Days 110-111: In search of cooler temps

Days: 110-111  -   Date: 12-13DEC13  -   Itinerary: Cartagena to Medellin, CO  -   Miles: 635

After hanging out in Cartagena for a few days, we were all anxious to get going and see a bit more of Colombia. Our destination was Medellin which is a city located up in the mountains and is supposed to be much cooler than Cartagena. We decided to take the longer route up the coast towards Barranquilla and then head South.

It took us about an hour to escape the crazy city traffic of Cartagena


It was very hot and slow going along the main coast road. There was a ton of truck traffic which required constant over-taking along with the occasional speed bump to watch out for.

I also set a new record for highest temperature on this trip.. Just over 100 degrees Fahrenheit! Very hot and humid in Northern coastal Colombia!

This part of Colombia is very poor.. lots of people living in small run down huts near the ocean.
Fishing for shrimp

CO_12Dec13_006 CO_12Dec13_007

We came to a few spots where traffic was backed up for kilometers.. and seemingly for no real reason.. Luckily for us we’re on motorbikes and were able to split most of the traffic.. otherwise it would have cost us at least an hour or more.
CO_12Dec13_008 CO_12Dec13_009 CO_12Dec13_010We rode for about 10 hours and still only logged about 400km’s.. very slow going. We ended up stopping for the night in the small town of Curumani along HWY45. It’s an unremarkable place but at least our hotel was cheap ($15/night).

Since we didn’t make it as far as we had planned yesterday, we had a lot of distance to cover if we were going to make it to Medellin tonight. We were on the road by 0700 and luckily for us the road went from a crappy 2 lane road with lots of truck traffic to freshly paved 4 lane highway.

Road side breakfast.. soup with egg and potato?
The start of the Andes Mountains

CO_13Dec13_001-2By mid-afternoon, we were riding out of the Magdalena valley and up into the mountains.. it was a huge relief to be riding in the cooler temperatures.

CO_13Dec13_003 CO_13Dec13_004 CO_13Dec13_005The little village pueblos East of Medellin up in the mountains are fascinating. Absolutely spectacular scenery and an overall tranquillo feeling to the place.. lots of little fincas (farms) with neat and tidy homes on them. I’d love to live here.. unfortunately I failed to capture any of it with my camera. 😡

Riding through a small town
Riding through a small town

We arrived into Medellin pretty late due to a temporary road closure where they were repaving. CO_13Dec13_001-3It quickly got dark and to make things a bit worse there was a crazy amount of traffic.. We were on the North side of the city and only 16km from the hostel but it still took us an hour to get there. We all got separated in traffic and lost a few times but eventually we got to the Tiger Paw Hostel which is located in El Poblado; the fancy upscale part of the city.

My plan is to hang out here in Medellin for the next 2-3 weeks and rent a nice high-rise apartment. In addition to having the bike serviced and doing the normal touristy stuff, I wanna catch a glimpse of what it’s like to live here in Colombia. Who knows what the future holds for me 😉

Leave a Reply