(Kids, don't try this at home.)
Crossing the Darien Gap
(How not to do it)
Sweet Smell of Freedom
The Great Silence was not my intention. The Darien Gap is a veritable Grand Central Station of international travelers. I passed safely with no wild adventures in two days.
I was poorly advised by not only Colombian authorities but also by a missionary priest – all helped me find the land route to Panama. No one told me that I’d be taken into custody by first the Panamanian military, then the Immigration Authority. I’ve been detained since May 2nd. Lacking a phone or money for a calling card, I haven’t been able to contact anyone, much less update this blog.
I am well and should be liberated soon(ish) and on my way northward. When possible, I’ll update the blog with the details of my “captivity” – much more adventurous than the jungles of the Darien.
My name is Ann Sieben. I'm American by birth and global in existance. I was in
In December 2007, I began a longer pilgrimage from
After that, I found that there were still many miles in my legs. I chose a route with Aix la Chapelle (aka
The life of a winter pilgrim suits me just fine. As winter approached, I prepared to walk the next ancient path discovering the world at a comfortable pace, meeting people, experiencing an interesting world in a slightly non-traditional way. Another winter, another walk; I walked from Kyiv, Ukraine to Patras, Greece along the general route of St Andrew in the first century.
A silent pilgrim does the world no good, so I've given talks and spoken to many diverse groups about these pilgrimages. A recurring, slightly cynical, comment was often made - 'sure something like this might be able to be done in Europe, but not in the US...it's not in our culture, no one would open their door to a pilgrim.;
It saddened me to hear this, and I disagreed. To demonstrate that North Americans are just as kind as Europeans, I set out last autumn from my home in Denver, Colorado to Mexico City on yet another historical path. The early Spanish settlers established a Royal Road from Mexico City as far north as Taos, New Mexico, a little over 100 miles south of Denver. What a success!! Americans are just as friendly as Europeans. So are Mexicans.
Just when I thought my pilgrim life was a thing of the past, the Arab Spring allowed inspiration to enter my heart with the possibility to walk across the history of North Africa. While full of trials and tribulations - barred from entering Algeria, prematurely expelled from Libya, and hurried across the Sinai - the fact that the world is really full of good people was underscored with more great success.o City, this time through South and Central America. Follow along...
Shortly after arrival at the pilgrim destination, I was inspired again by the Empress of the Americas and am compelled to make a long journey again to the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexic
Be a pilgrim =)