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Latin America Kevin Dispatch

How To Get From Here To There?...
 
Map of the Darien Gap So here we are in Panama City, on our way to Peru, except there is one slight problem. The problem is called the Darien Gap.

You see, there are no roads connecting Central America with South America. Which leaves us with two options. We can:

1 - Hike on through the rainforest, which takes over a week and can be expensive because you have to hire a guide who can show you the way, OR

2 - You have to find someone with a boat who will take you around the Gap by sea. The trick is to find someone who is already going that way so they won't charge you as much.

Hiking the Darien Gap has been done by many people, and it is what some of us planned to do, BUT several Americans have been killed in some areas of Colombia recently, since there is a civil war going on there, and we decided it just wouldn't be wise to risk our safety that way. (Note, you can help ensure that the killings are thoroughly investigated in today's "Making a Difference.")

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Some other travelers here told me that there is a gringo (someone from the US) who swings by a certain neighborhood each week looking for travelers to work aboard his yacht en route to South America. So Kavitha and Abeja and I headed on over to the colonial part of town, San Felipe, to see what we could find. The neighborhood is very old looking and the streets are narrow, filled with pedestrians, cars, and pollution. San Felipe overlooks a cape, part of the Pacific ocean, and it was amazing to look out and see the skyscrapers of the financial district across the water contrasting with the run-down impoverished atmosphere of the old town. We talked with anyone we could find who we thought might know about the gringo, but no luck yet. We went to the market where they sell meat, fish, and spices to ask around about any other boats we can perhaps catch. We'll keep on asking until we find something. Until then, we get to keep exploring Panama.

So what would you do if you had a few days in Panama City?

You can read my other dispatch about Panama's Snow Cones and Chinatown in: Chinese Food and Snow Cones in the Heart of Panama.

Or you check your knowledge of the Panama Canal in Monica's report. The Eighth Wonder of the World!

Kevin

Monica - The Eighth Wonder of the World!
Kevin - Chinese Food and Snow Cones in the Heart of Panama
Kevin - Kid's Version - 25 Cents for a Taste of Heaven
Kavitha - Beware What You Order! Food in Central America
Abeja - Anatomy of a Border Crossing
Shawn - A Tech Man Cries, "Uncle!"
Slayings in Columbia
 
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