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Archive for March, 2011



Medellin, 31-Mar-2011

I waited until sundown to escape the heat of the day before heading to Cartagena.  No issue riding at night around here, the roads are flat, pretty safe and with little traffic.  The only disconcerting moment came when passing through Baranquilla after sunset.  Nop, not because of the traffic itself but rather the numerous police checkpoints; as I was riding the “circumvalacion”, the city’s outer ring hwy, every few kilometers a police checkpoint was stopping nearly all motorcyclist – and there are tons of motorcycle in Colombia’s city’s – and frisk searching the riders. I probably passed a half-dozen of these checkpoints.  As a traveler and a “big bike” I never got stopped but this never ending display of (in)security sure makes you nervous and it felt good to see the city in my rearview mirrors.

Adriana and I planed to meet up again in Cartagena (Kilometer 40,906; Cartagena, 17-Mar-11 @ 20:25) and we were invited to stay at Patricia & Miguel’s place, Adriana’s sister and her husband.  And what an apartment it is!  A penthouse on the 30th floor of a luxury condominium with tremendous 360° views:  the Caribbean sea, the old city, the port, Bocagrande,…  Now that’s a step up from my U$D 7 dorms ;).  We got pampered at Miguel’s place, even had a chef coming a couple of afternoons to cook amazing dishes for us.  And if that wasn’t enough, Adriana and I were invited to stay at Evelyn and Tonio’s place in the old city, inside “Las Murallas”!  (“Las murallas” are the thick 17th century walls build to protect Cartagena from pirates or enemies attacks).  Now get this: Evelyn’s place is an ex-convent beautifully restored into luxury suits, w/ high ceiling, thick stone walls, rooftop terrace with view on the wall and the Caribbean sea.  The main building entrance open up to the ex-church now converted into an exquisitely decorated open concept common area.  We then take the stone stairs leading up to the 2nd floor balcony surrounding the central courtyard and the above mentioned church; the apartments are located around it and Evelyn’s place is a cavernous 3 stories suit.  There’s a common pool and what a marvel it is; it extends to the edge of the building revealing un-obstructed view to the wall and the sea.  And it only gets better: the fashion here in this tight inner-circle of wealthy people is to go visit other centuries old luxury homes.  It might sound “weird”, even “boring” at first but trust me it’s fascinating. Top interior designers and architects vie to restore these homes into pieces of art… which they are! We tagged along for a few visits.  The best was Valantino’s house; Valentino is a famous Colombian painter very successful and renowned in NY and Miami.  Well his residence is an absolute heaven… a place where you would want to spend a week or even 2 and never go out!  Go check the pics, you’ll see :).

It was a long holiday weekend in Colombia and everyone seemed to have chosen Cartagena as their destination. Adriana and I spent the next few days hanging out with family & friends, sharing a few laughs and eating like kings. And of course, being on the beautiful Caribbean shores many here have their private boats and we took advantage of that.  One day we all went to a private island for a picnic:  bathing in the Caribbean warm waters, sharing a few drinks with friends, sitting on the shore and watching the sunset to the sound of folkloric and romantic guitar music before heading back to the main land and seeing Cartagena illuminated at night.  Another day Miguel took us scuba diving around Isla Rosario, famous for its white sandy beach and rich coral and marine life. I am telling you, it’s the good life.

Of course we visited old Cartagena, the famous historic city surrounded by its defensive walls and one of the most picturesque colonial town in South America.  It is still as impressive as the first time I was here back in 2001 and we couldn’t have chosen a better spot to spend the next few days together. We went wandering through old Cartagena small streets, strolling under their flowery balconies. We savored Cartagena’s famous sweets from the many street vendors, chilled in its leafy plazas sipping an ice cold michelada while watching folklore dancers perform in the streets.  At sundown, we went strolling on top of the old city walls, found a tranquil spot and sat on the rampart to witness the sunset. Dinner was served in trendy patio-restaurants before heading out to practice my salsa moves in a hot & sweaty salsateca.

