Nov 082012
 

After four days bouncing around the Caribbean, it was back to reality and back to work.  Our van was still in a container in the port of Cartagena and in order to drive her off we had miles of red tape to unravel.  Before beginning the process there was the matter of getting ourselves from Capurganá, a small Caribbean village near the Panamanian border, to the city of Cartagena.  It would be a long grueling day of travel which included a two hour boat ride through rough seas, a five hour bus ride over terrible back roads, a second five and a half hour bus ride over even worse roads and, finally, a 45 minute taxi ride into the center of town.  All of this after staying up late to watch the US presidential election results come in (at last we could breath a sigh of relief).  Luckily for us we had two amazing friends along for the ride who would take some of the sting away from a long and arduous process.  When you are at the mercy of so many factors outside of your control, the value of people with whom to share your misery cannot be overstated.

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Nov 032012
 

While our car was making its way across the Caribbean to Colombia, it was up to us to find our own way.  We could fly from Panama City, take a sail boat across the ocean or go for the cheapest option which involves a number of outboard motor boats followed by a series of long bus rides.  The motor boat option had the added benefit of getting to see a number of additional small towns along the way and spending the most amount of time on the San Blas Islands, an archipelago just off the coast of Panama. Having logged our fair share of miles on public transportation during our lives a day of travel on even the worst of roads seemed a lot less intimidating than the 36 hours of open water sailing that we would have faced had we taken the sail boat.  Of the sail boat option, we had heard a number of horror stories of incompetent captains, lack of food supplies and rampant sea sickness.  However, we quickly realized our choice was just as susceptible to a bungling, inept crew as any other. Continue reading »