From the time I opened the door of this car and sat down, it seems the world is mine and at the same time it seems it is also coming down on me. I am nervous, but this anxiety is full of freedom and of optimism that makes me believe that I can be free. Even if tomorrow we had to turn around and go back for some reason or another, I would feel free, free to have been able to leave everything behind, to go in pursuit of my dream.Herman Zapp, Spark Your Dream
After a year driving south through Mexico and every country in Central America, we put our wheeled home into a shipping container and watched it move away from us. On November 1, our Jeep Gladiator was carried to the port of Manzanillo on the Caribbean coast of Panamá. From there, it will travel by container ship to Cartagena, Colombia.
Though it was a hectic day to film, we managed to capture the action and excitement of loading day for our latest video. Watch it now:
Why can’t we drive to South America?
We’ve been receiving the same questions over and over: why did we put our Jeep in a shipping container to go from Panamá to Colombia? Why can’t we just drive to South America?
In a recent Instagram poll, 1 out of 4 of our community members weren’t sure why.
Let’s clear up the confusion.
Straddling the border of Panamá and Colombia, there is a 106-kilometer region called the Darién Gap. There is no road across this stretch delineating North and South America.
In history, there have been only 7 recorded motor vehicle expeditions across the Darién Gap. We will not be number 8.
The Darién Gap is a mixture of heavy jungle, marshland, and mountains. The indigenous tribes who make their home there often navigate by canoe. Unfortunately, there are also nefarious activities that take place, including smuggling. So any expedition requires a security force, as well as heavy manual labor to cut a path through the swamp.
Suffice it to say, a Darién Gap crossing is beyond our travel purposes with a five-year-old. If Caspian wants to try it when he’s an adult, I might consider riding shotgun. 👍
Our shipping container has already been delayed once, and further delays are possible. But we are prepared for that. We’ll take a one-hour flight to Cartagena on November 6. We have an Airbnb rented through November 18 and hope Dauntless (our Jeep) will be ready to reclaim by then. In the meantime, we’ll explore Cartagena and work on travel logistics for the next few months.
Read this about Patreon
If you have never taken the time to visit our Patreon page to review the benefits we offer, then please do so now. It will only take you a minute.
We have a really good thing going on Patreon, with a growing community of kind and curious people. Some are full-time travelers, or avid overlanders, or have an international trip planned, or aren’t able to travel anymore but love living vicariously through us. It’s the whole spectrum.
We are working hard to make Patreon as valuable as possible. Our most popular benefit is access to Marco Polo, an app that lets us share video clips from wherever we are in real time, and then allows you to respond with questions and comments. Last week, we took our patrons to the Panama Canal to show them ships passing through the locks! This benefit is available at the Expedition Member tier and above.
Next time we blog here, it will be from South America!
Saugata Roy Chowdhury
May the whole universe be with you my Mayan brother! Safe travels!
So kind of you to take the time to comment! We love you. You’re welcome to come visit us in South America if you can get away. 🙂