By Tuesday I was hit with a nasty flue courtesy of all the AC’s blasting ice-cold winds while outside a hot and humid 34°C degree temperature awaits you.  While I was resting and nursing my flue, Adriana had to head back to Bogota (yeah, some people have to work ;)) but we planed to meet again soon.  The following day, I only managed to squeeze a few drops of energy to do some maintenance on Llama.  But by Thursday I just couldn’t stand still anymore and I decided to go check Volcan El Totumo, 50+Km away (Kilometer 40,984; Volcan El Totumo, 24-Mar-11 @ 11:10).  This is not your typical lava spewing volcano, rather a 15m high mound belching out a lukewarm creamy mud.  It is said that the mud contains minerals acclaimed for their therapeutic properties; hey, perfect to cure my aching muscles. So as the Lonely Planet said, I climbed up the stairs, hopped in the crater and frolicked around in a refreshing mud bath while laughing with other tourists and trying the darndest to sink further than buoyancy permits.  Whatever it was, the mud therapy or just being outside in the sun, I felt so much better and once back in Cartagena I decided to just keep touring and further visit the city sites.

I finally left Cartagena on Friday heading south; destination Mompos, a small town in the middle of marsh lands surrounded by the many branches of the Rio Magdalena.  Getting there is no piece of cake though; you need to hope on ferry to cross the river and then tackle gravel roads leading to this secluded location.  But things now are even more complicated due to the diluvian rains hitting Colombia since October which back in December/January flooded the whole area up to 2 meter high!  Roads where washed away, bridges destroyed, landslides buried everything in their path and repairs/reconstruction are ever so slow. The only reason I could even go there now is the fact rain has somewhat subsided in March, water level dropped back down enough for the roads to open once again to the general public (5 days after I left, 1 of the repaired makeshift bridge got swept away yet again by rising river levels).  Still I had my share of trouble:  First, a cistern truck carrying highly flammable material flipped over due to the broken asphalt and a fear of explosion lead the police & army to close the road. After a couple of hours wait and learning the road will not open until tomorrow, I ventured with a fellow Argentinian rider into a 3Km “detour” to clear the road block (Kilometer 41,163; 30Km north of Ovejas, 25-Mar-11 @ 13:00).  But there was no road! We were riding through corn cropland, banana plantation and sugar cane fields.  So what? Well try riding a 225Kg bike+luggage on a footpath, on wet grass, in mud, between trees, up slippery slopes and down gravel and rock trail.  It took us 45min to cross these 3Km; we slid a good dozen times not able to hold the bike up or sometime not even able to set foot on the ground (I took some pics but somehow “lost” them! :().  By the time we arrived to the other side, I was completely exhausted, barley able to lift my arms.  I lay down on the asphalt and rested for 20min trying to recoup some energy; I still had a long road ahead and I needed to reach a city before sundown as the region is “caliente” (i.e. unsecure) at night.

Soon thereafter we were back on the road and 45min later, I said goodbye to my Argentinean friend who was heading directly to Medellin (though impossible for him to get there tonight) and I veered eastward toward the river port city of Magange. All the delays made me miss the ferry which crosses Rio Magdalena to La Bodega where a further 65Km of gravel packed road separated me from Mompos. Magangue turned out to be a way below average city and I really did not want to stay here so I headed toward the shores to see if I can find a way to cross the river.  Sure enough, a couple of small “lanchas” shuttle passenger back and forth between these 2 towns and one offered to take me.  I was very hesitant to load Llama into this small wooden boat but at the same time it sounded “fun” to try, so I just went for it.

I arrived in Mompos right before darkness and settled for a good night sleep (Kilometer 41,326; Mompos, 25-Mar-11 @ 18:35).  Next morning, fresh and re-energized, I went to explore the town. Mompos was as important of a port as Cartagena during the Spanish colonization, with all supplies and merchandise coming to the interior of nowadays Colombia passing through here.  But by the end of the 19th century, this shipping trade rout stopped, Mompos prosperity vanished and the city seemed to have been frozen in time.   Whitewashed century old houses, most weathered by the effect of the elements and time, line deserted streets.  People here “hide” during the day to escape the heat and the town only seems to come alive at night.  As for me, I took a canoe tour in the afternoon to visit the surroundings villages, the marshlands and it’s incredibly diverse flora and fauna, especially the birds. Taking this tour opens your eyes to how rich and verdant this ecosystem is.  Pre-Colombian native developed amazing techniques to extract the most out of it (see pic for details).

We were back in Mompos by sunset right on time to see the town wake up.  Most Momposinos were sitting on their front door, swinging in their traditional (and famous) Mompos rocking chair while chatting with the many passerbies.  At night, they seem to all converge around Plaza Santo Domingo where an outdoor “food court” is set up: BBQ meat & chicken, pizza, sausages, arepas, deserts (obleas and other arequipe based sweets), fresh juices and of course beer and aguardiente, you can find it all here.  And I happily joined in the fiesta with Carlos and friends.

