THE K2J VIRTUAL RUN ACROSS CANADA WEEK 5
On Monday April 27, 2020 K2J Fitness started to run across Canada in a virtual kind of way!
We ran the first 5000 km roughly following the route taken by Terry Fox in 1980. Sadly, he had to end his run in Thunder Bay but we continued on to Victoria. The entire run across Canada is 8180.81 km. We have now gone beyond that distance and we are traveling South to Cabo Hornos at the tip of South America.
Week 5 We started the week just past Mexico City in Huamantla, Mexico. 13819.87 km from St. John’s Newfoundland and about 850 km from Guatemala. We traveled through Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica and we are now in Panama 16693.07 km from home. We are in Panama City about 3 km past the Panama Canal.
The Panama Canal
The canal stretches 50 miles from Panama City on the Pacific coast to Colon
on the Atlantic coast. The first ship to pass through the canal was the cargo
ship Ancon on August 15th 1914. As ships have become bigger many are now
too large to pass through the canal. A second canal is currently being added
beside the old one. The canal remains the major source of income for Panama.
The lowest toll ever paid was $0.36 by Richard Halliburton who swam across
the canal in 1928
The word Panama is a palindrome "a man, a plan, a canal" If you are looking for hill work Cerro Anon right in city offers great views and of the canal and the city and its a 2 km hill climb to the top complete with monkeys in the trees.
Panama is also famous for Panama Hats which sadly are actually made in Ecuador! But you can sample Geisha coffee, one of the most premium and expensive coffees in the world that can sell for up to $170 a pound. You can try a small cup in the city for about $10 US.
A note about what comes next:
Unfortunately there is no road from Panama to Columbia even though the countries are connected by land. There are two ways to get to Columbia from Panama City.
1. We can run along the canal to the Atlantic side to the San Blas Islands, This group of small tropical sand Islands are their own territory owned and operated by Kuna people. From there we can book passage on a yacht and sail to Columbia.
2. We can go by land to Yaviza which is the town at the end of the Pan-American Highway. You need a permit to enter Darien National Park, home of the Darien Gap which has been called the most dangerous place in the Western Hemisphere. Here is why:
Virtually impassable mountains
Overgrown, often unmarked trails
Almost totally uninhabited, so if you get lost or injured you’re on your own
Unfriendly wildlife – we're talking about snakes as big as your arm, man-eating cats that are bigger than the snakes, crocodiles and caimans in the rivers, biting ants and spiders that can drop down your shirt without warning … you get the idea.
Countless mosquitoes, sometimes carrying diseases like malaria and dengue fever
Highly questionable water quality
Limited food availability (eat local plants or carry your own)
Nearly 100% humidity
Crazed drug traffickers
Desperate paramilitary Colombian guerrillas
Paranoid government police
Risk of kidnapping, rape, torture or murder
But it is supposedly possible to find a guide, trail run half a day to a river, navigate the river by boat and trail run through the jungle to the boarder....
We are K2jer's so who wants to sail on a yacht when we can battle snakes in the jungle!