Santa Marta

Sunset
View from our room
View from our room
View from our room
View from our room
Colonial buildings
Colonial buildings
Main church
Main church
Small church
Small church
Colonial building
Colonial building
Colonial building
Colonial building
Colonial building
Colonial building
 Beautiful graffiti
Beautiful mural
 Beautiful graffiti
Beautiful mural
 Beautiful graffiti
Beautiful mural
 Beautiful graffiti
Beautiful mural
Beautiful mural
Beautiful mural
Beautiful mural
Beautiful mural
The port
The port
Pelicans
Pelicans
The beach
The beach
The marina
The marina
The marina
The marina
Nice view
Nice view
The sad reality in our seas
The sad reality in our seas
The sad reality in our seas
The sad reality in our seas

Cartagena

Modern Cartagena
Historical center Cartagena
Historical center Cartagena
Castillo San Felipe
Castillo San Felipe
Historical center Cartagena
Historical center Cartagena
Parts of the walls of the old city
Parts of the walls of the old city
Parts of the walls of the old city
Parts of the walls of the old city
Modern Cartagena
Modern Cartagena
Modern Cartagena
Modern Cartagena
 Venezuelan refugees cleaning car windows, Viva el socialismo!
Venezuelan refugees cleaning car windows, Viva el socialismo!
Monument to Mariamulata
Monument to Mariamulata
Modern Cartagena
Modern Cartagena
Sunset
Sunset
Sunset
Sunset
 My dear wife
My sweat wife

Days off of the bike: Cartagena

Historical center Cartagena

From now on I will just be uploading images so you can get an impression of this beautiful country. Enjoy!

View of the new city
View of the new city
Maybe next trip I will take something like this...
Maybe on my next trip I will use something like this…
Argentinian overlander
Argentinian overlander
Instruments to torture during the inquisition
Instrument to torture during the inquisition
Instruments to torture during the inquisition
Instrument to torture during the inquisition
Instruments to torture during the inquisition
Guillotine
Colonial building
Old city – Colonial building
Colonial building
Old city – Colonial building
Colonial building
Old city – Colonial building
Colonial building
Old city – Colonial building
Street with atmosphere
Street atmosphere
Ladies waiting for tourist to rip them off
Ladies waiting for tourists to rip them off
Bolivar first house
Bolivar´s first house when he came to Cartagena
Color full house
Colorful house
Hard Rock Cafe
Hard Rock Cafe Cartagena
The famous clock tower
The famous clock tower
Parts of the walls of the old city
Part of the of the old city wall
Parts of the walls of the old city
Part of the old city wall

Final thoughts: bye – bye Colombia

I went to Colombia with mixed feelings. Everybody is like embarrassed that you want to visit “such a country” warning you better not to go because it´s supposed to be so dangerous. All the people think of the history that hit Colombia in the past: drugs, cartels and guerrillas.

Well according to my cycling experience here I have to say they all were wrong. I had a wonderful time cycling this beautiful country. I went through all kind of weathers and terrain; cold, heat, rain, fog, mountains, hard climbs, fast downhills, brandnew pavement and dirt roads. There were difficult stretches that made me suffer, too like going up to Cerro Picacho. Extremly steep and I needed alomost 4hours for the 12km to the top. Unbelievable! I will never forget this.

As for the people I can tell that everybody was always very friendly and helpful. Some were shy first but after some minutes of talking they opened up and I had really interesting and inspiring conversations.

Drivers do respect most of the time and I never had any problem while I was pedaling. Even so when there was heavy traffic or on roads without shoulders.

The world is a wonderful place and so is Colombia, but also it is the perfect imperfection….Of course there also were things I didn´t like too much. First of all the food. In my opinion there was not a big variety of food when you are in the road and want to have a nice breakfast or lunch break. Compared with Asia (my favorite food) there are only poor posibilities. Also it is a little bit tricky to provide yourself with enough water. There are stretches where it is not possible to buy something to drink and in the tremendous heat you easily can dehydrate. So you always need to carry a lot of weight in form of liquids with you.

The espectacular nature and fantastic views make it all worth while, but I will not recommend this Country for unexperienced bike tourers.