I headed back to La Bodega early Sunday morning eager to catch the first ferry and aiming to reach Medellin by nightfall. Once in La Bodega, I had breakfast with a few other people also waiting to cross (in cars).  But the ferry was nowhere to be seen; No one had any idea what was going on, except for the joke: “Lots of Aguardiente for the captain yesterday”.  The hours passed and still no ferry on the horizon.  The captain of the lancha kept harassing me to go with him again, telling me that it’s Sunday, the ferry will not be coming today. I didn’t want to go with him anymore after he kept to himself the money share of the people who helped lower and take out Llama from the boat, leaving them angry and wanting their due payment. I just smiled back: “Well, no problem, I just head back to Mompos for the night, tomorrow is another day”. By 14:00, we finally managed to reach the captain by phone (he just woke up?) who delivered the bad news: no service today.  As I was saddling up to head back to Mompos, a couple of guys who I was chatting with told me that the local oil drilling company, EcoPetrol (nothing “eco” about these guys though… you should see how they drill), had a barge coming with a tanker truck and they can take all of us on the way back.  Great! Although it meant I will reach Magange late afternoon, all I wanted was to cross the river to make sure that tomorrow I can head to Medellin.  We landed in Magange at 16:00 and I felt lazy & tired after all the wait.  For today, I will ride as far as I can and stop somewhere for the night.  That somewhere was Sincelejo (Kilometer 41,473; Sincelejo, 27-Mar-11 @ 17:30) and I found a hotel next to the main plaza with the food stalls right around the corner and I gladly went nibbling a little from each.

It was great riding up mountain roads again on route to Medellin and I took great pleasure zipping through the curves.  Once in Medellin the first thing I did was to go see a few of my mechanic/body-shop acquaintances as I wanted to give my baby a makeover, making her attractive for potential buyers.  As for me, I took 1 day of rest to take care of my cough (which was a persistent MoFo) and just hanged out with a couple of friends I met last time I was around here.  But as usual, I only feel alive if I go explore & visit and since we were treated to some sunny weather, I happily went riding Medellin’s surroundings to discover a few traditional Paisa villages.  I first went eastward to Guatape, a small village set near a damn which upon completion flooded this hilly area. I visited El-Peñol (Kilometer 42,057; El Peñol, 30-Mar-11 @ 12:10), a huge 200m high granite rock near Guatape with tremendous views from the summit to the flooded valley below. The result is a stunning landscape with a contrast of green forest hills set along a snaking lake dotted with green islands, all on a baby blue horizon background.  As for Guatape, it’s a delightful little village with cobbled street where colorful frescoes in high relief adorn the base walls of its house.  It’s also famous for its hearty Paisa food and I suggest you to try the local trout specialty, especially the garlic one. Next day I went north-west to Santa Fe de Antioquia, a typical Paisa town set in a hot and humid valley (Kilometer 42,224; Santa Fe de Antioquia, 31-Mar-11 @ 10:50).  I have to admit that I felt a little let down, Santa Fe didn’t live up to its reputation.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a beautiful town but after 3 month riding throughout Colombia and visiting many charming & picturesque villages, my standards were pushed higher.  I lingered enough in Santa Fe to try bitter tamarindo sweets as well as other delicacies before heading to visit the Puente del Occidente, a late 19th century suspended bridge, the first in the Americas.

Llama “spa” treatment gave it a beautifully rejuvenated look and all is ready for me to head back on the road.  The next couple of weeks I will be making my way back home to Quito, taking some large detours allowing me to further stop in cities & towns and bid farewell to a few good friends I met on the way up.

Ride up!


Photo album




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Of course we visited old Cartagena, the famous historic city surrounded by its defensive walls and one of the most picturesque colonial cities in South America.  It is still as impressive as the first time I was here back in 2001 and couldn’t have chosen a better spot to spend the next few days with Adriana. We went wandering through old Cartagena small streets, strolling under their flowery balconies. We savored Cartagena’s famous sweets from the many street vendors, chilled in its leafy plazas sipping an ice cold michelada while watching folklore dancers perform in the streets.  At sundown, we went strolling on top of the old city walls, found a tranquil spot and sat on the rampart to witness the sunset. Dinner was served in trendy patio-restaurants before heading out to practice my salsa moves in a hot & sweaty salsateca.

