While approaching home and traveling through Central America, we have started to encounter many of our accommodations and activities being owned by expats or foreign owners, many times from the United States.
Category Archives: Colombia
No more shipping the trucks! When we were in the planing stages of the expedition, we could not have possibly imagined how difficult, complicated, convoluted, annoying and downright painful the overseas shipping process could be. After four international, overseas container shipments during the course of the expedition, one would think that we are now knowledgeable experts when it comes to shipping vehicles abroad. The sad reality of the situation is the only thing we really know about putting a vehicle into a container and sending it to another country is that we never care to do it again.
Photo of the Week-El Capitan!
Point of Departure: Cartagena Yacht Club
Point of Arrival: Panama City, Panama via San Blas Islands
Mode of Transport: 30ft Single Mast Sail Boat
Approximate hours at sea: 41
Captain: A gregarious loose cannon named Hernando
Crew: 6 travelers entirely un-experienced in sailing and just trying to get to Panama
For those of you that don’t know, the famed Pan American highway isn’t exactly a complete run from Alaska to southern South America, the road unfortunately lacks roughly 57 miles between Panama and Colombia. The reason being: a 3,000 sq/mi. area known as the Darien Gap.
It has been a time consuming and difficult process trying to find a way around the Darien Gap here in Colombia, but we have finally managed to bypass the gap and are going to do it in an exciting way. Dealing with the shipping companies in Cartagena has been pretty much par for the course in terms of mind numbing complexity and ridiculousness. The first several quotes we received for our 40′ container were well over $3,000.
As we approached Christmas, it seemed like nothing really changed. Being close to the equator, no snow was falling, no Christmas trees were decorated, and while the spirit of Christmas was still in the air, its presence was was more known than felt. South America seems to keep Christmas as more of a religious and family holiday, but the introverted family times turn into an absolute free for all once the bell rings in the new year. We believed the
Colombia is always a place that has intrigued me for several different reasons. Maybe it is the lure of the jungle, maybe it the element of danger due to the longstanding presence of guerillas and revolutionaries, maybe it is the images of Juan Valdez and his coffee carrying mule, or maybe it is the curiosity generated by Pablo Escobar and the numerous cartels that put Colombia on the international map for less glamorous reasons.
In the vast majority of the country there is a very real police and state military presence. Whether you see groups patrolling the city streets, or whizzing by you on their motorbikes, they are generally pleasant-regardless of the M-16’s strapped to their back or draped across their laps. On all of the drives we have taken since crossing into Colombia, there have always been at least half a dozen police roadblocks/checkpoints. Most of the time, they wave you right through, but the trucks also have a tendency to catch their attention. First they will inquire about our destination before checking over some of the truck’s documents. Several of those occasions have led to all of us getting out of the trucks, shaking their hands and re-tracing the route on the back of the Sequoia for our latest audience. This time, the muchachos de la carretera weren’t getting away without answering some of our questions…most importantly: Can you take a picture with us?
When it comes to current events in Colombia, the hard-hitting and leading news pursued by the media is rarely positive. The problems here can still be quite severe, however, the nation is far less troubled than it was even 5 years ago. But as we experience more of this beautiful nation, it becomes apparent that daily life here maintains the same familiar values that are threaded throughout humanity…and more importantly Colombians not only love to have a good time, but they know how to have a good time! So in order to shy away from some of the more negative perceptions the world might have towards Colombia, here is a look at some of the more upbeat newsworthy topics sweeping the nation.