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Driving NA to SA?: Look up the Darien Gap.

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean Driving NA to SA?: Look up the Darien Gap.

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1. Posted by Piecar (Travel Guru 933 posts) 6y Star this if you like it!

Seriously. Do it. Pre emptive advice. From your ol' buddy Piecar.

Somebody put this as a sticky so's folks can know that there is no driving way through the Darien Gap.

You gotta ship your car, if you want to try it.

Darien Gap Lowdown


[ Edit: Edited on 14-Nov-2010, at 08:02 by Piecar ]

2. Posted by dbloom (Travel Guru 586 posts) 6y Star this if you like it!

I am also able to send advices from those who drove to SA from up north last year, most ship vehicles by RORO and there are well qualified customs agents in Panama, bi lingual, hire one, lots of tramite or paperwork, you must fly then to Colombia or Ecuador to be at port to claim your vehicle. Also ask google about 'shipping vehicles from Panama to /south America' ,'driving from USA and Canada to Central and South America' and 'Darien Gap'

3. Posted by Piecar (Travel Guru 933 posts) 6y Star this if you like it!

Thanks for chiming in DBloom. That's good to know.

4. Posted by dbloom (Travel Guru 586 posts) 6y Star this if you like it!

Where are u now Piecar???? Faroe Islands or somewhere like it?

Central America is not a Disneyland or "cheap destination" to me.. I live here.....

"Courage to change the things we can..wisdom to know the difference."

Darien Gap may be deforested anyway in a few years, as parts of Amazonia in Brazil, so they can build their d--- Pan Am highway, so the RV ers can populate the

I have read on my Latin American Business (I live here) and Travel sites, forums, bb's that possibly within 10 years large parts of Darien Gap, as Amazonia in Brazil, may be deforested and the Pan Am highway can then be completed. In 1970, when I first came to El Salvador, that country was lush with vegetation, today 2010, I live here this nation is 97% deforested, also population is exploding in Latin America, some 60% of the population of Latin America is under 25 years of age, campesinos have migrated to cities or up to del Norte to find work. Now since the Middle Class is leaving Venezuela poorer immigrants from all over the world are coming in their place. Cuba is to eliminate 500,000 government supported 'jobs' and encourage
cubans to start small free market businesses.

Violence stress, its survival, people here work hard for low pay to support their families, is on increase worldwide, I am aware here in San Salvador when I cross the street, half the drivers are talking on their cell phones kids, we work hard, most of us ain't "poor" in this so called 'third world'....
and the other half are stressed, angry, some run red lights. I did my driving in Central America, 800,000 klics, in 15 years, no major accidents, never robbed on the highway


If planning on visiting and or residing in remote areas of Latin America be sure your basic Spanish and or Portuguese is up to par, we are saying goodbye next month here in El Salvador to an old and dear gringo friend, who, through no fault of his own, has learning disability and after 3 years of trying hard, still cannot speak basic Spanish, he helped a lot of people, though, he will be missed, ordinary guy who left the States, working with an NGO, bad divorce and personal problems up north in puritan and pc land,, he loved it here.

5. Posted by Piecar (Travel Guru 933 posts) 6y Star this if you like it!

I don't think that owning a cellphone proves any kind of affluence these days, DBloom. I've seen people living in a hovel with cellphones, not to mention a pair of six foot tall blaupunkt speakers. And I do NOT mean just one individual case. In Colombia, for instance, cellphones are cheap like the borscht. Everyone has one, and the service to get calls is free. You just need to pay to phone out. An entire population of people wanders around with fully charged cellphones without the means to actually use the thing.

If you are trying to recast El Salvador as anything other than Third World, you're gonna have a severe skeptic in me. El Salvador is dirt poor. It's not surprising that the only big city in the country has a larger population of relatively rich Salvadorenos. But, seeing the amount of shanty towns that stretch under bridges in San Salvador, I don't think many there are lighting their stogies with fifty dollar bills. And having seen plenty of accidents in my relatively little time in CA, I'm gonna say it's no dream of organized driving either.

El Salvador, and CA in general, have a deplorable record in relation to teen pregnancy. I worked, for a time, with a group of Doctors who went aldea to aldea trying to explain the idea of birth control, with little success. I cannot guess at the percentage of females under the age of 18 who already have a child, but my personally witnessed percentage is astronomical. El Salvador is a great place, and my personal experiences in San Salvador lead me to think of Salvadorenos as a damned friendly and helpful place...but the place is struggling.

I am in Uruguay these days. Montevideo. What a nice and quiet town this is. And their idea of heating their homes is much better than the retarded thinking of Chile, so it promises to be a good year here.