When The Forest Meets The Ocean and The Ocean Meets The Sky

When The Forest Meets The Ocean And The Ocean Meets The Sky

 Santa Marta, 17-Mar-2011

Even if I left Pereira late, I decided to take the “mountain” road to Bogota.  This route is actually 2-3 hours longer then the Armenia-Ibague road, however it’s also the most rewarding: it snakes up the Cordillera Occidental through lush and green cloud forest, continues riding high in the paramo offering spectacular views before zigzagging down to the valley bellow where the rio Magdalena rushes.  I then crossed the river and tackled the undulating road cutting a path in the Cordillera Central heading up to Bogota.  Did I also mention I hate riding the same road twice? And having just put brand you rubbers on Llama, taking the turns couldn’t have been more rewarding. Let me put it that way: leaning deep & I was running out of footpeg, if you catch my drift ;).  The price to pay for my passion to ride new & beautiful road is that I will arrive in Bogota late… way too late.  And yet again torrential rain greeted me upon entering Bogota (Kilometer 39,080; Bogota, 24-Feb-11 @ 21:00) accompanied with deadlocked traffic.  Luckily, a local motorcyclist (on a scooter 🙂 offered to show me the way toward my hostel (that’s how nice Colombian are).  Unfortunately, the hostel was full and so too were the other nearby recommendations. Problem? Not at all; as I said this is Colombia, the friendliest people you can ever encounter live here. Diego, my new scooter buddy, invited me to crash at his parents place and I gladly accepted. I was about to settle in when I called Adriana who not only mentioned I was “loco” but also insisted that I head to Beatrice, one of her friends, to crash there for the night to which I reluctantly accepted.

I only stayed a couple of days in Bogota, enough time for my cloth to partially dry and a couple of nights of party with Adriana and friends.  The city feels so different when you hang out with locals and I really enjoyed my stay.  On Saturday morning Adriana and I headed in a convoy (car + bike) to Villa de Leyva to spend a few days away from the city’s hustle and bustle (Kilometer 39,254; Villa de Leyva, 26-Feb-11 @ 14:00).  Yet again diluvian rain hit Colombia early afternoon drenching me (I am starting to think I should build a roof on Llama) and all I wanted was to check in to my hostel, bath in a hot shower and a re-energize with a hot chocolate… which I did.  As for Villa de Leyva, it is a picturesque little village, crisscrossed by cobblestone streets lined with whitewashed houses and flowery balconies.  Here, you can just rest and relax, stroll the village streets and alleys, eat local delicacies (especially Feijoa ice-cream :), hang in the plaza or in a coffee-terrace and wind the night away in the couple of cozy & charming little bars.

Monday came and I was ready to ride again. I took the side road northbound, first dropping by to visit a fossil museum before riding through the country side to reach San Gil by early afternoon (just before the rain! Finally!) (Kilometer 39,427; San Gil, 28-Feb-11 @ 14:15).  San Gil is a regular little town and Colombia’s outdoors and extreme sports capital: Level 4 & 5 rafting, paragliding, rappelling, caving, single trail biking,… you can find it all here.  To top it off, I found a great place to stay with very cool people so things were looking bright.  Unfortunately, rafting was impossible due to the heavy rain which swelled Rio Suarez levels rendering them treacherous but rappelling, paragliding and hiking were all to the rendez-vous and I happily engaged in these activities.  I also went for a day visit to neighboring Barichara (Kilometer 39,453; Barichara, 2-Mar-11 @ 13:00), an amazingly beautiful and charming little colonial village with way less tourists then its cousin Villa de Leyva.  Barichara is also famous for a local delicacy: “Hormigas Culonas” or sautéed “big ass ants”.  How do they taste like? Something like salty burned popcorn. An acquired taste to say the least but for the locals “estan deli!”. With a pack of big booty ants I headed on a 2 hour hike through “El Camino Real”, an ancient Guane people road down to the little hamlet of Guane before heading back to San Gil.  Guane is probably the smallest village I visited so far and it was fun walking the 3 streets that make up this place, talking to the locales while drinking “Sabajon”, a sweet drink similar to Baileys although you can have it in fruit flavor (pineapple is delicious).

