We arrived to Cartagena, Colombia, South America the same night that The Globe Trol did. The very next morning we started the grueling task of retrieving our vehicle from the port. Mounds of paperwork and back and forth in taxis all over this city, two eight hour days later Christian is at the container with his hard hat on and watching the doors open to find our beloved rolling home in one piece.
We spent the next few days hanging out in the boiling hot colonial city of Cartagena, it was more perfect than I imagined. If this was any indication of what Colombia was going to be like, we were going to have the time of our lives exploring the rest of the country. On our way out of the city we get pulled over right away, which is nothing new to us. They pull us over to let me know my bikini is on the hood of the car and about to blow away. Whoops, I told them I was air drying it.
Our next destination was Medellin and it was going to take couple of looooong driving days to get there. We found a cool campground outside of the city high up in the mountains that overlooked the valley where Medellin sat. We stayed there for over two weeks relearning a new slimmer budget due to the insane cost that it takes to ship yourselves and the vehicle from Panama to Colombia. Outside the cost of camping which was extremely low we budgeted out our daily allowance to $12 for the two of us. So each day we would come up with a strict grocery list and walk over to the market and only pick up three meals worth at a time. By the end of the two weeks we saved a few dollars to take the bus to the national park nearby and ride the gondola down to the city for sightseeing, pictures, gardens, the center plaza and street food. A few days later our friends that we met in Guatemala, Krystina and Bernardo (bkexplore) came to the campground and we traveled the rest of Colombia with them for about a month and a half. At night up at the campground where we had wifi we would pull out netflix (thanks to my brother for sharing his acct) and watch Narcos season 2. I mean we were there and its kind of like the city’s history.
Just a couple hours away from Medellin is a majestic lake called Guatape with a colorful quaint town. We boon-docked here for a few days, made cute dinners together and we even made chocolate chip cookies out of the dutch oven. It shocked me how perfect they came out.
Cafeteros (coffee plantation towns) where next on the Pan-Americana road going south. Home to hundreds of coffee plantations set in the Andean Mountains and in the middle of Colombia. Coffee is one of the top three things that I love second only to red wine and chocolate. I was stoked to go out for a tour and drink the best coffee on the planet. On our way there we were going to stop at some thermals, it just so happened to be Colombian Valentines day so the thermals were packed and we were not going to be able to camp there for the night. Instead on the way we saw a family off the side of the road near a river and with our tight budget we asked if we could park and camp next to them. They were happy to have us and we drove onto their land and found ourselves in the muddiest place on earth and surrounded in cow meadow muffins. The next morning they took us on a tour of their property on the other side of the river where I experienced my first mini jungle tour. We bathed in the ice river that we camped next to and overall enjoyed ourselves for free in this mud-hole with the sweetest family.
Just before the coffee plantations was the Valley Cocora where the tallest palm trees in the world live. It’s a little touristy but worth the visit, it also had a sweet little town called Salento outside of it. Stay Tuned for the next chapter in Colombia, it only gets better.