You knew it was coming. I’ve been in the same spot (mostly) for over two years now and that seems to be the threshold. My boots have got to tingling; my wandering foot is a twitching. What is it you have in mind you ask? Oh good, I was just about to tell you. South. How far south? Sky is the limit, or perhaps it’s the Darien Gap. If you remember the last time I took off it was north, all the way to Alaska in a ‘71 VW bus. This time we are headed South on a 2001 Honda Shadow Spirit 750. She’s a beaut’.
It’s been a while since I have written here. During freewheeling’s hiatus I’ve been in West Virginia working in the outdoor adventure industry, but we’ll talk more about that later. The pressing matter at the moment is that in four weeks my partner and I will be hoping on a motorcycle and heading for? Panama? Costa Rica? South. Partner you say? I do say. Don’t worry, you’ll get to know her over the course of this adventure I’m sure. Maybe she’ll even write an article or two.
Let’s lay out the framework. We’ve got 5 months, one motorcycle, a limited budget, a set of saddlebags, an extra gas can, a 90 liter dry bag and a heapin‘ helpin’ of hope. Realistically, how far can we make it? I’m gunning for the Panama Canal. Beyond that lies the one stretch of land in the Americas not yet conquered by man and his machines. The Darien Gap is a 90ish mile swatch of jungle from the South of Panama into the Northern region of Columbia. It’s ridden with narco traffickers, guerilla factions and all manner of poisonous whatnot. Even I don’t want to go there so it must be bad.
If you do decide to continue south past the Darien Gap it must be done by boat between Colon, Panama and Cartagena, Columbia. Of course, many other routes are possible, but this seems to be the most common and inexpensive. This is something that must be arranged on the ground and I estimate that costs for two people and a motorcycle at somewhere around $750 each way. As much as I would love to hop a boat and continue on I just don’t see it in the budget unless there is some benevolent adventure benefactor lurking out there that wants to make a donation.
That’s it in a nutshell. I’ll be posting more regularly again as we make preparations for the trip and the adventures resume. Stay tuned.