Crossing the Darien Gap with Stahlratte


After a couple of nice and relaxing days in Cartagena (to be honest, all days are nice and relaxing…) it was time to leave South America.

Sadly you can’t cross by land, or not safely anyway (if you’re not a drug lord or something…in which case you would probably fly or take a luxury yacht).

So you have to ship your bike somehow. There are several ways to do this, and we chose to go with Stahlratte (a 38.5 meter sailing vessel). This way we got the bikes over and a nice boat trip through the San Blas Islands. Even though I get sea sick very easily I love the ocean and sailing. So I hoped for calm waters but stocked up with sea sick pills to be safe.

My master plan was “do not go below decks at all as long the boat is moving”. This was before I understood that the first part of the trip was around 30 hours of straight sailing :)

The loading of the bikes in Cartagena was done fast and professional under the somewhat frantic directions of Captain Ludvig.

He is one of those persons you just instantly like and we returned to our hotel looking forward to setting of the day after.

After boarding we were welcomed by Joan and Tilly, they explained the different parts of the trip for us. After a bit of waiting (for a bread delivery) we set off!

In the end I managed to stick with my plan and the sea sick pills made me very tired so spent the first 30 hours of the trip on a sun chair. The night on deck was quite spectacular. This area is known to have the highest concentration of lightning in the world. So with the lightning illuminating the horizon as we steadily advanced towards paradise I felt…quite good to put it mildly. Could have something to do with the sea sick pills as well… 😉

The second day started with a great breakfast buffet before we arrived to the islands.

It didn’t take long before we all were in the crystal clear water. After a lot of swimming and as the sun began to set we prepared a barbecue on the beach and enjoyed a great dinner together.

The third day began yet again with a great breakfast and then some snorkelling and relaxing.

We had a bit of rough weather for a while with a lot of wind. but the sun returned quickly. At sunset we went to another island where we enjoyed nothing less than an all-you-can-eat-lobster-buffet.

While moving to the pier in Panama on the fourth day we enjoyed yet another great breakfast. The unloading of the bikes went smoothly, even though your heart rate increases a bit when your bike is hanging on a few ropes above the water :)

After waving good bye to Stahlratte we packed our bikes (nine bikes in total on this trip) and rode of towards Panama City.

A new continent and new adventures to look forward to. Thanks Stahlratte for a great trip! Find them on Facebook: Stahlratte and Sailing Panama Colombia with Stahlratte


Författare: Roberto

Lärare. Simtränare. Äventyrssökare. Entreprenör. Bloggare. Fotograf. Tedrickare & livsnjutare :)


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