Day 80, Mile 5560: Colombia’s Route 62, The Road to Heaven
2 March 2017
I started today hoping I would get another 300 miles accomplished like yesterday but I ended up about 100 miles short. I also got drenched which may be hard to believe, but was my first time in these 4 months to hit rain. The road today was slippery, bumpy, cold, and wet but I couldn’t be happier. I have found my most favorite road yet of the trip; Route 62.
My day started out on a typical Colombian highway; decent pavement with good speed. After a couple hours, I turned off to go more south and that’s when I found it. Route 62 starts out by winding gorgeously through beautiful hill country and ranches. Dragging pegs is no easy feat on a KLR, especially with my load, but I was having a fantastic time doing so today.
Around noon I drove by a ranch that appeared to have a restaurant with some amazing smells wafting out so I had to turn around and check it out. I am so glad I did. For less than 5 bucks I had a delicious soup, the best steak yet on this trip, and a local beer. You can’t beat that! I wanted to take a picture of the food but instead I inhaled it.
After my lunch I continued on and the road started going uphill and didn’t stop for the rest of the day. I finally got some of that sweet mountain driving and let me tell you, I fell in love. The road was probably 30% construction, 50% dirt, and 100% heaven. I had a hard time not stopping every 5 minutes to take a picture of the breathless scenery. By 2pm I was in the clouds and I kept gaining altitude; it was just wow.
After it started raining, I had to slow down due to the slick spots. Every couple miles or so, the road would have a break which became very slippery. Shortly after it started raining I saw a local couple on a motorcycle almost completely dump their bike on one of these sections. Lucky for them they were able to recover and lucky for me to witness it as a warning. Even with this, I was still smiling from ear to ear. Nothing could dampen my mood with this kind of experience. It’s just one of those things you know you’ll keep dreaming about long after the journey is done.
I ended up stopping here in Babosa at Hotel Nogaro for the night. For 20.000 colombian pesos (less than 7 USD), I got a clean room and parking for my bike in a locked garage. I quickly hung up my wet gear and set out to explore the village.
For such a small town, Barbosa has a very busy main road full of coffee bars, modern stores, and awesome street vendor food. I wandered around for an hour just taking in the sights and snacking on some vanilla coated strawberries from one of the vendors. What a way to end a fantastic day. Best of all, I have another 100 miles on this road for tomorrow.