Thursday, 14 November 2013

Cali To The Ecuador Border

A huge thanks to Raul and Jorge, you guys rock, you made Cali spectacular for us which was so cool.

Also a free punt for a good man

They have access to lots of touring stuff so you don't need to go without.

Now we are back to reality, heading south to the border after enjoying just short of 3 months in what can only be described as an utterly awesome country and fantastic people.

Mike from Motolumbia gave us some interesting back roads to go on rather than just carve up the Pan Am and they were great taking us through small villages and military blockades ... they were kinda taken when they saw us.

From Cali we took the back road to Suarez and headed up and over the top passing the reservoir, in places the road was very boggy and kinda slippery and the views epic.

The plan was to cross the road to Silvia but it was pissing down with no visibility and our road was shingle so we passed on it and sooked out down the last of the main drag.

Making it in to Popoyan we picked up our stuffed old fuel pump then continued south ending up at El Bordo for the night, not exactly a tourist trap but kinda cool.

Next day was only going to be a main drag blast, we decided to kick off the main drag and go via Policarpa, the road again had outstanding views and it was fookin hot.

Arriving ALMOST in Policarpa our day changed completely, we were stopped by Militars who said not going any further .... the FARC were having some sorta scrap with the Colombian Feds so NO ONE was going through to the main road on the old 25.

This is what Policarpa looks like ... at least from a distance

So, now we were officially on the worlds most dangerous road (forget Bolivia), these guys were playing for keeps with local vehicles etc being stopped and searching everyone and emptying out car contents, they were more concerned for our safety than us being a threat.

When the Police vehicle turned up from town they were also searched and checked the vehicle, the Militar guys then said we had to go back the way we came and that the Police vehicle would be only 5 minutes behind us and if we had trouble they will be there, normally we just brush off the “danger” bit but these guys on this day we talking a different language and were clearly not messing around so we heeded their warning with respect and turned around.

This is the one and only time in Colombia we thought yeap these guys are serious as well as curious, all other stops have been curiosity only (as well as their usual checkpoint stuff)

So back out and back down the Pan Am, I will add to that the Pan Am at this point is actually very nice as you ride through massive steep side valleys.

Pasto, that is where we ended up for the night, great chips.

Next on the agenda was the famous Las Lajas church just out of Ipiales built across the river, it was only a short ride for the day and we ended up staying right in the small township looking down on the BIG waterfall (yes there is a BIG waterfall Geoff) and the church.

We spent the afternoon there hovering around and relaxing, interesting several people have had trouble getting GPS there, we also pushed SPOT clocking in and that failed to so there are some confirmed dead spots around even in the open.

The church is a spectacular bit of work and well worth the visit, accommodation was $9 for the two of us including hot water and a comfy bed, Maya had her own 20 meter x 7 meter vinyled floor room to stay in.

The border, so yes the time came to finally say goodbye to Colombia and after spending just shy of 3 months there I wanted to spend another 3 months but the next corner is calling as well as a new country.

Farewell Colombia and Colombians, we had expectations of Colombia having been pumped up by fello travellers and it exceeded all expectations ....Colombia is even more dangerous than Mexico, Guatemala and El Salvador for not wanting to leave ....

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