100 Miles of Struggle

The trucks lie in wait

The Darien Gap is a 100 mile stretch of FARC infested swampland dividing Panama and Colombia. The last successful overland vehicle crossing of this road-less wonder was completed in 741 days between 1985 and 1987. Did you catch that? Two years to travel 100 miles. Lacking unlimited time, we opted for a cargo ship which would haul our truck around the gap in just 24 hours.

What we assumed would be a $1000, one week ordeal transformed into a one month non-inclusive ($) course on Latin American Business Practices. The curriculum included Language Clarification (yes means maybe and no mean perhaps), Specialized Accounting for Budget Oversights, and Advanced Time Management with an emphasis in Official Stamp Accumulation.

A detailed rundown of the process would only be a painful rendering of a string of unexciting let downs. We could go on for days about the ups and downs but really we’re just happy it’s over. And even more so, we are thrilled to be in South America. Once again, we have all our needs in the back of the pick up and all our desires laid out in the freedom of the open road ahead.

Special thanks go out to a few special people:

  • Shaun at Panama Passage for giving us a home away from home and being a valued member of the Squeeze Team
  • Julio at PSLI for “making it happen”
  • Antonio in Cartagena for translating “absolutely not” into “ok, go ahead”
  • Tom & Jan for keeping us sane and finding the humor in every problema

Logan takes a peek inside the container.

Like buttah

After two weeks, the trucks are sealed in the container

Reunited with the trucks in Cartagena

We opted against creating a guide for shipping the gap because we wouldn´t wish our situation on any other traveler. We did however throw together some helpful tips to potentially avoid the problems we encountered:

The aspirin to your shipping headache

6 thoughts on “100 Miles of Struggle

  1. Glad you got it back. All your readers do hope for more details, but we don’t want it to tick you off the whole time you’re writing, so maybe I’ll just ask you in person in Peru in a month.

    • There have been talks about paving a road for years, in fact we considered doing it ourselves, but political and environmental interests have kept those plans at bay. With every road comes opportunity and complications.

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