Woke up and it’s not raining, quick breakfast pack up our gear and head down to the water to organise a boat to take us over to Red Frog Beach about a 15 minute trip. Kerman has joined us today arriving this morning on the ferry from the mainland. Not long into the boat trip the skies are getting darker and by the time we get to the beach it’s raining again, oh well we can go for a swim anyway. Nick Ivanka and I are taking the ferry at 4pm to get back to the mainland. There is a group of Kids on board that keep us entertained with their games and songs.
Leaving early this morning to go through the mountains to Bogota, of course it’s raining as usual. Half way there we need to get fuel, so we stop, tank and are ready to continue. I take of and notice that Nick is not coming, so I turn around and there they are 20 meters from the petrol station with the bike not running. I ask what’s going on and Ivanka tells me that they filled up with Diesel, opsss…… We push the bike back to the servo, get the tank of and start draining the Diesel into a bucket. We take the plugs out and let the bike turn over empty a few times to get the rest of the diesel out. Put it all back together fill it up with Petrol and have a go at starting it without much success. Plugs out again and a bit a fuel into the empty chamber, plugs in and start her up. Nearly. We repeat the last step once more and the bike comes back to live witch puts a big smile on all our faces. The rest of the way we ride through rainforest’s and mountains in the rain of course and arrive in …………. In the late afternoon.
Sunshine this morning as we leave for the pacific coast. It’s a great ride through some beautiful countryside down to Santa Catalina a small village on the Pacific.
Lucky again, no rain as we cross Panama from the Pacific side up into the mountains and a small village called Santa Fee. All the roads are blocked and there is a lot of people around so we have a hard time finding our way into the village and to the hostel we are looking for. The reason for all the chaos is a celebration parade for Independence Day. There is a lot of drumming going on and all the schools from the area are represented marching through the village.
Thursday 17.11 – Sunday 20.11
Late start as it is still raining this morning. We head for Panama City, it’s a easy drive and we arrive on the outskirts of the city in no time at all. The first signs of the city is a huge bridge crossing the Panama Canal, what a sight. After finding our way around town we make it to the Hostel which has just moved to a new location and the neighbours are not happy to see a hostel in there street. Any way we stay until Monday when we leave for Cali to meet with the Stahratte the ship that will take us and the bikes to Colombia.
Monday 21.11 – Friday 25.11
The drive to Cali is taking us through some very intense Rainforest and the road is like a roller coaster. We finally make it to Cali where we load the bikes onto the ship. One by one the bikes get hoisted on board with a couple of ropes. Once everything is on board we lift anchor and cruise a short distance to a nearby Island where we stay for the night. It’s a big party as we get to know each other. There will be some sore heads in the morning.
On Tuesday morning all the Backpackers come on board. We lift Anchor and motor sail for about 3 hours until we arrive at a small group of islands in the middle of the San Blas group. The moment the anchor hits the bottom everybody is jumping into the crystal clear water to swim to the island or go snorkelling on the reef. In the evening we have a BBQ on the beach watching the sun set behind the palm fringed islands.
Another day of snorkelling and lazing in the sun before we make out to sea and towards Colombia. The crossing takes about 26 hours. We arrive in the port of Cartagena early in the morning and have to wait until we get the passports stamped before we can unload the bikes. At around 1 pm we finally start with the first bike hoisting it over the side of the boat into a rubber dinghy witch then takes us to shore. From the wharf we drive straight to Customs where the process of importing the bike starts. It ONLY takes 5 hours to all the bikes are cleared and we are free to go.
Saturday 26.11 – Tuesday 29.11
Saturday morning was spent running around town trying to find Insurance for the bike. After going from one office to another we finally find the right one and are able to get it all done. In the evening all the crew meets up in a local pizzeria for one last drink before everybody goes their own way. The next few days are spent exploring Cartagena and also helping the boys from Fritz the Cat with all the paperwork.
Even though it’s raining heavily we make our way towards Medellin. Kevin, André, Anders, Helle and me are on the road together as we try to find our way out of the city. The going is slow and we only mange to cover 300 km in 6 hours. We end up staying in a very nice country Hotel with swimming pool. Luxury
After another 6 hours on the road we arrive in Medellin, the former home of Pablo Escobar. Kevin and I both need new tyres; we got the coordinates for Ruta 40 a BMW dealership in the middle of town, thank god for GPS. We finally make it there and the guys at the shop are help us instantly. 1 ½ hours later we’re of with new sets on our bikes. A short trip trough the city brings us to our Hostel. After a quick shower we head into the Restaurant and Bar area for something to eat. After dinner we need another beer so we go to the Irish Pub and no surprise there are Jürgen, Manny, and James.
It’s Jürgens Birthday today so a party is organised for him. Another big night , ouch.
Everybody is very quiet today, just as well it’s raining so we don’t feel guilty.
All of us joined up for the drive to Sarento around 270 km away. When we arrive on the first mountain pass just outside town there is a huge cue of trucks and cars, we get informed that there has been an accident and the road is blocked for several hours. One police man tells us to go and have lunch and come back in a few hours. After a short meeting among us we decide to sneak our way up the mountain pass all the waiting cars and trucks. We could not see an accident but the chaos was complete it would have taken all day to sort things out. As we pushed our way to the front, we had a clear road ahead of us so we made good distance. Kevin and I were riding in front and did not pay much attention to the guys behind us when we realise that they are not coming. We pull over and wait, after about 10 minutes a local guy on a moppet lets us know that one of them had a flat tyre. We ride back and get there just in time to see them put the wheel back in. Another 3 hours later we arrive in Sarento a small Coffee Village in the mountains.
The Hostel owner talks us into going for a Horse Ride in the Valle de Cocora only a short Jeep trip away from the Village. The Valle de Cocora lies at around 2200 meters and yet there are palms up to 60 meters tall that grow there. The ride takes about 1 ½ hours but by that time our legs and backs are sore and we can hardly walk. The rest of the day is spent at the Hostel as the havens have opened up again.
From Sarento we make our way to Buga for lunch and then on to Cali, the Capital of Plastic surgery in Colombia. But otherwise nothing to look at.
From Cali the road takes us south to Popayan where we stop for lunch and say goodbye to Jürgen and Manny as they are heading towards Ecuador and we are heading towards San Agustin. The road out of town is starting of good and then quickly goes to shit as the rain sets in again and everything turns into mud. Including Andrè having a flat tyre it takes us nearly 5 hours to cover 80 km, at the end we are soaked, cold and covered in mud from head to toe. We find Francois Hostel where we can have a hot shower and a great meal of Meat, Mashed Potato’s and a bottle of Red Wine. After thet we all collapse into bed. Goodnight.
Easy day looking around san Agustin and going out to the Agrological side where there are this statues dating back to 1000 BC. Spaghetti and Beer for dinner. All good.
Kerman and I are going for a ride through the back country, the road are in between bad and not existing but it’s a lot of fun. Andrè went into the nearest town to get his front wheel looked at as it is buckled. We are spending the day blogging and drying out all our gear .
Today is the 3 year anniversary since we left Sydney in 2008. 5 Continents, 30 Countries and just under 100’000 km.
After a nice breakfast under a blue sky we left around 8 am towards Macoa, the drive through the valley in the sunshine is beautiful. From Macoa we take the road through the mountains towards Pasto. At first it’s a slight incline and then the road turns into a riverbed and climbs its way through the mountains and up to 3200m, the scenery is fantastic but the going is very slow. André encounters his third flat tyre, but with all of us helping he is back on the road in no time at all. We finally arrive in Pasto by 5pm. Tired but what a great day.
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