PAN American journey part XVI – Colombia
Colombia is such a huge country we’re still here! But the time has come to head from the Caribbean coast up to the snowcapped mountain range known as the Andes!
After a few months of e-mails, agreement and disagreements, 7 of our friends from Czech flew in to met us and see the country. We met up in the national park of El Cocuy, where they submerged us with chocolate bars, Drum tobacco, salami and other goodies from home but the most exiting item was the loaf of Czech Bread!!! But they forgot the liquid bread……….Beer!
Anyway after spending a few refreshing days with the entire group up in the mountains, 3 of us continued on to do a 6 day hike. The trek is said to be “The best kept-secret in all of the Americas” and takes you over mountain passes as high as 4688m, under massive glaciers and through deep valleys with cascading waterfalls. One entire valley was made of round moss pillow-like formations called “Cojines” meaning cushions and is the largest in the world of its type. One the 5th day we got lost in thick fog, just like in the movies, and on the 6th and final day I lost my camera with all my photos of the entire trek!!! Ohhh that was painful! Thankfully Kamil had his camera with him too!
A few days later we finally made it to the capital, Bogota. A Rum Party, some sightseeing, Coffee, Gold museum, Airport goodbye with friends and than it was time to leave again! Only problem was when our Road Buddies with whom we have been traveling on and off with since Panama City WW van broke down! And of course it had to be on one of the busiest streets in Bogota! We hooked them up behind us and as we started towing them our Van broke down too! Dangit! So as traffic passed and honked at us from all sides, the rain picked up to add to the hype and all we could do was look out of our foggy windows and shrug our shoulders at angry drivers! It took a while before our motor fired up again, but like always, it evenually started and we drove off in unison!
But it didn’t take long before we ran into more trouble. Further south along the Pan American Highway heading toward the Ecuadorean border, we came to a halt at a roadblock. A coffee farmer’s strike! Trucks were lined up for miles and for days. We laid back in the mountains close to Cali, the Salsa Capital, and waited for the government to dissolve and resolve the strike. And one sunny day while we were sitting around chatting and still waiting, a black puppy literally jumped into our friend Jana’s lap and won her heart. And so now Jana and Mek have a new addition in their ride……Chico the dog!