Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Mongui To Paz De Airporo

The loop we did so it all makes sense

We decided to stay two nights at Mongui as we had done some reasonably big back road days consisting of 90% plus shingle, rocks and mud so Mongui turned into a rest spot.

Monguis big specialty is the beautiful church in the main plaza

And a neat wee stream with trout in it

Upon leaving we had visions of heading to Sacama then up to El Cocuy, it was a “red” road on the map and all previous “red” roads had tarmac of varying quality so doable, leaving Mongui was sealed for about 10 km then that was it.

We past a horse and cowboy mob celebrating the Colombian soccer win, these guys were into it.

Heading deeper into the mountains we uncleverly past our last fuel stop thinking there was one further up (the station we went past was packed) but with 30 L tank and still a healthy volume it wasn’t an issue until we really started to climb and climb for miles.

We stopped at a gasolinera and found out that where we were heading was no more gas until Sacama and quite some climb yet, also the road getting rougher meant lower gears so more fuel usage.

In order to play safe and not get stuck at nearly 4000 meters we put in 2 gallons and set off into the distance climbing and climbing.

Reaching the top of the valley we rode many km on top of the world in a stunning moonscape tortured by mum nature due to the elevation and pretty much having the entire place to ourselves.

Back to our visions, well, that didn’t quite pan out as the road roughened and got muddier with some repairs done to the pot holes, a smoothe section with attempted fixes.

There were small tarns dotted around the landscape with small waterfalls

The road then got muddy ....and stayed like that for a considerable distance.

Then came the mind torture, Mrs.Garmin was happy then said do a U turn and drive 60 km ... WTF .... then continue 60 km straight ahead, then do a U turn, then drive 44 km ahead, U turn, 20 km ahead, U turn, 44 km ahead.

Starting to wonder what was going on we stopped at a house and asked ...she said si senor todo derecho (yes sir straight ahead).

Back to not sure whether to trust the GPS we did continue, human intervention payed off with the basics of well there was no road to turn off and no other way around it so it must be right, trust your own gut instinct.

Mrs.Garmin kept telling lies, then went from 60 km, down to 40 km, down to 20 km down to 4.4 km in the space of 2 km, we spotted a place of worship of significant size and the road got very good very quick like within 100 meters from mush and mud to this in the pic... ah ha civilization, sure enough just after that we spotted Sacama with some relief of not having an epic backtrack.

Sacama was a late afternoon lunch then we hit it to get out to Hato Corozal, the police said two hours .... for 61 km .... WTF ...no way man we are on a big bike, he was right, rough as a river bed in places then were saw the smooth stuff in the distance .... you beauty .... erh wrong that was sandpit and lots of it so yeap a false friend in the distance kinda like a mirage in a desert. 

Rough road and mum nature decided we were too smelly 

The dreaded smooth bits and the welcomed lumps beside it, this was our road for some 20 km.

Then this, huge straights, very wide

A quick 180 of the scene, the big black baddies is where we came from, click on the pic to play


Making it into Hato Corozal there was a huge festival .... NOT a sausage of accom anywhere, thankfully it was only 20 minute blast down real tarmac that was actually almost smooth down to Paz De Aiporo so we laid our bones down to rest for the night there, certainly no tourist town but excellent food.

Another accidental big day .... almost like work.

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