|Brothels are common place in the Darien Gap|
|The Embera, Female Dress|
|The Kuna |
Outside Magazine, reported by Alex Webb, writes this.....AN "ABYSS AND HORROR of mountains, rivers, and marshes," in the words of one 16th-century traveler, the Darién Gap is Panama's Bermuda Triangle: a place where things seem to go wrong more often than everywhere else. As an old saying goes, the Spanish conquistadores defeated the Andes, the deserts, and the Amazon, but not the Gap, which foiled their advances.
The Gap is small compared with tropical wildernesses like the Amazon and the Congo. Yet it feels huge, with its slight population—roughly 100,000 people, half afro-Caribbean and half native Panamanian—mainly concentrated in isolated bush villages like Yaviza. In Panama and Colombia, it is known as El Tapón ("The Plug"), because it blocks the flow of human exploration.
Full story here http://outsideonline.com/outside/features/200409/panama_darien_gap_1.html?page=2
You can see how this place is fascinating...well at least I think it is. There are several books out there on the Darien Gap which speak of experiences that people had either lost in the forest or discovering new plants. Well at least, you now know that the reason you can't drive from North America to South America is due to this wild and jungly place! A National Geographic photographer writes this after being released as a hostage...."The Darien Gap is one of the last—not only unexplored—but one of the last places people really hesitate to venture to... It's also one of the most rugged places. The basic problem of the Darien Gap is that it's one of the toughest hikes there is. It's an absolute pristine jungle but it's got some nasty sections with thorns, wasps, snakes, thieves, criminals, you name it. Everything that's bad for you is in there." Again, when dealing with a place as wild like this park, IT IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT TO HIRE A LOCAL GUIDE APPROVED BY THE GOVERNMENT. Never ever do this on your own. I've seen very sad things happen on my trips to several tourists thinking they could brave it themselves. Biggest. Misake. Ever. Besides, you want someone who knows the place teaching you about the flora and fauna. I've learned so much from these very passionate guides.
Well there you have it....definitely a place I want to see but with a guide at a lodge under a controlled environment. It's this summer and we're getting ready to get our hands dirty in the language and gardens. A new year. A new promise of exploration. And a new adventure.
Pictures are not obviously taken by me as I am sharing with you my research into the mysterious wonders of this world. These pics were lifted off of ecotour websites like:
Information is from research over the internet and from personal readings. Spanish teachers eat this stuff up!:)