Having travelled some 900 km through very interesting parts of Honduras Team Lipstick had to head back to San Jose and connect a flight to Panama the following day.
There are no direct flights from Costa Rica to Cartagena in Columbia so the 50 minute flight to Panama was opted for from where the boys would fly out on the 4th to Cartagena in Columbia where they hopefully would meet up with Lipstick again which is due to arrive on the 6th of February and confirmation as received from the shipping agent that the container was loaded on a ship called EMS Trader and is well on the way to the Port of Cartagena in Columbia.
From all Central American countries the boys favourite has become Costa Rica which seems to be the best organised and cleanest countries of the lot – no wonder that Tourisme is one of the biggest industries in Costa Rica with people flying in from all over the world to enjoy the many attractions which this country has to offer.
The only real sad thing about Costa Rica is the fact that they simply do not allow any right hand steering vehicle into the country and this is the reason why lipstick had to be shipped from Honduras to Columbia.
It was great to see the rain forests , the Lake Arenal , Little Switzerland and the beaches along the Pacific Ocean and the boys are now looking forward to hit South America starting with Columbia where they will arrive on the 4th of February and proceed with custom’s clearance for Lipstick without ( hopefully) too many problems.
Most overlanders ship their car from Panama to Columbia as they also face the problem that the “Darien Gap” makes it impossible to reach Columbia by road.
The Darién Gap is a break in the Pan-American Highway consisting of 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 gap begins in Yaviza, Panama and ends in Turbo, Colombia, and is 106 km long. Roadbuilding through this area is expensive and the environmental cost is high. Political consensus in favor of road construction has not emerged. Consequently, there is no road connection through the Darién Gap connecting North America with South America and it is the missing link of the Pan-American Highway.
The arrived in Panama in the afternoon of the 3rd and parked off at the airport hotel for an early morning flight out to Columbia.