Not long ago, I was fortunate enough to meet Mark Smith at his home in Georgetown, California, in the foothills of the Sierras. Smith was the leader of the 1978-1979 Expedicion de Las Americas, a 20,000-mile, 120-day odyssey that went from Cape Hope in the south to the farthest spot of land in the north.
The crux of the whole expedition was the Darien Gap, the section of land between Colombia and Panama. There are no roads to this day and the jungle and swamps are as formidable as any in the world. It took the expedition 30 days to cross the gap with the help of indigenous tribes and the Colombian Army. By the time they reached the northern end of it, the route they’d hacked on the southern side had overgrown.
This video is a classic time machine glance at the world of adventure circa early 1980s, complete with heavyhanded music and a booming narration. So, yeah, it’s dated and not very quickly paced. But that’s what makes it so awesome.
Overlandia is the art, science, and romance of driving in the dirt.