PAN American journey part XV – COLOMBIA
Paperwork, offices, stamps and signature hand cramps, we have our Van, and we have our keys! Shipping a vehicle is not on the list of fun, but it’s part of the Pan American Highway!
Odometer: 74.875 km
And so……South America! Approximately 10,000 km reach from the northern tip of Columbia, (La Guajira) to the Southern tip in Argentina, (Ushuaia).
Columbia is as friendly, biodiverse and beautiful as the people say! World famous Coffee, Mountains with glaciers, Caribbean beaches, and two climate opposites: a dessert and part of the Amazon! Cartagena, one of Columbia’s well known colonial city’s is a hot tourist attraction with free Zumba classes on Sundays, art shops, Salsa dance clubs and all the rest. A little further east there’s a tiny little volcano and on the top of it there’s a spa mud pit. Imagine, floating in bottomless mud , sounds gross but it’s actually pretty thrilling, you’d be surprised!
In the most northern part, is La Guajira, a desert peninsula that stretches out into the Caribbean. Natives selling crafts, lanky flamingos, dusty roads and locals selling imported Gas from Venezuela in 20liter jugs. Price of Gas? $1.40 per liter! Not cheap since they export a lot of it! And in Venezuela, the price for 1 liter can be as little $0.03 (3 cents)!!!! Ouch!
Then along the way down south again, we had three flat tires that convinced us it’s time for new ones so we invested in Goodyear’s in a town called Valledupar. For the night we parked by on the town square and the next morning we woke up to reporters from the local papers, T.V. and radio stations…..good way to start of a Goodyear!
Anyway problems with Cocaine and the mafia are still major issues that still cause conflicts nationally and internationally. That doesn’t look like it’s likely to change anytime soon, but issues concerning safety have taken a gigantic turn for the better. Overall it’s a charming country with everything you need!