Statistic stuff:

Pure riding time sitting on the bike: 80hours

13 days of riding

Altitude difference: 12000meter

Minimum temperature: 10°C

Maximum temperature: 52°C

Steepest climb: 19%

Highest point: 2985m

Max. speed: 74km

Longest daily distance: 138,5km

Rincon del Mar – Cartagenas: Last day of cycling

Donkey and tree

Wednesday 15, January 2020 139km Total so far: 1217,8 km

I didn´tt sleep very good last night. The rooster started to crow so early. I think for some reason he was totally confused because it was only 2:30 at night. Well, I was confused then, too, but thanks to god I fell asleep again. Still at 4am I was awake 100% and finally at 4:45 I got up. I packed everything into my panniers and one hour later I started to bring down all the stuff. Matthias came also down at 6am already. He had told me so yesterday because he wanted to say good-bye and he was interested to see the loaded bike. I think that was very nice of him and very cool. So after the last good-byes I started to leave El Rincon by pushing the bike through the sand of the beach. Sun was just rising and I enjoyed this beautiful scenery very much. It was awesome.

I knew that the road to San Onofre for the next 16km would be an unpaved dirt road and that it would be climbing up.

At 7:45 I reached San Onofre and I found a bakery and bought some sweet cakes and a coffee.

After I took the road N°90. First there was no shoulder to cycle on and a lot of parts were under construction. There was heavy traffic and a lot of trucks because of the constrcution works.

The landscape was nothing special. Farmland and also a lots of palm oil plantations.Temperature rose constantly until it was really hot: 47°C. Everytime I bought 2liters of water when there was a possibility to buy but I could only drink 1 liter because the other liter was already cooking. Thanks god, today you could buy something to drink every couple of kms. Sometimes they were even selling some cocos nuts.

The road went up for long time and it kept on being hilly as hell. I thought today would be easy cycling but it wasn´t at all. Only about 22km before Cartagena the road finally went down with a nice steep short downhill. Then I started to get closer to the city and the traffic got more dense. It was a chaotic especially after the chilled atmosphere of Rincon del Mar. I was shocked and I missed it already.

There were so many buses, trucks and motorbikes. Everybody was using the horn like crazy and the buses always turned suddenly to the right from the middle of the street to collect people. I had to be so careful with many eyes.

My wife had mailed some hotel options so I was riding directly to one of them: Hothel San Martin. I was hoping very much that there would be a room available. At 5pm I got there and yes! They had a room for me. Cool.

I took a shower and I went to eat to a place where they got spaghetty bolognese. Delicious. After I had 2 caipirinhas which I had definitely deserved today, and on my way back I bought some beers and some snacks.

I went to sleep at midnight very tired after doing the blog.

Ready to go
Ready to go
Lets go!
Lets go!
Crossing the small bridge
Crossing the small bridge
Dirty road to San Onofre
Dirty road to San Onofre
Sunrise
Sunrise
Bad surface for cycling
Bad surface for cycling
San Onofre church
San Onofre church
Road without shoulder
Road without shoulder
Beautiful tree
Beautiful tree
All the family on a motorbike taxi
All the family on a motorbike taxi
Up and down
Up and down
Oil palms, Elaeis guineensis
Oil palms tree, Elaeis guineensis
Oil palm  tree processing
Oil palm tree processing
 Hiding a little from the sun
Hiding a little from the sun
Caribe road
Caribe road
Again no shoulder
Again no shoulder
Really hot!
Really hot!
New bridge
New bridge
 Swamp "Cienaga De Luisa"
Swamp “Cienaga De Luisa”
Still up and down
Still up and down
Delicious dinner
Delicious dinner
 I deserve this caipirinha
I deserve this caipirinha

Rincon del Mar: Second day power chilling

Anchored boats

Tuesday 14 January Total so far: 1078,8 km

Today I could sleep a little bit longer – felt so good! At 9 am I went to have breakfast with my new Austrian friends. Just the perfect breakfast location was yet to come. We started our location-research-project about 10 o´clock which turned out to be a little bit late for the Colombian rhythm. Surprise, surprise….. nobody wanted to give us some breakfast anymore. Everybody told us that it was far too late for breakfast. They all were preparing lunch already, but this didn´t match with our holiday schedule !

