By the time we headed out of Oscar’s finca, Colombia had already gotten itself under our skin, and showed no sign of slowing down. We had been given a suggested route by Mike at Motolombia that would take us through the small, rural town of Riosucio and North towards Jardin. With a lot of dirt riding planned, we made an early start to the day, and after saying goodbye to the team once again, hit the small gravel roads through the coffee region. The winding tracks soon opened up into large tar highways and eventually made the pleasing metamorphosis into pristine, curvy, banked roads through green hills and surrounded by delicious views.
The view over some of Colombia’s coffee region
Meg taking a breather
After stopping for the night in a small town we hit the road to Jardin. The route we took is a gravel road “short-cut’ through the nature reserve close to the town. The lack of traffic made the ride beautifully peaceful, with great dirt, and thick, luscious forest punctuated by views out over Colombia’s rolling green coffee region. The ride was so good, that it actually made me slow down. This in itself is really saying something. Before long my speed had plummeted to an idle, and staring around a corner’s apex had changed into gawking up into the trees and ogling the wildlife. We were particularly taken by a massive butterfly that flew alongside us for a considerable distance. With pearlescent wings, it flashed between white and neon blue as it fluttered through the dappled sunlight, the sight has now become burned into my memory, one of the few things I will remember photographically. Continue reading
Crossing over into Colombia was way easier than expected, No one even came out of the office to look at the bikes, merely enquiring as to what we were riding and what colour they were from the comfort of their rapidly decaying, bureaucratic-burgundy, government-issue office chair, amazingly standard across countries, governments and continents. Before we knew it the star was down and we were back on the bikes and super-keen to head into big, notorious Colombia, notorious for it’s past and notorious for being like fly-paper to adventure bikers, you just don’t want to leave.
Silly selfie no.1
Silly selfie no.2
Silly Selfie no.3
Our first stop was Pasto, a generally uninteresting city, which introduced us to Colombia’s revolutionary habit of eating fried chicken and honey with plastic gloves, a revelation in the nom-nom business. Our Pasto stop was in preparation for our journey to San Agustin via the infamous ‘Trampoline of Death’, a single-lane dirt road, with very high drop-offs, non-existent barriers, two way traffic and some of the best views on record. We scrambled around countless cut-backs, splashed through water crossing and squeezed past trucks, an absolute dream for me, and a nightmare for Megan, who is terrifically scared of heights. This is the reason for the rather scarce photo content here, our photographer was preoccupied with not stopping, not looking down and generally not being interfered with at all. It was an amazing road, the views of forested mountain tops, extending out toward the horizon through the mist, were unforgettable, the road was good dirt, although wet, and lined by greenery on all sides, a spectacular welcome to the beauty of Colombia.
That’s right. We had finally made it out of Peru, who had held us captive for months, forcing her beauty and diversity on us at every turn. After a dirty, wet lug through some muddy, horrendously maintained mountain roads, we hit the Ecuadorian border, and were confronted with horrifically beautiful tar, dense greenery, and shock and horror… road signs. It was not until this very moment that I realised that Peru has a desperate aversion to road signs, I don’t know what the signs must have done to anger Peru, but it must have been bad.
Arriving in Ecuador – about time