Sunday, December 26, 2010

Day 103 (284km): Merry Accordion Christmas

Getting the bikes back out of their parking places was a bit fiddly but we did it. Alberto's cruise control made his bars just a tiny bit bigger than the hallway and he couldn't push the bike straight through; he had to wiggle it. Carrying the cases back downstairs (since we don't normally remove the cases) was hard work. We were both sweating like crazy when we had finished. When we left the hotel it was 11:30 and 32 degrees. 
The hallway we had to walk the bikes down

While Cartagena was a beautiful city (our favourite colonial city by far and well worth the detour) leaving it was an absolute nightmare. It was worse than coming back into Vancouver on HWY 1 after a long weekend. It was an endless line of buses. I was completely overheating and sucking back exhaust from all the buses. I tried filtering for a while but it was very stressful cause we were essentially offroading on the shoulder where there was a market with tons of pedestrians. I gave up on that because I was having a hard time planting my feet on the uneven ground. I also hit my cases on one bus and he wasn't impressed. So I played the waiting game in traffic. It was a truly terrible experience and a definite low point of our time in Colombia. 
In the traffic jam
The traffic jab from the outside
When we finally got on a highway things improved. At least I was getting air moving through my vents. The road was surprisingly terrible though. Compared with all the other roads we have driven in Colombia, this was like driving in Mexico again. At one point we drove through a badly flooded area. Right beside the road was a village that was ~2m under water. There were sand bags keeping the water off the highway and we went over 3 viaduct bridges. The water was level with the bridge driving surface. It was a weird feeling driving over them. It was very sad to see the devastation first hand, rather than just on the tv. These people have very little to start with and now they have no where to live and nowhere to grow food. 
The road improved to a regular road eventually. We didn't have a specific destination in mind. We were just going towards Medellin and we were going to stop before it got dark. So the lucky location was, drum roll please, Pueblo Nuevo. The gas station had a hotel. It was pretty nice, AND it had internet so we were sold. We walked across the street for dinner. We had the house special; the only thing on the menu. It was pretty good. Despite my dislike of coconut I am getting used to the coconut rice that is served with most meals on the coast here. 
Christmas Eve in Pueblo Nuevo
When we got back to the hotel I noticed that Colombian Christmas carols were being blasted right outside my window. My issue with this is the accordion aspect. I find it almost as painful as country music. So that kept me up until who knows what time; the guys were rocking out, I went to sleep with my ipod, where Michael Buble Christmas carols were being played. The music picked back up at 6:30am Christmas morning though. It's a non-stop party. Ho Ho Ho, Merry Christmas.


  1. The Let it Snow album??? I got that for my mom for Christmas!!

  2. That's right. Me and Michael were having a good time.