When asked whether the Darién Gap was one of the most dangerous places in the world Pelton's response was:
Yes—it's also one of the most rugged places. The basic problem of the Darién 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.
Pelton also ventured to say that the Darién Gap was one of the last largely unexplored places in the world. Although, I would undoubtedly hand that award over to the majestic Amazon jungle, the Darién Gap's adventurous ingredients are tempting me to want to traverse and explore this "uncharted territory."
Another interesting example of Darién Gap kidnapping is the story of adventurer Paul Winders and exotic orchid hunter Tom Hart Dyke. The pair of trippers met in Panama, and Paul, already possessed with the hunch of wanting to cross the Gap, convinced Tom that he'd find exotic, wild orchids in the Darién; a dream come true for Tom. So the two ventured off into the Gap. Sure enough, at about the half way point, the two were snatched up by a group of guerillas. This kidnapping session was a slightly longer, however. They were in their dreaded situation for a miserable nine months. Ultimately, though, after a worse nine months than most people can force themselves to imagine, their lives were spared and their captors allowed them to find their way out of the jungle.
There are many Darién Gap related adventure stories to be told and yet to be told. A more light-hearted and trivial story is the Land Rover expedition attempting to traverse the Gap back in late '59. This successful intercontinental-traveling vehicle was called La Cucaracha Cariñosa (the affectionate cockroach), and the expedition took no less than 136 days to complete. This 4x4 off-road beast travelled at a whopping 201 MPH! (That's Meters Per Hour.) The comically crazy crawling cockroach actually cut straight through the Darién and made it to Colombia in one piece.
But enough about Darién, for now. I need to weigh my other options. Time is something I can't afford to spare at this point, since I will only have a couple of weeks in Colombia. So, from a logistical stand point, getting kidnapped might prove to be a major damper on my time. That being said, there are other, albeit less interesting ways to cross over to Colombia from Panama. You can charter a sailboat over, for one. The sailboats make the mandatory pit-stop on the Panamanian islands of San Blass. Once there, you have a couple of days to do some pristine, virgin island hopping; which sounds like something I might want to do. There are over 370 islands that are part of the archipelago, and only a relative handful are actually inhabited by its indigenous Kuna people. The sailboat then proceeds to hit the rough Caribbean seas in order to reach their final destination of Cartegena, Colombia. One of my Colombian destinations. If plan one and plan two both fall through, I guess I can always take a plane over to Colombia. But that would be a major failure and absolutely no fun at all.
Well, I have a lot to consider and I haven't much time you blasted rabbit! We'll see what I decide to do. Gotta go!