Keith Irwin

Puerto Obaldia

Mar 13, 2014

Hitchhiking, Travel, Colombia, Panama, Latin America 2014


This is part of my story of hitchhiking from New York to Buenos Aires and back, which I did in 2014. I may publish the entire tale in a book someday. Until then, you can read it for free here. To see other parts, check out Latin America 2014. 

March 13

The next morning, we woke up early and met the fellow from the boat. He motored us to Puerto Obaldia, as promised. A heavyset woman with too much makeup stamped our passports. Then we returned to Capurgana and an attractive young lady in uniform gave us our entry stamps.

I found an internet cafe and used the last bit of money using a computer. My worried father had called the U.S. embassy because I hadn't written since Panama City.

I made lunch of rice and powdered broth on the brick grill at the hostel. It was the last food I had packed. There was a Finn at the hostel, and the French guy who was staying in our room. Pierre and I invited them to lunch.

The Finn spoke English slowly, but we talked about his country. In winter, the sky will glow during the day, and it gets light out, but the sun never comes above the horizon. Finland isn't famous for much, except Nokia, which was just bought by Microsoft. I told him I knew it from what I had read about the Winter War, and he was proud. The seniors in his country talk about how five Russians were killed for every Finn.

We split the food up evenly, but I was still hungry afterwards. The others let me have the last bit. Afterwards, I boiled some coffee.

There was no ATM in town, and we didn't have enough money for the motorboat to Turbo. Pierre kept telling me not to worry. The other Frenchman agreed to loan us the money for the passage. It cost $26, but since I had been supporting Pierre in the San Blas, he would take on my debt too. That way, I would arrive in Turbo broke, but debt-free. Pierre would owe his compatriot the $52, which he could get at a bank when they arrived.


Capurgana Turbo