Colombia – the return

December 22, 2011

We were back in Columbia, we couldn´t import our bikes on a Sunday, so we stayed on the border in Cucuta with plans of doing it tomorrow. It was described in our guide book ¨surprisingly nice for a border town¨, I would concur.

Our usual parking affair of, ride the motorcycles into the hotel lobby

The next day at the import office we met a bunch of Venezuelans riding to Tierra del Fuego as well, almost all on BMW´s, nice guys.

The roads here were quite typical

But still beautiful

Columbia, it was good to be back!

We took our usual array of detours.

Some of the detours more adventurous than others…

Inquiring with the military as to camp spots, they pointed one out. Unfortunately we had to pay a lady for the right to do so, which went completely against our inner frugal principles, but we did it.

It was worth it. The military were camped in the shed in the background of the photo, and we shot the breeze with them all night, stumbled over their machine guns they had left laying on the ground while trying to go to the toilet, and in the morning their commander offered us breakfast, the most amazing arepa, eggs and hot chocolate. Unfortunately no photos, they politely declined.
Also in the morning, the husband of the lady we paid last night came for a chat, he asked what we were doing, and on explaining it he was curious what we thought of Columbia. ¨Beautiful¨was our response. He didn´t seem to care about what we thought of the scenery, and asked ¨what about the people?¨, I found it fascinating that he was interested, and gave us a look of relief when we told him with sincerity that the Columbians had been the friendliest people we had met thus far.
He demanded we accept a refund for our camp fee, and it was not the first or the last time we were taken back with their generosity.

We rode on to Guatape, where a big rock sits

We climbed it.

And took in quite the view.

Tim and I agreed that this was the first place we had been on this trip where we felt we could genuinely live on a permanent basis. It was beautiful.

We arrived in Medellin

met 2 cool dudes from Tennessee who were riding down on 1974 Honda dirt bikes. Only people I have met carrying a spare piston!

Fitted a new chain and sproket to Tim´s bike along with some accessories (Columbian Police Siren)

I really liked Medellin for a city. Reminded me a lot of Melbourne.

We also met a couple of photo journalists from the states, Nish and Todd. THEIR BLOG and rode south with them for a bit

Met a nice couple, who invited us to their farm for coffee, which ended up being an invite for lunch, dinner, a bed and breakfast the next day. We had to head south, but stayed for lunch, and Nish stayed around for the evening.

They had some nice dogs too.

Further south to Salento, where it was really beautiful

with amazing coffee

and decidedly more rural.

and found some more interesting roads

Through coffee fields

Armadillo´s for purchase on the side of the road. Photo time!

And our preferred kind of eating establishments

In Cali we caught up with Glenn, whome we had met previously in Guatemala and decided to ride south together.
Our infamous good luck brought him a flat tire in the first 10 miles

Which we then pinched the tubes when replacing them.
Later in the day, flat number 2

Then flat number 3

Roads and scenery were stunning however

In the morning as we headed for the border, flat number 4 for Glenn arrived… right next to the police.

Who promptly jumped in, picked up some tire levers and started to help.
We rewarded them by letting them go for a spin on our rigs.

Just before the border we stopped by an impressive church

In an impressive location

The usual paperwork, and lines:

brought us to the end of Columbia.
Impressive scenery, amazing roads, but that all pales into insignificance when we look back on the friendliness of the people we encountered there.


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