Rushing Around Colombia on a Bicycle

Welcome in South America, welcome in Colombia, welcome in the Andes!
Not only a new country in our trip but also a complete new continent to discover. A continent both of us never bin in before.
We feel exited when our plane coming from Panama hits the ground.

The plan is to follow parts of the Pan American Highway south. We don't like the bigger busy roads so probably we will end up on smaller dirt roads going in the same direction as the PanAm.
Because Maud is coming to visit us in a few weeks we're in a bit of a hurry and rush through our first country of South America.
As soon we arrive in Colombia we discover the government sadly does not trade the indigenous people the same as the rest of the Colombians. The country has problems with this, with the result that the indigenous population is currently blocking major through roads. Roads we also have to take to arrive on time in Ecuador where Maud also arrives, coming from the Netherlands.

We follow the little news we can find online about this issue to see how things are going from day by day. We hope to find out where the road blocks are located exactly.

Extra problem; Kim feels really bad and stays in bed for a few days a few times, which does not really promote the passage through Colombia.

At the airport, coming from Panama it took us an hour to build up the bikes again. Those three guys watched us all the time, curious how we did it.

Cycling into Rio Negro in search for our hospedaje.

Out of town again, the Colombian backcountry is calling.

Live in full of choices, some are simple; Just go left or go right.

Back country roads are the best.

We go higher and higher.

Even of these small roads busses find their way around.

While cycling up a steep hill a guy on a passing motorbike stops by and asks if we want a banana. "Of course!" On the back of his bike he has a crate full of bananas. "Grab as much as you want!" he says.
We load a handlebar bag full, thank him and push further uphill.

Enjoy the view over Colombia.

The cycled roads can be seen in a distance.

The sun starts to set again. How many beautiful sunsets have we seen last year? We didn't count them but everyone is a special one.

Going downhill again.

Views, views, views...

Look at my horse, my horse is amazing.
Give it a lick! Mmm! It tastes just like raisins.

Also in Colombia the wild dogs on the roads. We don't care, they never did bite us for so far.

On the balcony of a small Hospedaje we brush our teeth with a view.

From the same balcony we can see the road going up again in a distance.

On the road again. With a view.

We take the road down hill.

On our way down we cycle into Henry who is climbing up. Henry is from Colombia but did cycle a lot in the rest of South America as well. Notice his paniers; just two big backpacks mounted to the back rack of his old mountainbike. Live simple is his opinion.

We continue further down hill.

On the way south we see a lot of roadwork. At most roadworks we have to wait for a while.

They spray water on the road to make clear you can wash your car or truck here. We use them as coolingdown.

More roadwords.

Rise, fried banana, beans and a big fish. Happy Kim.

Empty roads.

Roadworks... again.

.... and again 🙁 The waiting takes a lot of our time on the road.

Kim feels bad, we stay two nights in this small room. The town in self in no more then a gas station, a hotel and two restaurants but Kim feels to sick to stay just one night.

Kim still feels not to good but she wants to continue so we move on.

We slowly enter the coffee region of Colombia

Coffee, coffeee, coffeeee!

Nienke and Pim from Holland. They are some of the very very few other Dutch cyclists we met on our trip.

Bad weather is coming up.

The famous palm trees of the Colombian coffee region.

The mountains are calling and I must GO! 😉

On the road to Cali. It looks like truck refurbishing is the main job of this small village before Cali.

The big town of Cali.

Street art in town.

In Cali we have a hostel with a roof terrace. In the evening the views even turn better.

Cali is the city of the Salsa Dance.

The photo's underneath are just some random street pictures.

Have a nap.

Arjan making scrambled eggs... jummy.

On the road again, leaving Cali. We manage 15km of traffic jam before we're outside the citycentre.

Due the problems between government and the indigenous people there are roadblocks on the way south. Trucks are stopped at toll booths to avoid problems at the roadblocks themselves.

Four trailers behind one truck. Sugarcane trucks.

Sugarcane truck the traditional way.

Having a break in the shade. As usual between 30 and 35 degrees.

A cleaned up road block side. The graffiti says it all.

Last night all road blocks are cleaned up. All the waiting trucks now come at once. Hundreds of trucks in a line is not good for the air quality. So much smog to cycle through 🙁

A left over road block on a side road.

At our hospedaje the owner shows how the prepare sugarcane for consumption.

Heavy rain.

Popayan, also called the White City of Colombia. (Because of the buildings 😉 )

We met this guy, Jose, in town. We chatted for more than two hours together about his country, this town and the people living here.

Making the city even more white.

A famous Colombian cyclist from the past.

A truck full of grapes 🙂

Our host from the last few nights in Popayan.

Sadly we're running out of time and we have to take a bus to be on time in Ecuador where Maud will arrive in a few days. Here we're waiting for the bus for the last stretch of Colombia to the border with Ecuador.

We have a nice painted bus for tonight.

And glow in the dark.

At one moment while in the bus we have to stop. A big rock from nearly two meters wide came from the mountains down on a car. It blocks the road completely.

While watching it all the police gives the command to everybody around to clean the small rocks from the road.

In just a few minutes the road is sort of clean again.

Clean road again, only the big rock is still in front of the car that was hit. We can move on... (btw the driver was ok)

Cycling the last few meters to the border. Maybe wait for the traffic lights this time.

Downhill.

The border is coming up fast.

Kim making new friends...

Bye Colombia, Hi Ecuador.

We expected to pass this border fast. Due the many many immigrants from Venezuela it took us five hours to cross.. 🙁

Thanks for reading again. We hope you enjoyed it. There is more to come...
Cheers for now!

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The Panama Travel Diary

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One Year on a Bicycle

1 Comment

  1. Cynthia

    Oh man, viva Colombia!!!!! We ❤️ Colombia! How is Kim feeling? Abrazos!!!(hugs). Cynthia & Randy

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