After taking our time in Taganga, we finally hit the road and started the long trek South. First, our buddy Juan helped us get some Colombian insurance – mandatory – and probably a good idea considering how the motorcyclists and truck drivers use the road.
One thing that is different about driving in Colombia is the distances involved. We’ve grown used to the small Central American countries where a trek all the way across the map is only a few hours. Not here. The drive to San Gil ended up taking us two full days.
Another difference is that the stop signs all say Pare instead of Alto. For some reason, Angela thought this was the same as everywhere else. Good thing I’m driving.
We still haven’t figured out what the “No more stars in the road” signs are all about. They are usually followed by stars painted on the road.
To put it in perspective (maybe), Colombia is 50% larger than France.
You will certainly spend alot of time behind trucks. You will pass them, they will pass you. There will be continuous construction and land slides. Peajes (toll booths) are everywhere, but people do appear to be working on the roads, so I’m guessing the money is being used for the good.
There are also lots and lots of police. We were only stopped a few times and they asked where we were going and to see our passports and concluded with a handshake. Very friendly people so far.
We stopped for an uneventful night in Agua Chica before climbing up to Bucharamanga and then more climbing up to San Gil. I think we peaked around 9000 ft. The difference between a mountain pass here and in the U.S. is that in the U.S. there will be a plaque and a rest stop. Here, there’s just another town and kid’s riding their bikes to school. No biggie.
We showed up in San Gil just in time to meet some new folks for a Moto-X rally. We didn’t have dirt bikes like everyone else, but Bode made fast friends and we all tuned up our engines together. Language is no barrier when tools and grease are involved.