Banos

A sad day….. Today we said goodbye after almost 5 months 24/7 with the three of us. We are gonna take a few week break (Petra and Janneke are coming over to visit) and we will continue with the three of us later.

Wednesday june 16, we crossed the border with Equador. The final kilometers in Colombia we were stopped by the Colombian police for speeding. They lasered us with 79 km/h, where we were supposed to do only 20. “Really officer, did we go that fast?”. And again to point out how friendly everyone in Colombia is: we could continue without any fine after a little chat. The bordercrossing was one of the easiest so far. No hassle at all and all straight forward.

The first few km’s through Equador were amazing. Rough Andes mountains, climbing over 3000m and descending back to nice temperatures. We stopped that day in Ibarra, a nice little town.
Ibarra

The next day, we drove to Quito, the very big and stretched capital of Equador. We spent a few nights in hostal el cafecito and used our time to book some tours, drink a few beers, watch the second match of Holland and to relax. And ofcourse: to visit Mitad del mundo and stand with one foot on the northern hemisphere and one foot on the southern.

Mitad del mundo

Tuesday june 22, we drove to Banos.

Banos

The town is nothing special, but from here you can do a lot of outdoor activities. The ride to Banos went over 3400m with nice views of the Cotopaxi volcano.

mountain hike

In banos we had a mountain walk and a Swedish massage (sin final feliz, for the ones who will comment on this).

Banos

So, feeling as good as new, it’s now time to go our own way. Bas and Roel go to Guayaquil to pick up the girls and I will go back to Quito. We all have plans to visit Galapagos, do jungle tours etc. So I expect nice pictures next post.

goodbye boys!
This morning I waved the boys goodbye……it’s not the same.

Sterk spul hoor….fisherman’s friend

Chao

Pasto

Pasto…our last stop before we went to Equador.

new tyreWe left Medellin on tuesday 8th of june after we bought some necessary items for the bikes.

We spent the night in Supia, a village along the way. Next day we continued further south and visited Termales  de Santa Rosa de Cabal where we enjoyed a waterfall and a hot bath. Reborn we drove further and stayed in mountain village Salento. Friday (june 11) we arrived in colonial town Popayan after a night in Santander Q…something.

Popayan, a whitewhashed city with a nice atmosphere and climate because of its altitude at 1700m.

Popayan

Popayan

We stayed the weekend for a beer, to relax, maintenance (flat battery) and ofcourse to see the first Worldcup game of Holland vs Denmark. We had to watch the first half in a public garage.

second half

Second half we could enjoy our breakfast at the plaza and watch Holland win. HOOLIGANS!!!

Hooligans

They call the Dutch team “la naranja mecanica”, the orange clockwork. Well…..it’s not a swiss watch yet, but the result counts.

Monday (june 14) we left Popayan for a nice tour to San Augustin. The ride would be challenging, because of the unpaved roads and recently a bridge was washed away by a river. Nice climbs over 3000m brought us in Indian-like villages where life looks hard with the cold and wet climate.

chicken bus

After being lost and back on track we didn’t get any further than Silvia. Based on the bad weather and timeschedule we decided not to continue our tour to San Augustin and picked-up the Panamericana to Pasto after a visit at the tuesday indian market in Silvia.

Tuesday market Silvia

We already heard that the route to Pasto would be one of the nicest parts of the Panamericana.

panamericana

Breathtakingly beautiful…..amazing Andes.

Andes

Andes

Andes

look at these roads!!

Late we arrived in mountain town Pasto. Altough the stories about this city aren’t really good, we did like it. Again we were quite interesting for the locals. Tres gringos con muy grande motos….

Pasto

Our last stop before bordercrossing with Equador.

Hola Equador

Hasta luego Colombia, Hola Equador

Medellin

For the ones who don’t read more than two lines: Visit Colombia now, while it’s still little explored by tourists. It’s a matter of time before it will be the Costa Rica of South America.

Right now we are just tired. Tired of three all-nighters in Medellin. A great city with the nicest climate. The eternal spring they call it over here.

But before we got here, we had some tough days on the bike. After San Gil, we stayed in Barbosa after a short visit to Barichara

Barichara

and the next day we went to Villa de Leyva. It was a hilly ride at an altitude of 2000m. The temperatures here look like a Dutch summer. Including all the Dutch cows over here it really felt like driving through Limburg. This sign made us even feel more like home.

Limburg?

Villa de Leyva is a national monument and really nice to visit. Nice colonial houses and a big plaza.

Villa de Leijva

Plaza @ Villa de Leijva

Overthinking what we would do during lunch, we met a German, Uli, who lives here and knows a lot about Colombia. After a nice chat he payed our lunch as a reward for visiting Colombia and invited us to come to his house for a beer. This weekend also were the new presidents elections and therefore it was not possible to get any alcohol anywhere. So it was an easy decision and we ended in the most beautiful landhouse drinking Warsteiner….

Uli's Finca

Nice, thanks Uli.

Monday may 31. we left Villa de Leijva and drove to Zipaquira where we visited the Salt Cathedral, build in former salt caves. A cloudy day at 2600m made it feel quite cold and we found out that we were quite used to the heat after all these months.

Next day we had a climb over 3100m and after that the longest descend. We try to avoid the main roads where all the traffic is and pick the roads less travelled. Sometimes you have a blast, and sometimes you end in thick mud….

Nice roads

The roads got worse and worse starting with tarmac and soon to become with potholes, gravle, rocky and even very muddy.

nice views

asking directions

less nice roads

It would have been nice to have a helmet intercom system so we could hear eachother swearing…. Dead tired and dirty we arrived in a hot place again (@ 300m) at the rio Magdalena, named La Dorada.

Used to be black

Apparently they haven’t seen tourists in some years because we were the talk of the town.

Gringo's in town

Even local tv came out to film us and almost got the funiest homevideo when one of us showed of with an almost too high wheely. Okay….lesson learned.

Next day we wanted to go to Medellin and took the shortest route according to our map. After 45km of bad roads we stopped for a drink and asked our way further. Good that we did, because the road would be really dangerous and would take another 12 hrs to Medellin. So we were rewarded with the same 45km of bad roads and at 14.30 we were again where we started. Sometimes the roads less travelled are really shit. This time we took the main route to Medellin…..hmmmm tarmac. We got to a mountain village San Luis and next day we finally reached Medellin, where we stay in the very nice neighbourhood Poblado.

Poblado

Really nice city, but also very tiring…….

We tried to blend in with our Dutch version of the Salsa

Dutch Salsa

but ended mostly like this…..

Must finish Aguila

Time to go further south.

Chao amigos