Looking for a ride to Panama...

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March 24th 2007
Published: March 24th 2007
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Travelling to Colombia was not in our plan at all, but hey here we are! The initial plan to fly from Caracas to Panama was quickly changed as soon as we heard the price of the ticket as it would have cost us around $1000.00. Sitting on the beach in Santa Fe, we decided to head to Columbia and try to go by boat to Panama. It sounded lovely to sail on a 40 feet boat via the San blas Island - not that any of us has ever been on a sailing boat before. Full of excitement, we took a bus to Caracas and from there a direct bus to Santa Marha in Columbia. Crosssing te border was an experience and strangeley enough the Venezuelans collected money in the bus to bribe the military. You have to give them a certain amount and then they do not check the luggage and this is a lenghty exercise. Anyway, as we only had a backpack each and no cash left, we didn´t want to participate and this made us Gringos a bit unpopular....

In Santa Martha we met other guys, who were looking for a sailing boat too. So, in Cartagena we headed straight to Hotel Viena as they are supposed to know everything about catching a boat. However, they were not really helpful and seemed about annoyed that we kept asking about the boat. The idea was that they will point us in the right direction, know captains etc but we only were told to visit te Club Nautico. Cartagena is a bautiful city, but we spent our day hanging around in the Club Nautico asking or a ride and drinking expensive soft drinks! We teamed up with 2 Swiss guys, but to no avail - there were no boats leaving within a week and the whole experience was rather frustrating. Club Nautico is full of rich people with a very bad dress sense -khaki shorts anyone? The management of the club also is not too happy about backpackers looking for a ride, but in the end of the day it is big business for captains as we are all willing to pay. After 4 days Club Nautico, we called it a day and booked a flight for the next day. Guess what, on the next day we got a call from a captain, but we like to believe that he wouldn´t have left for another week.....

I have corrected the spelling errors (thanks Joe!) - must be speaking German for a week with the Swiss guys.

Additional photos below
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30th March 2007

typical! the only ones not paying in the bus and leaving the others waiting! cartagena looks very beautiful, but i don´t understand why you do not like club nautico? i thought you would get in touch with rich people there who would invite you for your soft drinks and more. next time try the golf club ;) i am so jealous every time i see your pictures, but at the moment there is no money left for a holiday. think i´ll visit the golf club soon... kisses nicki
30th March 2007

COLOMBIA not Columbia!! BOAT not bOOt. Enjoy!

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