Motorcycle trip in Colombia
The entry in Colombia was quiet, the process to enter the country proved to be arranged without much bureaucracy and objectiveness. The police carried out their inspection on the bike in search of narcotics, recorded the bike data, as well as mine and I was ready to move on. I entered thru Ipiales, bound for Pasto.
The next day was on the road again heading to Cali. The road was in good structural conditions and there was effective policing throughout the route, besides the presence of the army on the way. I was stopped many times to present documents, which gives a very good sense of security for those traveling alone around the world.
The arrival in the city of Cali was laborious, since the traffic in this city is very intense, a fact that I’m used to, because I lived in every major city where I was. After two nights in Cali, I went to Medellin and I confess that, I became a little more concerned about safety, as I would in the farm regions, which could be related to organized crime, but I was wrong again and travelled along safe and beautiful roads, in fact, the Cordillera is charming.
The feeling while following the Cordillera from the Argentine territory to Colombia is indescribable!
As I approached my destination, I stopped for lunch at a restaurant on the roadside and found three local lords who asked to take photos of the bike. Immediately I said yes and moments later, they invited me to join them to have the meal. They offered me a delicious and hitherto unknown traditional local food – delicious. I ate everything from cow bowel, to a dough with avocado with different flavors, but very tasty. We said goodbye, made more friends and went to Medellin.
As I approached, I could feel that I was entering a very large city with much traffic, many small motorcycles circling the great avenues of the city. Soon I got a cheap and well located hotel where I would stay for three nights.
In this hotel, I was planning the journey, when I met Coqui, an Argentine who came from Las Vegas on his Suzuki DR 650, giving rugby training in colleges and schools, who was staying at the same place. Talked at length, we went out together and became friends. He gave me several tips and explained in great detail the shuttle from Panama to Colombia. I also met Matyas, who was in Cartagena with his car, a 1974 Peugeot (!), who sought bikes to share the container bound for the next Central American country. Fabulous. What luck!
After Medellin I left directly for Cartagena, excited to find Matyas and his wife Manu, to route the bike on a ship to Panama. Unfortunately there is no way by land to cross the dreaded Darien Gap, or Tapon of Darien, place dominated by guerrilla fighters, jungle and no chance to cross with a bike the size of mine.
Excellent road and my farewell to the wonderful Andes. How many amazing kilometres along the Cordillera. Unforgettable experience!!
I arrived in Cartagena, beach and tourist city, bathed by the Caribbean Sea, very interesting. I walked through the city to reach the beach promenade and find a hostel with gated parking, very difficult in the city. By taking a left after the avenue, I bumped into the Peugeot, easily recognizable … Amazing, soon I found Matyas had arrived in the city, what tremendous luck! We talked, and talked about Coqui who had already organized to go the next day to the company that would transport the car and my bike.
At that moment, there was another Argentine couple with them, and Javier Mey, driving a 1972 Jeep who left Mendoza to go to Alaska with his brave vehicle.
Team formed, we were together until boarding the vehicles in Colon, the port city of Panama.
Such transport is emblematic for its red tape, high costs and by the customs logistics. However in a team the mission gets easier and we won after much work.
Bike and car loaded in the container, we turn to Bogota, where we went directly to the city of Panama, all together and happy to have won this important step.
Early the next week, we were riding the Colon bus to collect the vehicles and move on.