[ Edit: Edited on 15-Nov-2010, at 03:59 by Piecar ]

6. Posted by dbloom (Travel Guru 586 posts) 6y Star this if you like it!

Tell me something I dont know, if you had been in Latin America in the early 1970s like I was, you would see how far countries like ES have come, what if the US never had the 'industrial revolution' and was an agricultural society 40 years ago? My out look is different than yours I guess, over 60, retired and do not care what the trust fund babies think, nor ever did. Why dont you go to Chile and show the retards there how to do it right??? By the way, African Americans have a single mother birth rate of some 70 per cent in some US cities, check it out, suppose writing that makes me a racist???????

people are far more important than destinations

if someone claims to know it all, they probably dont

paramedic in conflict zones of El Salvador and Guatemala in 1980s, also in combat elsewhere, been to hell and walked through a few times with a gasoline can.

politically incorrect to the max. ciao


7. Posted by Piecar (Travel Guru 933 posts) 6y Star this if you like it!

Oh I've tried, D, I've tried. I insulated a couple of apartments with basic things like weather stripping and filling in cracks in the doors and windows. But it's slow going one place at a time and I have no real interest in doing a PSA on Chilean TV after Sabado Gigante. Yes, one sect of the American population has a baby problem. I'm Canadian.

Destinations are often more important than people. People can get on your nerves. Places are what they are.

First Aid attendant on my work site in the 1990s. I've seen dozens of (simulated) firefights. Know how to field strip a prop P90. Had several fistfights in farflung countries. Felt like hell a few times and have had to walk with a gascan when I forgot to fill up.

Don't even know what political correctness means.

snickersnortchuckle Adieu.

Oh, and, don't try to cross the Darien Gap in your car, dear readers. Izza noh guhd.


8. Posted by dbloom (Travel Guru 586 posts) 6y Star this if you like it!

Good to have a sense of humor, good to agree to disagree, I belong also to ex pat sites and forums, hospex sites and others for a different perspective.

What I say in private conversations with long term native and ex pat friends I could not and would not post up on the Internet, when I was a guide/interpreter in Central America I learned not to socialize with clients at night, if invited and avoid people stress, as I call it,birds of a feather most often do flock together and travellers trust travellers more than ex pat guides, while

why half of marriages end in divorce,

Sometimes, often, people of any culture can get on ones nerves, people, even the most well meaning will let you down, here where I live there is alookout not far over the volcano, always there rain or shine and does not argue, besides people, places and things there is ones own inner or spiritual path, follow it, all the rest from websites to money to airline tickets to travel advice is icing on the cake, most often my laid out plans and schemes have ended up in failure bin while good things have fallen into my lap by 'accident', planned a great life when I first got married, 3 years later, a lot poorer and wiser my divorce papers arrived in the mail, however to my ex wifes credit when I got really sick after the divorce she did point me in the right direction to seek help, I met her while living in Eastern Europe in early 1980s.
My mom was born in Europe, left in time, my Aunt wound up in Canada, I went to Protestant Public School in English there one year, was lucky to be from cosmopolitan background, uncle by marriage from Canada wound up ad manager of Canadian Company in Latin America for over 35 years while my Uncle by blood returned to Latin America in mid 1950s to work in agriculture

Just pushed the wrong button....lost some laptop anyway piecar even though we disagree on some things you are one of the few online I know who always tells the truth as you see it..stand up guy. saludos, does not get that cold in Uruguay anyway, try Montreal..salut saludos eh?

9. Posted by Piecar (Travel Guru 933 posts) 6y Star this if you like it!

Yeah, no one's given me a map to the spiritual path...Well, Okay, I once got a map to El Camino in Spain, but still.

Other than Robert Pelton Young, the only one I ever knew who claimed to have walked through the Gap was a German woman of about twenty five who looked like she could crush a firetruck. My initial instinct was to disbelieve her. But I decided, while fearing for my life while she clapped me on the shoulder in friendship, that it was possible. I believe she could pound FARC into a bog like a nail...Yes, I mean the entire organization....Is it weird that her massive Ferrigno like body did it for me a little?

Dave, let's carry on the discussion off the grid. Though, up front here, you should know I'm jes foolin' aroun'. I've never had to walk anywhere with a gas can. In fact I always carry extra gas in a gascan in my car. Never know when the zombie apocalypse'll come an' ya gotta have supplies.

I'll send you a PM.

See you in Sal.


10. Posted by dbloom (Travel Guru 586 posts) 6y Star this if you like it!

Yes have met many young travellers who do amazing things, pure grit, to each his or her own. 20, 25 years ago here in Central America, conflict era, I took a lot of crazy risks "walking through hell with a gas can" was irony, a lot of people do not understand irony. Sorry for the mis understanding, why I far prefer f2f and telephone, voice contact over forum threads and e mails. Again in 10 years bet you teh Darien Gap will be partially de forested and the last leg of Pan Am hiway under construction, probably by the chinese.