Santa Marta was my next destination but it’s a long ride from San Gil and I wanted to cut my trip in 2 portions.  However, I was heading to Colombia’s plains and there’s not much to do or see in this neck of the woods. Only Sean, the Oz hotel owner where I was staying, had a good suggestion:  “Why don’t you visit Los Estoraques national park?”. I wasn’t the only one flabbergasted; no one else, even the locales, had heard of this National Park.  But Sean made a strong case promoting the National Park, negating the fact it’s a “little” way out off my route: 1.5 hour east of the main highway and only 30min from Venezuela’s border.  Well, I am not the one to shy away on visiting remote areas and not to mention I will be heading back up mountain roads, a pleasure to tackle.  To top it off, the gas prices in all departments (i.e. states or provinces) sharing a border with Venezuela are a third of the price elsewhere in Colombia (A liter of regular gas is ~USD1.35 while close to the Venezuelan border, it’s U$D0.55.  In Venezuela itself, they practically give the gas away: it’s only a mere U$D0.02!!).  Deal! Next morning, I headed to Ocaña, a little town close to the park and a good base to settle in and explore the surroundings (Kilometer 39,802; Ocaña, 4-Mar-11 @ 15:30).  As I entered the town, a funny and un-expected surprise greeted me: a few cars had Lebanese flags stickers adorning their bumpers and the shopping center in the main square is called “Cedros del Libano” (no translation required). It turned out that Ocaña was established in the early 1900’s by Lebanese immigrant and the town’s people feel proud of their heritage although sadly I didn’t meet anyone who speaks Arabic or who went back “home” for a visit.

I rode out the next morning to P.N. Los Estoraques eager for a full day hike.  As I approached the park, the sight of the weather sculpted hills promised a beautiful trek.  However the heavy rains that poured on Colombia the last few months eroded a lot of the path and most of the park was closed for preservation.  Only an hour long circuit visiting the main rock formations was open to the public.  It was quite the hike none the less with some beautiful formations: my eyes were satisfied but my legs wanted more. Ah well, maybe next time. I stuck around with the guardaparques and their family, chitchatting and sharing a few laughs, nibbling on local sweets (pineapple cake are the specialty of the region) before heading back late afternoon to visit Ocaña.

The next morning I saddled up for a long ride.  First, I tackled a thrilling road downhill to the main highway but then I engaged boring straight-line roads all the way to Santa Marta (imagine riding the road from TO to Mtl) (Kilometer 40,309; Santa Marta, 6-Mar-11 @ 15:20).  I checked in at the Dreamer, a sweet hostel in Santa Marta set around a courtyard with a pool in the middle and hammocks all around.

Santa Marta is a great base to discover the beauty of Colombia’s Caribbean region, from the beach to the Sierra Nevada and then up to the northernmost point of La Guajira peninsula.  But first, it is Carnaval time! And Colombia’s famous Barranquilla carnaval is just 2 hour bus ride away and I couldn’t wait to get there.  Although it’s nothing compared to Carnaval de Rio it was my first carnaval ever and I had a bast.  All the local schools and associations participated in a 4 hours long defile: beautiful sexy dancers, sweet little kids, elderly folks still going strong,… all wearing colorful costumes and shaking it all out to the sound of drums, salsa and Caribbean music.  Beer in one hand, camera in the other, chatting with the locals,… I spent the full day there only making it back late night to my hostel.

The following day was dedicated to finding insurance for my motorcycle as mine was expiring.  That was not an easy task; a foreign vehicle cannot be insured for less than 1 year (i.e. frikin expensive!) unless you are at a border crossing.  But only because of Colombia’s friendly and eager to help people I was able to get one here in Santa Marta.  After a full day looking around, I found a place where it took 3 hours, mostly with the agent on the phone with both Medellin and Bogota software data centers, literally changing the SW application and releasing it for us so it accepts my profile:  accepting foreign ID number, foreign license plate, Canadian passport number format, 1 month insurance term,… the engineers patiently worked over these hurdles and by 17:00 I was again legal to ride Colombia’s road.  Thanks guys!!