In the end we could find a place where someone was willing to serve some scrambless eggs and some juice for us. Luck is a relative thing – we at least felt very happy in this moment.

Later we were hanging out, everybody in a very relaxed mood. That obviously attracted a lady that came close and offered all kinds of wellness stuff from massages up to hair cut and even sweets etc. Whatever you liked she got it. Magic!

Lucy decided to get some braids and I booked a nice wellness massage for myself. She did it ok but first of all I enjoyed because of the location and I really could relax a little bit.

After stayed for a while and then went to my room to take a nap. What a wonderful lazy day! I wanted to go for a little walk but then I even was to lazy to do that.

In the evening we all went together for dinner to a small place where they were making pizza.

We had a good time and back in our hotel we chilled together drinking some more beers. At 11pm I went to sleep.

My guesthouse
My guesthouse
Getting a massage
Getting a massage
Hair design
Hair design
Just having fun
Just having fun
Selfie
Selfie

Rincon del Mar: First day power chilling

Monday 13 January Total so far: 1078,8 km

Today I slept real long – I woke up at 8. I went downstairs and had breakfast. That was already more or less the action of the day….The rest of it I actually did nothing.  Just chilling in my hammock. Ah, I also went to the sea for a very short time and I enjoyed that it was really warm. Lovely.

In the evening I met a couple from Austria: Matthias and Lucy. We went for dinner together and it was fun.

Later when we got back to our rooms we decided to sit on our veranda for a little while and we enjoyed some glasses of rum.

This is holidays!

Power chilling
Power chilling
Fishing boat
Fishing boat
Sunset
Sunset
Sunset
Sunset
Sunset
Sunset

Tolu– Rincon del Mar: Heat and dirty roads

Dusty road

Sunday 12, January 2020 55km Total so far: 1078,8 km

I didn’t sleep very well. There was loud music coming out of every door here – amazing. I woke up already at 5 am and at 6:15 I started pedaling.

I reached the main road and after 5km I took a turn onto a secondary road. There was a sign saying no vehicles allowed because the road was under construction but I asked a worker and he said “for bikes it’s ok”. So I went. The road was dirty with sometimes  brand new pavement.There was very little traffic. Mostly motorbikes and of course the trucks working for the construction. When they passed me very fast they always gave me a nice shower of dust…..The landscape was mainly meadows and pastures for cattle. 

After about 19km I got back to the main road N°90 . After 8km I reached San Ofre. I had a small break there and meanwhile I left my bike standing in the hot sun. Temperature on my tachometer showed 56°C in just some minutes. Summer heat !! Well, I talked to guy there a little bit and he told me that El Rincon del Mar was much nicer then Berrugas so I decided to go there instead of Berrugas. From San Ofre the road went on also dirty and in bad condition so I could ride only slowly. 

On the way I met a Brasilian guy also touring with his bike. He was travelling for 8 months now but he was going the other direction. We chatted a little bit, said good-bye each one following his own destination. I arrived in the village of El  Rincon at 11:30 and started to look for a place to stay. I went all the way ’til the end of the village. One option I already had checked out in google before but they told me they wanted 70€/night. Wow! I almost fell off my saddle! Thank you very much, I suggest you wait for the next stupid one. I went back and could find a nice tiny room with ocean view and a terrace with an own hamock. I was very happy because the area here is not very developped for tourism – very basic everything.

I took a shower, washed my bicycle uniform and was ready for a nap.

Later I was fighting hard to upload some images. The internet really is fucking slowly here. No place for digital nomades…..In the end I used my data – that was much faster.

At 7pm I went to a normal house that is made up like a restaurant. I ate my usual plate: chicken, rice and beans.

I came back, had a beer and enjoyed the warm air watching the ocean.

I am planning to stay here until the 15th of January.

