGasoline

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2005
    Oddometer:
    879
    Location:
    Europe or on my RTW
    My vote, for where to put that book, would be up your ass. Everyone riding through Panama could have a blast signing it.:lol3 :ken

    If you have the time and the fortitude check with the APM in Panama City to verify my credibility as a traveller/human being.

    Thank you for judging me. Your turn. Earlier in this thread I left you alone, when, in reality I wanted to verbally punch you in the larynx for being such a complete douchebag. I am sure that if we met in person we would have some laughs, but here, on this thread, for the record, you can kiss my ass.

    I do, however, appreciate the information you have provided this community. I mean that. You have earned a great deal of respect, for whatever that is worth, from me for the time you have invested in this community. Thank you, but again, kiss my ass for the person you portrayed yourself as earlier in this thread.
  15. makinwaves

    makinwaves Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,896
    Location:
    Travelling in South America!
    Please, dude... Let it go. :deal
  16. JohnTM

    JohnTM I suck toes

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2001
    Oddometer:
    29,221
    Location:
    Cornersville, TN
    Yes, please BOTH of y'all just let it go. :mrskbasa
  17. bananaman

    bananaman transcontimental

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    7,886
    I started a "Panama" thread. http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=293986

    Could you add your experience for getting in and out? Could you compare it to getting in and out of other Central and South American countries? As an extranjero, did you buy insurance for your bike? What was the temporary import process like? Stuff like that and anything else you could add- I'm sure other riders will appreciate it.

    I'm going to talk to Julio at the BMW dealership to see if he'd be willing to be The Book Keeper. Otherwise I was thinking about Sorento Pizza, near the Marriott. I don't know if I'd trust a tienda-keeper in Yavisa to not lose a potentially valuable relic, but maybe we could place an addendum in Yavisa. Puerto Bello is another option. I know the guys at Panama Divers are already used to keeping log-books. The only problem is that sometimes they're not available- gone diving or something. They can be gone for a weeks. If Colon wasn't so dangerous, the Yacht Club would be a good place to keep the book.

    Once we get the book placed, I say we leave it there until it disapears. Every time someone signs it, they can take a photo or scan of it, and post the scan here. We can put a disclaimer on the cover so that anyone who signs will automatically consent to having their notes printed here. If they want to include some details- how they got in, how they're going out, that could aid a little when the ad-hoc emergency search-and-rescue system springs into action.
  18. tibejara

    tibejara Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2004
    Oddometer:
    49
    Location:
    Colombia. motorcycle paradise
    Hey BANANAMAN u Hombre Banano

    You should apply for a job in FOX NEWS, most of the things that you mention are starting to smell like B.S.
  19. theturtleshead

    theturtleshead Tits on a fish

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2005
    Oddometer:
    831
    Location:
    Medellin Colombia ain,t nowhere better
    :huh Es casi seguro que el tiene trabajo con CNN peor todavia!!!
    Albert theturtleshead
  20. bananaman

    bananaman transcontimental

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    7,886
    !No tengo ningun trabajo!