Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Colombia Dry Roast

 First off, here's a new youtube video of our V-Strom being loaded onto the Stahlratte for our voyage to Colombia. It's fun to watch now, but it was a bit unnerving at the time. Here's the link:
Loading the V-Strom!
Unloading the bikes!
Cartegena Fort
 Once on dry land, we were all primed and ready to go for a ride on a new continent...after a three day wait on customs. Somehow the fact that we had arrived on a Saturday, and would not be able to do the entry paperwork until the following Monday, had not been made known to us until an hour before we arrived in Cartegena. Whoops!

With a few days to kill, we set out to explore the city. Cartegena was as "charming" and "colonial" as Lonely Planet had promised. It was also around 95 degrees and humid. Unfortunately we had visited somewhere around 10,000 humid "charming colonial cities" in Central America, so we were actually just ready to get on the bike and head into the mountains. The customs work started at 8 am Monday, and ended at 5:45, making it the longest border crossing of the trip by several hours. Oh well.
Cartegena street corner
The next morning we headed east and then south, bound for San Gil. Tom and Alex had bike work to take care of, so we left with Charlie and Andy and made plans to meet up in a few days. It took us three days to get to San Gil, which is still technically in "northern" Colombia. It was much cooler though, thanks to the 8,000 foot elevation.

Sunset over the Colombian Andes

Charlie and Andy on the road to San Gil

A tiny bit of the massive canyon on the road to San Gil
 Here's a video clip of that ride, it was beautiful, and only moderately terrifying. Luckily there were no guardrails to obstruct the view!
Chicamocha Canyon, Colombia

San Gil from the hilltop

The streets of San Gil - not a good place to ride a motorcycle in the rain!
We got settled into a nice hotel in San Gil, and then went for a walk around town. There is a Mother Mary statue on top of the hill that overlooks the city, so we made the hike up and got a great view of the entire valley. The next day we went out to visit a nearby waterfall, and went for a very brief swim in the pool at the bottom.
The very bottom of the waterfall
On the hike up Charlie pointed out some crazy plants, the likes of which Jill and I had never seen. Are you familiar with the Mimosa plant? Neat stuff, check out the video:

Mimosa plant

Somehow we spent four days just hanging around San Gil, and finally we decided that it was time to move on. Charlie and Andy wanted to head up to El Cucoy National Park to do a few days of hiking, but after a review of the finances we realized that going 150 miles the wrong way and spending another four days hanging around one place probably wasn't the best idea, so we parted ways and headed for Medellin.

1 comment:

  1. Great photos! You guys are really covering some ground. At this rate, I think by the time I'm able to meet up with you you'll be on the way back.