Updated: November 13, 2020
If all goes as planned, I’ll be back in Colombia in just a few weeks. Of course, during these unpredictable days, anything can change at a moment’s notice.
I’ve been locked down in Argentina since March 20, 2020. We are still in quarantine here in Buenos Aires. For those of you who are counting, that’s just over seven months.
The government has been slowly phasing in different businesses since June. Last week they finally reopened the airports for limited service. All of that adds up to good news for me – I’m finally able to leave Argentina with my motorcycle.
Manizales to Popayan
I left Manizales on a foggy wet morning. I’d gotten word from friends in the south that the Pan-American highway would be open for 36 hours. Now was my chance to get to Ecuador. The roads down the mountain where curvy but devoid of the normal onslaught of killer semi trucks. It was a beautiful ride that would only get better. In a short time I found myself on a two lane divided highway. I was actually able to ride at speeds above 100kmh. The day was absolutely spectacular.
Things are a bit sketchy right now. I’m sitting in a hotel room in Manizales, Colombia looking for the safest route to Ecuador. There are protesters blocking the Pan-American highway and there have even been reports of violence and a few deaths. I’m not sure how real the danger is, but I’m taking no chances. All of this is happening in the southern part of Colombia, down by Pasto, but that’s exactly where I need to go to make it to Ecuador.
After a fun week in Cartagena I rode south to Medellín. This was my first taste of the twisty congested roads that were in my future. I passed 18 wheelers, dodged smaller bikes, and discovered that the weather can change quickly in Colombia. At one point a trucks back doors flew open and two giant containers of gas and oil smashed down on the road. This shut the highway down for almost an hour as everyone scurried to figure out how to get them off the road (with a rope tied to the truck).