Monday, October 5, 2015

Crossing the Darien Gap - part II: San Blas islands and arriving to Colombia

And here comes part II: Two day at San Blas islands and arrival in Cartagena, Colombia

INFO to the Bordercrossing itself:
We arrived in Colombia on a Sunday. The dingi brought us on shore and we stepped foot (ok, all our 16 feet) into Colombia. That was it.
The captain would take care of the immigration process for us (which meant we had no passports which appears to be a common thing when arriving by boat). All non-bikers got their passport from Ludwig on Monday.

Bike immigration:
The bike unloading happened the next day (Monday). After the bikes were at shore, we rode to the nearby DIAN office. There the fixer Mandfred was present and had my passport (Skippy was a non-rider as thus her passport was still on the boat). We waited, showed the inspector the bike, signed the paper and bikes were imported. This process took several hours (mostly waiting).


Calle 26 #25-1 a 25-59
Cartagena, Bolívar, Colombia
10.409042, -75.534777

Compulsary insurance
Insurance is mandatory and costed for my R1150GS (MY 2002) about 30USD for 3 months.
about here:

Calle 30 #18a-2 a 18a-306
Cartagena, Bolívar, Colombia
10.420779, -75.537112

Getting our stuff from the boat
I must say that the loading and unloading of personal belongings, panniers etc. was very messy and chaotic. Most of the stuff was piled on board waiting to be moved to the dingi for transport to shore. However, some items were only found after some search and a water bottle got obviously lost somewhere sometime. Take a deep breath to find your stuff after loading and another one to make sure all your stuff is from board. Other then that, it worked well.

And now some fun pictures...
Welcome to Stahlratte
An old lady from 1903.
More supplies for the upcoming...


Vegan grill sticks

They were good.

The island was all ours :D

Sunset in the Caribbean.
Stahlratte by night.

Fire, rum and good company.

The next morning revealed that some had obviously too much.
Skippy went for a morning dip.

A local fisherman.
Suddenly this fellow walk in front of the camera.

Peto had fun.

"Treasures" of the beach.

Cute bird.
Interesting thing - actually I have no idea what it was. It had a hole in the center of the other side... strange.

And the guys had a liquid snack.

Comic book island - what to do by high tide?
Horrible torture also happened on this boat... Why???? And then the people ate ALL the vegan burgers away and some of the lobster was left after dinner. I had to reserve some for Skippy if she wanted some later.

Captain Ludwig on the wheel.
Approaching Cartagena, Colombia.

Amazing how many skycrapers there were.
The old fortress defense.
Going out in the evening with almost everybody.

Splitting the bill appeared difficult - Scott had some experience in that.

The bikergang of the Stahlratte-trip Panama-Colombia 17.-20.Sept.2015
Safe travels guys and gals!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Crossing the Darien Gap - part I: leaving Panama mainland

Here is part I: leaving Panama mainland

Mode of transport:
Stahlratte (transports people, motorbikes, hacks and for dogs, please check with the captain)
We booked our journey a few months earlier and it started on 17. September 2015 from Carti (San Blas), Panama and ended on 20. September 2015 in Cartagena, Colombia.

Border formalities leaving Panama:
Honestly no idea. We gave our passports, bike papers and Panama temporary import permit to the captain and he took care of all stuff at the Panama side. No additional costs.

Hotel El Porvenir (important for folks with own vehicle):
The hotel would have costed 20USD/person + watertaxi 10USD/person/ride, so a total of 80USD for two persons. No info if there would be additional charges for dogs. We asked whether we can camping and it was ok for 5USD/person (so a total of 50USD for two persons incl. shower and toilet). I am not sure whether this was an exception or whether camping is commonly ok.

SilberWolf waiting to be loaded on board of Stahlratte
All the sudden I had this baby in my arms :D (picture taken by Mike)
Hotel El Porvenir on the island El Porvenir...
and the island even has a landing strip. We got let Peto free because he could not run away neither chase any motos or bicycles or such :)
Camping in the Carribean

Peto's first night in the tent and what a night it was...
Cool dugout canoe
Our tracks in Panama (690km)

That also concludes Central America track (3500km)

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Ants - our movie

Skippy made (finally) a video about those cool creatures. We admired them several times during our walks in Atenas. See and enjoy for yourself.