Boat trip to Colombia

Trip Start May 11, 2005
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183
320
Trip End Ongoing


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Flag of Panama  ,
Thursday, July 26, 2007

Even though Colombia and Panama are connected their is no way to travel overland between the two countries due to the Darin Gap.  This gap is a huge road-less jungle full of bandits and guerrillas. Because of this everyone either takes a boat or a plane. I chose to take a boat because it stopped in the San Blas Islands and figured it would be a good adventure.  Our sail boat was 40 feet long and had 8 backpackers crammed in it.  The journey was to take 5 days.  Originally our Capitan tried to take 10 people but after sleeping like sardines in the port the first night one guy bailed and another girl got so sick she had to fly back to Panama city.  Even then, 8 backpackers on a 40 ft boat was a tight fit but we eventually got use to it.
     
 The open ocean was unkind to us landlubbers and most people spent the entire day puking.   Only 3 of us did not get sick.  Me, Matius (Swiss guy that talks like Arnold Schwarzenegger) and a Spanish guy named Oscar.  To be fair, the waves were massive and the were coming from every angle so instead of just going up and down we were also going side to side.  Some people puked so much that they had nothing left and just lay on the side of the boat dry heaving.  A couple girls were so sick they even consider jumping overboard out of desperation.....  Since the ocean was unkind we literally could not do anything.  No reading, no cards or really even talking!  The healthy people just went to sleep and prayed not to get sick!.
     
 We arrived that night in the San Blas Island to calm waters.  These islands are home to the Kuna people which are an autonomous tribe of Panama.  They have the coolest way of dressing but due to their policy of 1 dollar a photo I never took one!
    We spent 2 days island hopping in San Blas. Many of these island consist solely of a single palm tree and ten by ten piece of sand.  Its just like the islands you get marooned on in cartoons.  Others were slightly bigger with tons on coconut trees and a couple huts.  There are so many little islands that each family can have their own.
   
   After our 2 days in San Blas we set off for Colombia.  Everyone was terrified of getting sick again so this time everyone was ready  with copious amounts of Dramamine.  One Aussie girl who got really sick the first day took night time Dramamine for 2 days in a row and we did not see her until we arrived in Colombia.  

 
 One random night I awoke to a world that was sideways... in my sleepy haze I could feel that something was wrong because I was almost walking on the wall.  Crawling out of the cabin I found the captain harnessed to the boat in a battle with the wind to right the boat.   For a brief moment me and Sholmi looked around for our valuables in case we went over.  The captain eventually got the sails under control and righted the boat.  The next 2 days  consisted of unbearable hot weather and open ocean.
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Comments

kyliechu
kyliechu on

the trip
hey mate.
i was wondering how you'd organised the sail boat, and how long in advance as i also need to get from panama city to columbia somehow.
from the photos, the trip looked insane. did it really only take a total of 5 days? where did the boat start and finish? and how much did it all cost.
my email is kyliechu_@hotmail.com
if you could get back to me that would be great, i'm doing this about the begining of december!
thanks.

Marcial on

mi experiencia fue maravillosa, no ayudaron con el traslado hasta san blas en unos 4x4, si necesitan informacion 67475490 jorge

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