THE DARIEN GAP EXPEDITION
Enough of the sea, lets head to the jungle, and this time Mr Sparks is joining me.
We met rowing across the Atlantic back in 2013 and i've never looked back since, both have adventure running through our veins but can we survive an adventure together? Its also slightly competitive relationship, in which the current score is Lauren 1- Jamie 0 (7 Marathons).
The Darien Gap is a break in the Pan-American Highway consisting of a large swath of undeveloped swampland and jungle within Panama's Darién Province in Central America. It measures just over 99 miles long and about 31 miles wide.
The aim of this expedition will be to cross this untouched stretch of jungle and study the ancient Amerindian Petroglyphs. During our time we will also be taught survival skills and ‘bush cooking’ techniques from our local guide. KNARLY!
The Darién Gap is subject to the presence and activities of the Marxist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), which has committed assassinations, kidnappings, and human rights violations during its decades-long insurgency against the Colombian government. FARC rebels are present on both the Colombian and Panamanian sides of the border. We hope not to meet these guys.For our entire time in the jungle we will be self sufficient, carrying all our equipment on our backs.
The Pan-American Highway is a system of roads measuring about 30,000 miles. The route starts at the top of North America and passes down through Central America and finishes at the tip of South America. The only break in this connection is The Darién Gap.
Efforts have been made for decades to remedy this missing link in the Highway. Planning began in 1971 with the help of United States funding, but this was halted in 1974 after concerns raised by environmentalists. Another effort to build the road began in 1992, but by 1994 a United Nations agency reported that the road, and the subsequent development, would cause extensive environmental damage. Other reasons include protecting the rainforest, containing the spread of tropical diseases, protecting the livelihood of indigenous peoples in the area, preventing drug trafficking and its associated violence, and preventing foot-and-mouth disease from entering North America.
We will be filming the entire journey so be sure to look out for the doc when it appears.