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Powell River Book Launch

Posted: Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Powell River Author, Martin Mitchinson launches his new book, The Darien Gap: Travels in the Rainforest of Panama.

Mitchinson will be launching his book in Powell River at Breakwater Books (6812 Alberni Street), on Thursday May 1 at 7:00 pm.

For twenty years, author Martin Mitchinson has travelled in Central and South America. He describes The Darien Gap as, “… a province of Panama, but it belongs more in Colombia. Or in neither side. It is a world of its own. It is the newest significant land mass on the planet.” Fascinated by tales of Darien, he arrived aboard Ishmael, his 36-foot sailboat, and spent 18 months navigating physical challenges and native politics. Mitchinson was lured to this extraordinary landmass for its outlandish history and unique geography.

Mitchinson learned to travel as the natives, moving silently through the rainforest, gliding alone in a narrow dugout. He found temporary shelter in native communities, not staying in any place for long since gringos are easy targets for kidnappers in Panama. With two Kuna guides, he followed the route Balboa took when he made his historic crossing to the Pacific.

This is one of the few books that focus specifically on the Darien Gap, its history and its inhabitants. Mitchinson is one of the few travellers to have survived the journey through this roadless backwater, and perhaps the only writer to tell the story in such spellbinding and luminous prose.