Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,
We are haiku-ing along the Pan American Highway straight through the americas from North to South and we arrived in Mexico. Mexico the country with all those wonderful ancient cultures, but also renown for its wonderful music, but that's not were this episode is about.
The Pan American Highway is renown for it's beautiful landscapes, but there is also a gap in this Pan American Highway. This gap is known as the "Darién Gap" and it's a part of the Highway, a large swath of undeveloped swampland and forest within Panama's Darién Province in Central America and the northern portion of Colombia's Chocó Department in South America.
|The Darién Gap (rainforest)|
The geography of the Darién Gap on the Colombian side is dominated primarily by the river delta of the Atrato River, which creates a flat marshland at least 80 km (50 mi) wide, half of this being swampland. The Serranía del Baudó range extends along Colombia's Pacific coast and extends into Panama. The Panamanian side, in sharp contrast, is a mountainous rainforest, with terrain reaching from 60 m (197 ft) in the valley floors to 1,845 m (6,053 ft) at the tallest peak (Cerro Tacarcuna, in the Serranía del Darién).
Today, most intercontinental travelers bypass the sixty-mile gap by boat or plane. But some adventurous souls still try the trek overland. A 1959 expedition crossed the gap in Jeeps and Land Rovers, and George Meegan's 1988 book The Longest Walk describes his seven-year stroll from Tierra del Fuego to Alaska, including his transit of Darién on foot. Today, the gap is even more dangerous than it was on Meegan's trip—a lawless wilderness where, even with a guide, it's not easy to steer clear of drug traffickers, bandits, and corrupt cops. Yaviza, Panama may look tantalizingly close to Turbo, Colombia on the map, but the last remaining 60 miles of the world's longest highway aren't getting completed any time soon.
Enough inspiration I think. This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until December 27th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new weekend meditation later on. For now ... enjoy wandering the Darién Gap.
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