Hola amigos! We’ve finally made it to South America! We’re here relaxing in the beautiful city of Medellin, in Colombia, lounging by the pool and wondering whether we’ll have another empanada, some tasty local rum, a nap in a hammock or all three. We’ve been in Colombia for 3 weeks now, and it’s just been getting better and better - from the friendly, attractive people, to the amazing motorbiking, and the huge step up in food quality from Central America. The only complaint to be had is that time is running out for Atley, Wendy and Ferg, but there hasn’t been much time to dwell on that, as Colombia has been radical on a daily basis.
The Stahlratte sailing ship that took us from Panama to Colombia
|Dukin' it out in Medellin|
|Beautiful view from San Blas Islands.|
|They've got the sky here.|
|Danny's loaner bikes that we did a day trip on from Medellin|
|The Birdman of Cartagena.|
|The green surrounding in Columbian mountain ranges.|
50km or so out into the Pacific Ocean from Santa Catalina is the amazing Coiba Island National Park. It is a collection of tropical islands, teeming all sorts of fish, sharks, crocodiles, rays and various other rare marine life, and is a well known scuba diving playground. There were only so many days that Atley and I could ignore this, and eventually caved in and went diving. It was way out of the budget, but sometimes you’ve just gotta grab the puppy and run. The boat ride out there was interesting, watching tiny islands appear out of nowhere, dolphins and other fish leap into the air, and having our crusty old dive instructor strut about a highly irresponsible speedo arrangement. It was our first time diving in a strong current. At one spot, in order to get down to the ocean floor, we had to drag ourselves down a barnacle-covered chain, in very poor visibility, with the ocean rushing forcefully over us. It was like being in a James Bond film, but with better moustaches. At the bottom we had to cling onto rocks while waiting for the all members of the group to descend. Once down there we were treated to millions of fish, darting around in big and small schools, of all sizes, colours and shapes, including a few small sharks and a lot of tiny, almost invisible, stinging jelly fish. Alas in the end, the poor visibility was a disappointment and we quietly let out dolphin calls to Coco and Isla Utila. We stopped on the beautiful, tropical jungle covered Coiba Island during our break between dives, and there we met, fed and teased Tito the crocodile with chunks of meat thrown by a Park Ranger wearing a Wu Tang Clan shirt!
|The Panamanian launch pad for our bikes to the Stahlratte.|
|Gourmet lunch on the top deck of our ship.|
|The women loading the bikes onto the boat.|
|Motorbikes port side.|
|The sailing begins.|
|We spent a couple of days anchored between three islands|
|Rope swing fun off the side of the boat.|
|Sand floored huts in San Blas islands|
|Tropical Paradise await. Note all our motorbikes tarped up on the ship deck.|
|Practicing the ancient art of the ninjas.|
|Ferg's Party Suit never fails to bring out everyone's emotions|
|Tourist photo in Cartagena.|
We rushed our exit in the morning, but the mob still formed, injecting terrific urgency in our box loading and bag strapping-down. Alas, just as we waved goodbye to the 20 or so bikes that had gathered, we realised we should have taken a photo to capture our non-internet-based street fame. Sorry Internet, you’ll just have to believe us.
|Perfect front flip attempt.|
|Taganga's beautiful beach.|
|Mean streets of Cartagena.|
|Paragliding in San Gil.|
|Are you sure this is safe?|
|Beauty contest overlooking San Gil.|
|Dual Sporters nap anywhere.|
|Vultures enjoying the view.|
|Huge town centre of Villa de Leyva.|
|The hike up Villa de Leyva mountains.|
|Bogota central square.|
|Tourist's favourite activity - people watching.|
|Mummy incased in the Bogota gold museum.|
|Miss proportioned Horse in Medellin.|
|Epic mountain riding here.|
|Bogota from the mountain|
Here in Medellin we’ve been working on bikes, creating this blog post, going on various tours of the city and dashing into the hostel pool when the sun comes out, and hiding under cover when the rains come each afternoon. A free walking tour of downtown Medellin was very informative, with us hearing about the general history of Colombia and Medellin: 20 years ago this city was the most dangerous in the world, and now it’s one of the most livable. While sourcing some bike parts we met the owner of the local Kawasaki dealership, Danny. He was most helpful with our bikes, then offered to take us for a ride round the area. Even more awesome was that he let us take two awesome bikes of his, a 2012 Versys 1000 and a 2012 W800. We had a great day touring around on the amazing bikes. The food here has been great, and it would be easy to spend plenty more time here. From here we will head south, touring a few more towns and mountain ranges, on the way to cross the equator in Ecuador. Which means that after 10 months on the road from Canada, and we’re still in the Northern Hemisphere! Crazy! We send our best wishes to all our family and friends. Byeeeee!
PS. Stay tuned for our Colombian Television appearance in the next few days!
|Danny the tour guide pointing at things.|
|Danny and Atley at El Penol|
|Day trip on Danny's bikes!|
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