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Tuesday
Apr232013

The Colombian Darién

 In March I had the welcome opportunity to travel to the Colombian department of Chocó, which runs the border with Panama, to write on the storied Darién Gap, or Tapón del Darién, for The New Yorker. The gap (and much of Chocó) is functionally roadless – there are cowpaths that you can get a motorcycle down, but that’s about it, and the complex topography and hydrology of the region make transport very fickle. Probably in some measure because of this, the Gap has become home to guerillas and paramilitaries, as well as adventurous and often ideologically-driven settlers bent on achieving the Colombian equivalent of going off the grid. The article, which appeared in the April 22 "Journeys" issue of TNY, sits behind a paywall and I don't know how to upload the PDF of it that I have. I traveled with Sergio Tamayo, a Colombian trekking guide intent on introducing others to this mysterious region, whose rainforest ecology is poorly known as a result of its miserable reputation.