The next morning, we started at 8.30 and went towards the boarder to Ecuador. It was again an impressive landscape with mountains all around and marvelous curvy roads. Every now and then there were road constructions with gravel just for us not to forget the off road feeling. As Colombia is one of the coffee producers, the people do also produce for their own usage and dry the coffee beens right near the road. In Ipiales, we found a hotel with a private parking area below the building. And in the evening, also Andre and Harry, the 2 dutch guys from the Steelrat were in town and we met for dinner and had a nice time together.
Still the evening before, I went to a nearby supermarket and parked my bike at the area designated for "motos". In colombia there are a lot of motorbikes, but they are almost all small ones like 125 ccm or maximum 250 cc. While parking there, I realized why they have always been lookin impressed at my bike. It's another class and size.
The next morning we were heading further south, again through mountains and arrived already in the early afternoon in Popayan, known as the most beautiful city of Colombia beside Cartagena. And in fact, a walk through this cute little city resulted in some nice photos... look yourself... But before we started, a lunch in one of the best known restaurants in the city was a must.
After a day off now the trip leads us towards south through an amazing landscape and breathtaking roads with one curve after the other. Up and down in Colombian mountains is a real challenge, as the columbians tend to pass each other at every possible or impossible moment like right before a curve.
After 350 km, we found a marvelous camp ground near Buga in a national park on top of a small hill with an excellent view into the valley.
For today, not much text, just pictures. In the evening, we arrived at the Blacksheep hostel and met again with Daniela from Switzerland, who was with us on the boat. She is travelling as a back packer and got here from Cartagena by plane...
Now, finally again on the bike and heading out of Cartagena towards Medellin. Michael, Frauke and myself planned to drive some days together and we met at 7.30 to get first the insurance done and then try to get out of the city without to much traffic. With a final look at all the beatiful coloured busses with diferent names and designs, we left the town and enjoyed a nice ride until late afternoon. On the road, we have seen, how pigs are transported in Colombia.... As it is getting dark early, we stopped at a trucker hotel and checked in for the night.
At 6 o'clock in the morning, we met again all at the harbour. and went aboard the Steelrat to get our luggage ready and start unloading the bikes. It was planned, that the bikes will be loaded to a ponton and then driven to the beach. With an hour delay, the ponton finally arrived and the unloading started. Everthing went smooth and an hour later, we were all already at the custom area in order to make the temporary import of our bikes. As my bike was one of the first to be unloaded, I even had the time for a wash. Ludwig, the captain from the Steelrat had everything well prepared and an additional custom agent was helping us.
The custom officer was very competent, but explained, that with 19 bikes, he would need some time to get the papers ready and expected us back at 14.30. So we enjoyed the morning with breakfast, relaxing and in fact, when getting back there to the customs in the afternoon, everything was ready, we had to sign and that was it.
We went back to the steelrat to get our bike luggage and to load the bikes and then a final evening beer was planned before everybody would go its way the next morning... Well, one thing was still missing: the bike insurance, but that one we could ony do the next morning, as the agency had already cosed at 16.00 o'clock.
We arrived in Cartagena at around 8.30 0'clock in the morning and set anchor right in front of the marina. After getting an overnight luggage prepared, we all left the boat and went to the city to check in for the night. The unloading of the bikes and all the custom clrearance was planned for the next day.
After checking in at a nice little hotel, which promissed also to have space for the bike the next day, I started to discover the city with its beautiful old city center. The evening, we all met again for beer and dinner, but at 10 everybody was gone... Obviously, we were all still tired from our trip and the early get up on board.
at 5.30 o'clock we raised the anchor and started to cross the sea towards Cartagena/ Colombia. Unfortunately soon the sea became rough with long waves which wasn't accepted well by some of us. The sea sickness challenged some victims and thus breakfast, lunch and even dinner were appreciated only by those, who didn't suffer. Fortunately, my stomach seemed to be seaproofed and I could enjoyed the trip...
Well sooner or later all of us arrived at breakfast which was again marvelous !!! The plan was to spend another day at the island which we used with snorkeling, hanging around, reading, sleeping, eating and enjoying life...
Well, we returned to the Steelrat in the morning, the bikes were all loaded and we could start. The first trip took us to the Coconut Islands with an approx. 3 hours motoring and then the caribean flair welcomed us. An awesome surrounding to spend my birthday. We had a marvelous BBQ at the beach with rum, beer and excellent food. The geeting back to our boat was quite heavy for some of us... the party was great....