Merkava ready to go
Merkava ready to go
Very fogy
Very fogy
New road
New road
Very nice no traffic at all
Very nice no traffic at all
Dirty dusty road
Dirty dusty road
Small break
Small break
 Southern crested caracara (Caracara plancus)
Southern crested caracara (Caracara plancus)
Road under construction
Road under construction
Cattle on the road
Cattle on the road
Paved road
Paved road
Arriving at San Ofre
Arriving at San Onofre
Need a drink
Need a drink
Really hot!
Really hot!
Some shadows in the road
Some shadows in the road
 Beautiful tree
Beautiful tree
 A colleague
A colleague
A heron
A heron
Arriving at El Rincon del Mar
Arriving at El Rincon del Mar
 I have to pass this pier to get to my hotel
I have to pass this pier to get to my hotel
My tinny room
My tinny room
 My own hammock
My own hammock

Tolu: Letting time pass

Sunset

Saturday 11, January 2020 – Total so far: 1023,8 km

It felt good to sleep a little bit longer. I woke up at 9:30 and went to the bakery just in front of my hotel. There I got me a coffee and some sweet stuff for breakfast. I wrote the blog and edited images. This always takes some time because the internet is not very fast here.

I took another nap later on and then explored the village a little bit. Just strolling along,  taking it very easy. I stopped somewhere to enjoy a maracuya-mango juice while I was watching the beautiful sunset.

In the evening I went to eat a pizza and then watched some TV. Feels like holiday.

Tomorrow will be an easy ride I think. I am going to Berrugas which is not very far from here. Only 50km to go.

Tolu promenade
Tolu promenade
Tolu promenade under construction
Tolu promenade under construction
Tolu beach
Tolu beach
Tourist boats
Tourist boats
Nice vehicle
Nice vehicle
Tolu ritschka
Tolu ritschka
Tourist ride around on this vehicles
Tourist ride around on this vehicles
Main church
Main church
Typical house
Typical house
Beach bar
Beach bar
Sunset
Sunset
Sunset
Sunset
Dinner at home
Dinner at home

Monteria – Tolu: 99,99 flat!

Shadow dispenser

Friday 10, January 2020 113km – Total so far: 1023,8 km

I got up very early today – already at 5 o’clock. I wanted to have breakfast already at 6. But: surprise, surprise! When I came down to the lobby the guy there told me s simple “no”. Breakfast starts at 6:30 only. “La p… m…”

I thought “no way,  I am not waiting”. Without breakfast I packed the bike and I left. I was able to buy some fruits – pineapple and bananas. A lady cut them for me and put them in a plastic glas.

Cycling out of the city was ok. There even was a bike path going parallel to the main road for about 15km. As there was a lot of fog in the morning I told myself “ok, I’ll take advantage of it”.  No sun! So I was going very fast – about 27km/h.

The road was wide. Four lanes and a nice shoulder to cycle on but also a lot of traffic. After Ceretes I took road N°21. It turned into a small road and there were no more shoulders. But I have to say most of the cars and trucks they respected me.

I saw many dead animals on the road. They just didn’t make it to the other side when they crossed the street and got hit by the cars. Very sad.

At least I must say that this time the road was flat. Just in the end there were some small hills.

In between I stopped to have a coconut and I had a nice chat with the seller. He told me all of his life. He was a simple man but smart enough to know how hard it is to make a living without education. He was the father of seven kids and he said that every day he keeps on telling them they should learn or study something. He himself struggled hard to get by. He told me that during the times when he is not selling fruit he is working as a “machetero”. Hard work from 6 in the morning till late in the afternoon for very little money. About 5€ only for the whole day. I liked him and I hope his children will make him happy one day….

Originally I had planned to stay in Covenias today. I got there very early, maybe 2pm and while I was riding around I got that feeling that I didn’t like it at all. This village was really very crowded and the beach was nothing special. So I stopped in the shadow,  checked google maps and I decided to go another 20km to try my luck in another place.

After 45 min I arrived in Tolu. I liked it much better. Quiet and not so many tourists. I found a nice room. Nothing special but clean and with AC. I took a shower and I did my laundry. I really had to.

Later I went to the main plaza for dinner. I had some fish. It was ok but not super tasty. 

On my way back I passed by a supermarket to get myself some drinks.

Back in my room I watched some TV and just relaxed.

Nos vamos!
Nos vamos!
A lot of fog
A lot of fog
A lot of fog
A lot of fog
Main road
Main road
Highway
Highway
R.I.P
R.I.P
Passing a small village
Passing a small village
Small breake
Small break
Always straight
Always straight
Arriving  at Covenia
Arriving at Covenias
Tolu
Tolu
Dinner
Dinner