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July 25th 2009
Published: July 25th 2009
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So I went back to Capurgana and it was such a beautiful day ,as the boat was arriving at Capurgana, I looked ashore and realised this is the place I've always dreamt of.I mentioned this to Joey ,the Hawaian owner of my hotel "Darius CabaƱas", and he said "let me wet your appetite".We walked a few hundred metres into the jungle behind the hotel and we stopped at this incredible block of land.Cleared with many different fruit trees and fenced off.It is only 800 sq meteres but it is gorgeous.He said I could have this for US$15000.I looked around Capurgana and the only block cheaper was right in the middle of the village.I am now trying to raise the $ to buy this land.
I was chatting with Yaneth 1 day and she said she could get a couple of days off work so including the long weekend we could have 5 days together starting 17july.This gave me about 10days to kill.About my 3rd day in Capurgana I told Joey it would be fun to meet the boat and try and get him some guests.I was sitting at a cafe when the boat came in and I saw Joey.He laughed and said I won't get anyone sitting here.I smiled and said I'd already seen all the tourists and was just waiting for them to get through the police check.There were 5 English speakers on the boat and I got them all to stay with Joey.I think I'll retire with 100% record.
One of them was a Spaniard named Omar.The other people were all together so they got 1 room but Omar shared the dormitory with me.He was a nice man and was heading to Panama so we decided to travel together for a while.We got our exit stamps in our Passports then got a boat to Puerto Abaldia.Normally we would fly from Panama City from here but they are doing up the Airstrip so we got our entry stamps and got another boat to Tubuala ,a tiny little village on the Southern San Blass Islands.This boat trip went into the open Carrabian so was very bouncy and we were all happy to get to Tubuala, sore and sorry.We waited for a little while until a 15 seater plane turned up and we flew 50mins to Panama City.At the airport it is necesary to got through Imigration ,Customs and the Police.All this took about 3hours and the rumour is that they do this on purpose so they have a chance to sus out drug mules.
We eventually got out of the airport and got taxi to Zulys Backpackers.This was Joeys recomendation and wasn't too bad.The next day we walked the riverfront to the old city then got bus to the Canal visiters centre.Here we watched a couple of ships go through a lock and watched a video then we went back to Zulys.the Canal really was worth the trip.Very impressive.
Next morning we'd both had enough of being in the city so we got 2 buses and a boat to Isla Grande.A northern San Blass Island.We got rooms in a locals house ,very cheap, then walked the island.It only took a couple of hours and in a few of the bays you could easily imagine the pirates coming ashore for water or to bury loot.Just as we were getting to end of walk it started raining and it was obvious it had set in so we went back to house and settled in for evening with books.We had an OK seafood dinner ,that I won't recommend , then read some more and listened to the storm.Omar suggested that the next day we head fro the Pacific and hope its dryer.The next morning I found a sirynge packet and by the way the guy was piling sugar in his coffee he wasn't diabetic.As I watched the people around the circumstantual evidence was enough to make Omar insist on the next boat to the mainland.We returned to Panama and got another bus West.We stayed the night in a lovely little village ,can't remember name, and had excellent Mexican food from a street stall.The next morning we got a few buses and eventually got to Santa Catalina where we booked into a hostel and booked a 3tank day with local dive company.We went to local Pizzaria that night for the so called "Best pizzas in Panama".Wasn't true but they were pretty good and it seemed half the town was there on the piss.
Omar has done 50 odd dives and he thought the Coiba Islands were average but for me ,having just dived Tacunga; it was incredible.1000s of fish snd hundreds of sharks, all reasonably harmless reef sharks but exciting none the less.We finished our 3dives and got back to shore at around 4.30.Had some dinner and slept an exhausted sleep.
We got a bus back to Santiago and parted company.Omar was heading for Costa Rica and I was going back to Capurgana to see Yaneth.I stayed the night in Panama City and flew back to Tubuala the next morn.Went through the same trip again but backwards,spent 1 night at Joeys then got boat back to Turbo and a bus to Monteria.Stayed the night at my hotel ,they were so happy with me returning for a 3rd stay they gave me a Airconned room for price of normal room.Next morning I went to airport and met Yaneths plane.We went straight to the terminal and got a bus to Turbo.We had a lovely night in Turbo and got the boat to Capurgana.This boat had a terrible skipper and a bunch of drunks who cheered every time he got the boat airborn.This just encouraged him even more so was a really sore trip.Worst of all the boats I'd taken recently.
We spent a couple of lovely nights in Capurgana.On the Sunday we walked to Panama and got a boat back to Capurgana.On the monday we got boat back to Turbo and a bus to Monteria.Stayed the night at same hotel and next morning Yaneth got on plane,After some long discussions with Omar I had already decided to head to Bogota and speak with Government officials about foreign ownership of land in Colombia andto change my return ticket from Mexico City-Australia to Bogota-Australia.This means instead of rushing through Central America and Mexico I can spend the next 7weeks looking at land and land prices so I'm in a better position to negotiate with Joey.Also means I can travel Central america ,Mexico next year.
So I spent a lazy day in Monteria then next day got bus to Medallin,1 night there then bus to La Dorada then next day to Bogota.Now I am sitting in Yaneths flat writting my blog entry.Yaneth has appointment with Aussie consulate agency about emigrating and Tuesday I will start inquiring about foriegn land ownership.
Well thats all for now folks.Can't believe I'm down to my last 3rd of this adventure.Chau


17th November 2010

Boat from panama to colombia
Hello! Just read your blog entry and was so relieved to hear that there is a way to travel by boat between the darien gap. Could you give me some suggestions? I'm a young woman traveling alone, I'm in san jose, costa rica and want to get to cartagena, colombia. I do not want to take any planes if i can avoid them. I have all the time in the worl. Would you recommend this route to get in to colombia by boat? Thanks!
18th November 2010

Boat from Panama to Colombia.
The common thing to do is take a yacht from Panama to Cartagena ,via San Blass Islands.This takes about 5days and I have heard many different opinions of this adventure.The way I like to do it is as I said in the blog.IK met many girls doing this trip alone and they had no problem.Please remember ,though, Uribe was still President the last time I was there.My Colombian wife and I are waiting to see if Santos keeps Colombia moving away from violence before we make an opinion.So keeping this in mind please do some more research and don't take my opinion as word.
2nd January 2011

Columbia -Panama via Carpugana
The yacht from Columbia to Panama is best serviced from Carpugana. You not only get to go somewhere that is not on the usual tourist trail. It also so beautiful & the boat trip from Cartagena is longer in in more open water. meaning rougher. HAwaiain expat Joe in Carpugana is at the Darius Hotel & is very helpful.
3rd January 2011

Hello Andrew
Joey at Cabanas Darius is a great guy who I consider 1 of my friends

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