Back to Santa Marta and my explorations: My first aim was to hike to Ciudad Perdida or the “Lost City”. Great name, eh? As the guidebook said: “Nothing is more intriguing than finding remains of an ancient civilization deep inside the tropical forests”.  I couldn’t pass this opportunity to see what’s out there, regardless of the exorbitant price.  Talking to fellow travelers they mentioned the hike was as exciting as the destination: walking through thick tropical forest, climbing the Sierra Nevada providing views to the snowy capped summit to the south and the Caribbean ocean to the North, crossing many rivers, admiring the rich flora and fauna covering these land and especially observing the multitude of birds who lives here (it is said there are more bird species in the Sierra Nevada range then in Canada and USA combined!).  I hooked up with Loky (Oz) and Tom (Netherland) and “Genius” (Italy) and convinced the company to let us do the trek in 4 days vs. 5.  And what a trek: it sure lived up to its reputation, the good and the bad.  The beautiful Sierra Nevada offered us an amazing display of plants and wild life, but its infamous torrential tropical showers each afternoon rendered the path very muddy.  Imagine how bad it can get in the rainy season.  Along the way, we also passed by several Kogi (local native) villages and even interacted with a couple of them although they tend to be very serious (only kids smile!), reclusive and definitely camera averse (we once get yelled at with machete drawn).  The day of the climb to Ciudad Perdida fog covered the mountain rendering it less than ideal to admire, although it sure made it feel like a fairy tale.  And I was enchanted with the site, the stone stairs to reach the city, the stone walls, how they build their houses and platforms ascending through the hills,… This is not Machu-Picchu and anyone (many tourist) expecting to see a citadel will be disappointed.  Rather approach this civilization for what it is and what they have accomplished and you will be marveled by the experience.  I let you enjoy the pics.

Back in town, our next destination was Cabo de la Vela en La Guajira department, almost the northern most point of Colombia.  And great news: Tom will be joining me and so to Belén, Charly and Mariana (Argentina).  I only rode my bike to the city of Riohacha were I will hope on the jeep tour as everyone warned me we will be crossing deserts and sand beaches rendering it very tough to ride… in hindsight, it wasn’t “that” bad and I wish I took the challenge and just rode there.  Although I got to admit, there are numerous advantages to go on a tour: you tend to visit more places as some of spots you might not be aware off and listening to the guide informative explications.  Add to that you are with good company along the way so in the end all worked out fine.  Cabo de la Vela is situated in a semi-arid region, with long unspoiled beaches, multicolored bays surrounded by rock face and small yet steep hills.  We spent the day swimming in the warm Caribbean water, gazing at these myriad of colors awaiting the famous sunset spectacle which left us in awe. The best way to describe is as a graffiti said: this is “Cine Colombia”.

Once back in Riohacha, I found my bike’s rear tire flat.  That’s the last thing I wanted: not only it was late, I was in a town with just the basic car tire repair garage. Worst, the one and only time I did not bring my tools and tire repair kit with me on an outing, I have this tire problem.  Goes to show you never know and you should always be prepared.  I spent the next 2 hours trying to secure help and finding the issue (it was the valve) then try to fix/kludge it allowing me to ride the 160 Km separating me from Santa Marta.  I actually did a good job fixing the leak but had to ride at night on deserted roads, stopping often to check the state of my rear tire thus only making it to Santa Marta by 20:30 –  Kilometer 40,662; Santa Marta, 15-Mar-11 @ 20:30.

That night, I reunited with Belén and forgot about the tire; something more important was on the agenda: Belén and I were to go visit another nature marvel: P.N. Tayrona.  This park is famous for being a jungle extending its reach up to the sandy shores of the Caribbean ocean.  Unfortunately the current is so strong here, only a couple of spots are safe to swim and even then, you definitely do not want to adventure far from the shore (every year a handful of tourists perish).  As we hiked the park, the real spectacle came upon reaching the beach: Here is where the forest meets the ocean and the ocean meets the sky. Absolutely drop dead gorgeous bays and beaches.  We setup camp next to Antonio (Spain) and Diana’s (Colombia) tent and spent the next few days chilling on the beach with our new friends and relentlessly gazing and marveling at the nature all around us. Check the pics!

I left Belén after 3 days as I needed to quickly head back to Santa Marta and ride to Cartagena to meet Adriana.  I still decided to take the steep road to El-Pueblito, a small pre-Colombian Tairona city similar to ciudad Perdida before reaching the Hwy where I can catch a ride to Santa Marta.  I made the 4 hours hike in 2.5 and even managed to hitch-hike my way back to the hostel, allowing me enough time to go visit the city, specifically la Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino where Simon Bolivar spent the last days of his life.  The rest of the day I just got ready for my trip and only saddled up late afternoon once the heat of the day subsided (a little) and rode toward the beautiful colonial city of Cartagena.

Ride up!


Photo album