Final days in Panama

La Granja hostel provided a nice atmosphere to plan and rest up for the next big movement. Between planning frenzies, we played a lot of cards, took walks around the camp, and enjoyed daily showers (which will be severely lacking in the coming week). Our first night here, we watched an incredible sunset. It looked like the sky was on fire!

There are a variety of farm and local animals on the farm and plenty of dogs and cats to pet. We’ve had both a beagle dog and a tabby cat hop into Savannah while we had the doors open!

There’s a large wooden swing hanging by wired cables from a tree that allows you to swoop out into the canopy. This has been my favorite part of the park, I could swing for hours in the trees.

Up on a ridge during our walk we watched ants carrying down chunks of leaves. Andre’s 2X zoom on his phone captured some pretty incredible photos. We wondered where they took the chunks of leaves and what they did with them.

We’ve met up with the Jesse and Catherine, the couple we will be sharing the shipping container and traveling to Colombia with. They are traveling the world and sharing their yoga, fire spinning, and life wellness skills. They’ve been on the road for two years now! You can find out more about them at this link.

Given time and budget restraints for the group, we decided to find the cheapest option that did not involve flying. All of the sailing charters we could find were $550+ per person. It would have been really cool to sail across to Colombia, but we couldn’t find a trip that didn’t stop in the San Blas Islands for a couple of days for a resort style retreat (adding cost). So, we got creative. It took some deep digging in Google to get past the expensive tours, but we started to find some clues about how to do the trip cheaper. And it will be quite an adventure.

Here are our steps to take in the next coming days:

  1. Load Savannah and Yoda Home (Jesse & Catherine’s rig) in the shipping container on Tuesday (tomorrow)
  2. Take a bus to Panama City from Colon ($5 pp), stay overnight at a hostel in downtown Panama City (~$12 pp)
  3. Get a 4×4 taxi from Panama City to Puerto de Carti (~$25 pp)
  4. Get a water taxi/speedboat South from Carti to Puerto Obaldía, about 130 miles and go through Panama exit procedure (~$100)
  5. Get a water taxi/speedboat to cross the border from Panama into Capurganá, Colombia and go through immigration ($?)
  6. Buy both a boat ticket from Capurganá to Necoclí (~$40 pp) and a bus ticket from Necoclí to Cartagena (~$23 pp) at the boat ticket office near the dock or at Hostal Capurganá
  7. Arrive in Cartagena, unload the vans from the container, and import the vehicles into Colombia (~$800 per vehicle)

Andre made this map in Gaia of our plan:

We’re hoping the entire journey will be completed before the vans arrive in Cartagena (Dec 14th). Both parties have agendas that require moving on quickly from Cartagena. We will NOT actually be crossing into the Darien Gap, so we’re not too concerned about how safe the journey will be… more focused on if we will be able to make all the appropriate connections between taxi rides and boats. And we will be a group of four, which will help with filling up the boat for prompt departure. We are all stoked for the adventure and are up for a nontraditional way to cross into Colombia.

Today we’re battening down everything in Savannah to get her ready to ship and packing our backpacks with whatever we think we’ll need for the trip. We’ve got everything on our packing list from a water pump, doxycycline, power bank, dramamine, SPOT device, rain jackets, bug spray, sun screen… and of course all of our documentation and passports, etc. all in waterproof backpacks.

We will likely be offline for much of the next week or so, but I’m sure we’ll have lots of stories to share when we’re back!

Andre’s post here!

Updated map of campsites, here 🙂

5 thoughts on “Final days in Panama

  1. You are almost to your first destination in Columbia! I don’t know who figured out all those pieces of the trip via taxi, boat, etc. but that is mind-boggling to me! I was looking for Patagonia down south on S.A. but I couldn’t find it. I just watched a documentary on it last night and it was awesome. Who know, I’m probably looking for it on the wrong continent! Safe travels!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Aunt Pat! We are currently in Cartagena, Colombia waiting for Savannah to be shipped from Panama. We left our laptops in the van since we didn’t think they would survive our speedboat crossing from Panama to Colombia, so we haven’t been able to write our next posts yet! Hopefully within the next couple of days we’ll have Savannah back and will be able to share some stories 🙂

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      1. Oh, I am so glad everything is OK. I know… I’m an old worry wart. Thank you so much for letting me know!! Can’t believe you are in Colombia South America! Savannah must be enjoying her adventure …. not ready to hit the road again. haha Love you and please stay safe! I’ll try to be patient to hear your next adventure.

        Liked by 1 person

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