March 22, 2005 GMT


I arrived in the "City of Eternal Spring" more infamously known as the home of Pablo Escobar and the Medellin drugs cartel at a strange time. The city has far more about it than the latter, and a sensationalist and egotistical article in the National Geographic was causing ructions amongst these hard-working, ingenious and friendly people.

Love him or loath him, one thing's for sure, he's dead and buried...

Brasil,Venezuela,Colombia 030.jpg

The descent into the modern, but pleasant city was spectacular. The trip from Bogota was largely uneventful with army lining the road, in some cases sporting heavy armour which reminds one of the precarious state this country is in.

But still, my determination to reach Medellin meant that I arrived after dark and as I spiralled into the valley, the view resembled a Star Wars movie as the brightly lit, well-planned roads seem to hover in a veil of mist below me.

These are wonderful hills to ride in, the roads good and twisty. Many of the fincas resemble farm buildings and homes you might discover in the Alps or Pyrenees, a legacy of mountain colonisers. The abundance of shops selling artesan goods and rustic and colonial style furniture give clues as to the status of these people as hard and skilled workers.

I rode either by myself or in the company of Dan from Sweden, who had been here three months. My host also, Paul Thoresen from Seattle, en route to Buenos Aires from Alaska, got stuck some two years ago and has now taken root.

Starsky & Hutch...

Brasil,Venezuela,Colombia 076.jpg

Although Medellin boasts scant trace of it's forbears, the pueblitos perched in the hills, previously seats of conflict in Colombia's most famous war, display their colonial heritage proudly. However, the country now fights a war of attrition against bad publicity, a weapon wielded by unfriendly states and their allied publishing empires. But, everyone who comes to see first-hand falls in love with the climate, the surroundings and not least of all, the people.

I spent far longer than I was supposed to in Medellin. I dropped reluctantly from the Antioquian Highlands on a two day ride in search of a boat to Panama. I kept my oft-broken promise of riding only during daylight, and for the first three or four hours was escorted by Paul and his girlfriend, Monica, during which time we refused to stop at roadblocks and Paul took some great photos. I treated my "Mangoes" acquired hangover to regular doses of "Aguila" and "Club Colombia", and by nightfall I had made pretty good progress.

Posted by Mick Pugh at March 22, 2005 08:39 PM GMT
Sorry, due to heavy form spamming, Comments are OFF.

NEW! HU 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar is now available! Get your copy now for some terrific travel inspiration!

HUGE, 11.5 x 16.5 inches, beautifully printed in Germany on top quality stock! Photos are the winning images from over 600 entries in the 9th Annual HU Photo Contest!

Horizons Unlimited 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar.

"The calendar is magnificent!"

"I just wanted to say how much I'm loving the new, larger calendar!"

We share the profit with the winning photographers. YOU could be in the HU Calendar too - enter here!

Next HU Eventscalendar

See all events


HU DVD Autumn Special!

Take 40% off Road Heroes Part 1 until October 31 only!

Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers Peter and Kay Forwood (193 countries two-up on a Harley); Dr. Greg Frazier (5 times RTW); Tiffany Coates (RTW solo female); and Rene Cormier (University of Gravel Roads).

The first in an exciting new series, Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers."Inspiring and hilarious!"

"I loved watching this DVD!"

"Lots of amazing stories and even more amazing photographs, it's great fun and very inspirational."

"Wonderful entertainment!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'HEROES' on your order when you checkout.

Scottoiler automatic chain oilers. The most important accessory for your next motorcycle adventure!

Renedian Adventures

Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!

What turns you on to motorcycle travel?

Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!

New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.

Books & DVDs


All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.

Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!

Story and photos copyright ©

Sorry, you need a Javascript enabled browser to get the email address and dates. You can contact Horizons Unlimited at the link below. Please be sure to tell us WHICH blog writer you wish to contact.

All Rights Reserved.

Contact the author:

Editors note: We accept no responsibility for any of the above information in any way whatsoever. You are reminded to do your own research. Any commentary is strictly a personal opinion of the person supplying the information and is not to be construed as an endorsement of any kind.

Hosted by: Horizons Unlimited, the motorcycle travellers' website!
You can have your story here too - click for details!