Columbia Pt. 1

December 11, 2011

From Portabello in Panama, where we even managed to do some off-roading

From Panama to Columbia is impassable (well almost), the US has placed political pressure on Panama to keep the “Darien Gap” closed to restrict drug trafficking from the south, and it is the one break in the Panamerica highway for its entire length. It is now one of the most untouched jungles in the world, filled with wonderful wildlife and Columbian paramilitaries, so even if you can make it through, chances are that you won’t be alive on the otherside. Boat it is then:

Expect the moto boots and shorts look to be in next summer’s catalogue

We shared the boat with a few backpackers, and a bunch of other motorcyclists, Jess and Jesse whome we had met previously, Stefan a Canadian living in Panama and Rogier and his girlfriend riding 2-up.
We had an enjoyable journey, the San Blas islands are gorgeous Caribbean paradises

With some of us enjoying the view

Others…
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Arriving in Columbia, and discovering that Cartagena is one of the most beautiful colonial cities we have visited, albeit touristy, we formed a moto gang and headed to import our bikes.

Jesse taking his role as moto gang member to intimidating heights

We also met Carole and Laurent there whom we had met previously, and Henry, a Polish/Australian who was riding the same bike as ours, and testing the bike to the extreme with his luggage volume.

Cartagena

Venezuela was close, and I didn’t know anyone personally who had been there, which was reason enough for me to go check it out. We headed east.
We had to buy some new rear tyres for the bikes, and in Barranquilla (home of Shakira!!!) we found some for $65 each. Bargain. In Santa Marta, a bit further up the coast we ran into Henry and his bike that he has converted into a truck and agreed to head into Venezuela together.

It seems that since the drug trade has died down, Columbia has had to look to new opportunities to gouge gringo’s of their hard earned, we found it, their national parks. After forking over fifty something dollars for both of us to enter, we were able to enjoy the views

We chanced into Stefan again, who was riding with a wonderful Columbian lady, Natalia, and next day went to check out the local waterfalls

Purchasing some illegal Venezuelan gasoline from a 12yr old, we continued up to the desert area of Columbia

We continued north as a group

We were stopped by what can best be described as “goop” and sent a few of the bikes onto their sides.

Some had more fun in it than others however

We parted ways with Stefan in the morning, and left for the border as they headed south.
Venezuela to come…

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One Response to “Columbia Pt. 1”

  1. Steph Says:

    Wicked! Interesting what you said about the National parks too.. Was the 50 bucks worth it in the end?


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