28 February 2017 Cienaga, Colombia After a long and drama filled couple days in Cartagena, we finally got our clearance which allows us to drive our motorcycles here in Colombia. After all the problems and drama, I just wanted to get moving and quickly decided that north is the direction that I wanted to head to. Getting out of the city wasn’t too bad but just the quick drive through old town and the fort reinforcement made me kinda regret my hasty decision to leave so quickly. Oh well we will check it out on the way back north.
Part of the reason I wanted to head north was that according to the map, I would cross a small land bridge and it looked like there would be good kiteboarding in the area. Well it turned out that yes there was fantastic wind (more on that later) but the water was lacking since it was mostly swamps and these interesting house boat raft thingys. Sadly after all the problems we had for the last couple days, my mind was set for travelling so I didn’t take many pictures.
Talking about the wind, I ended up having one of the scariest moments on the bike so far. The wind was so strong that I literally was blown within inches of running off the road. I’ve never experienced anything like this before and I did not like it. After the first 20 minutes I was regretting my choice of route and was even thinking of turning back. Instead I slowed way down to walking speed and just tried to stay right side up. I even stopped for a moment to gain my bearings and had trouble just keeping the bike from tipping over. Not fun.
Tonight I had a strange problem finding a place to stay for the night here in Cienaga. Earlier I booked an Airbnb that looked promising but so far I’ve been having a lot problems finding my Airbnbs on this trip. Usually Google Maps is way off and I have to get directions from the owners which can be difficult when you speak very poor Spanish. So after circling the town over and over, I decided to stop and really figure out what was going on. Well it ended up that the Airbnb I booked was actually in Cuba, not Colombia. I’m not sure how that happened but we shall see how my refund works. Apparently it’s Carnival because it seems every little town I went through was having some kind of festival. Again I regret my go go go attitude today and wish I would have stopped and taken in the chaos around me. But after sitting for so long I just wanted to move. I guess it’s common for men to dress as women during this Carnival or everyone here likes to dress in drag. Again, interesting. I ended up at the Hotel Occasionel tonight which I’m pretty happy with. It cost 30.000 Colombian pesos (about 10 bucks) and they let me park in their lobby and best of all there was AC and the rooms were clean, can’t beat that. I ended the night with a very strange “hamburger” with something that I guess was beef, a thin slice of chicken, ham, and who knows what else was on it. Also they only had Coors Light for beer. How the hell does that happen? I end up driving over 5000 miles to have only cheap American beer on menu. Either way I ended my night satisfied that I made some progress and that I was finally travelling in South America.
Tomorrow I turn south and move more inland. Apparently there is this little village which is like stepping back in time. I guess they were cut off by a river somehow and still operate like they did hundreds of years ago. I’m looking forward to what tomorrow brings.