Since almost all of Central America is one large volcano, we’ve been able to take full advantage of volcanic cauldera’s. The first crater we hit up was the aptly named El Valle in western Panama and the second was a crater lake in El Salvador where we went on two dives with Oceanica Scuba via DeCameron resorts.
Tag Archives: Panama
So weâ€™re safe and sound in Panama AND we finally have re-claimed the vehicles. What do we do next, why not try some kiteboarding. Luckily, our new friend Itzick Lalo, of Machete Kiteboarding was up for giving us a lesson or two.
There are a lot of stray dog’s in Central America. Some are dangerous, some are indifferent, and some are extremely friendly. This little sweet dog we met at Machete Kiteboarding at Punta Chame, Panama is nicknamed Windy. She passed out early while we all enjoyed the bonfire on the beach.
Panama is a country of contrasts, probably more so than any other country I have traveled through on this expedition. There are definitely a lot of other countries in the world where you can see the stark contrast between rich and poor, the haves and have nots but because Panama is such a small country relatively speaking, these contrasts can literally be observed without really going anywhere or even trying.
Our last destination in Panama was a sleepy town called Santa Catalina. Surfers first came sometime in the early 80s and not much has been developed since, aside from a few restaurants, hostels and cabins. This would be a good place to come “to get away from it all” as there is zero cell phone service or internet access. For better or for worse, it’s a seemingly odd little vortex of a tropical town and no one in it, tourist or otherwise, has any clue what is going on. After about 45 minutes trying to look for our hostel on one of only 3 dead-end dirt roads, our friends Tom and Steve mentioned that they met someone in the Panama City airport who told them that the town is “really confusing”.
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.
4:45 a.m. rolled around and it was time to get up. The great people at Lunaâ€™s Castle Hostel, in the Casco Viejo neighborhood of Panama City, set us up with a jeep ride to Carti to meet the rest of The World By Road crew for the first time in the San Blas Islands.
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.