S M F G · A Counter-Clockwise Trip Around The World

A man has to do what a man has to do

Aug 28th 2010
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Kids playing fútbol in the Capurganá «square» under a heavy rain

Kids playing fútbol in the Capurganá «square» under a heavy rain

While in Cartagena, I decided that my next stop will be México. Yes, this is a lot of road to go, crossing six countries and missing a whole lot of potentially beautiful places. But I need to be in Cancún on September the 2nd.

I looked at the map, and I took a bus(1) to Capurganá. Once there, I asked directions to Panamá: one just have to stamp the passport and then take a boat to Puerto Obaldía, the Panamá border city. Easy. But from Puerto Obaldía—surprise surprise—there are no roads going out. Only the Darién forest all around. From there, you basically have two options: fly to Panamá City or take a boat to Colón, who leaves today, tomorrow, in eight days, who knows?, meaning the two possibilities are actually one. The flight is thrice a week, and the one for the next day was already full(2).

This is Puerto Obaldí­a's «airport». Specifically, the waiting room.

This is Puerto Obaldí­a's «airport». Specifically, the waiting room.

Any way, I am not the kind of guy who gives up for a little inconvenience like this, am I? I spent two nice days—mostly rainy—in that lovely village, I tried out more local food—yes, that means chicken and rice, what were you thinking?—and on the third day I reached Puerto Obaldía by boat(3).

After a flight in our private plane—we were four passengers—and three outrageous hours of baggage check and interviews with the immigration officers it was already evening, so I spent the night in the lovely lovely Panamá City(4). This meant that of my planned twenty days across Central America I spent six days going from Cartagena to Panamá. How nice.

The border between Panama and Costa Rica

The border between Panama and Costa Rica

But a man has to do what a man has to do, thus I checked the options and I got a bus to San José, spent another night there, and in the early morning I jumped in a two-day bus to Tapachula, on the Mexican border. Unfortunately, México is bigger than one thinks, and the ride from there to the Riviera Maya is 25 hours straight. Looking at the silver lining, the rain never stopped until I reached Tulum, leaving me with no regrets for missing out whatever was in between!

I am now in Playa del Carmen, spending the day on the beach. Was it worth it? I will tell you on September the 2nd!

Me at the Caribbean in Tulum

Me at the Caribbean in Tulum


  1. Actually two four-hour buses and a three-hour boat, with a sleepover in Turbo.
  2. Note to self: check accessibility options beforehand!
  3. I also had a lovely fight with the owner of the boat, who told me bullshit during three days, and ended up arriving late for the flight, although for some miracle that day there was another flight scheduled, only a bunch of hours later.
  4. A shithole, for so to speak.

This post is filed under America, Central America, Colombia and tagged , , , , .

7 Responses

  1. JulieK says:

    Sono proprio curiosa di scoprire cosa accadrà il 2 settembre!

  2. younger brother says:

    Curiosity is feminine?..not only I think.
    As I told you, we just want to be sure that you don’t get marry..there’s no time to book economic fly :-)
    How about my english after hvratska-crnagora-shqiperia little trip? eh,eh,eh
    Have a good mexico, bigger brother!

    • pt says:

      Yeah, same here: I’d rather get married in Asia, the deals are way better!

      Quasi ottimo inglese! All’inizio ho pensato che ti fossi fatto aiutare … :D
      Direi che sei pronto per un viaggetto «serio»!
      In Shqipëria hai imparato qualcosa nel linguaggio locale? Hai notato che hanno la «ere» mestrina?

      Dai, «Nano nei Balcani», adesso che hai tempo impegnati un po’ e fatti un gravatar decente: ce l’ha perfino la mamma! Ha hah hah ha ha hahah ahh!

      [ http://www.gravatar.com ]

      Ciao ciao, varda de far puíto!

    • pt says:

      Eccellente gravatar!

      Ma se tu fai Dotto, io che sono il vecchio di famiglia, chi faccio?

      Ah, già! Brontolo! :D

  3. emiliokrugman says:

    We love the balkan’s dwarf.

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