T – Best sleep last night. No stress, no borders coming up, nothing. Made for a very easy sleep.
I was up with the sun this morning and keen to be on the road before the heat got into the day. So we packed our gear, started the bikes and soon we were heading down the road.
The highway we are on has been fairly busy with trucks, and as a result the road surface has taken an absolute pounding! It is rippled and buckled and our little bikes bounce around in the tyre ruts. But it was certainly fun to ride it. Kind of like a rollercoaster.
We cruised along, both of us commenting on how dry it is here. We thought Colombia was totally made up of rainforest! But it reminds us a little of home. Big farmlands, dry hills, and a blazing heat. Lovely! We found a little truck stop area that had a few restaurants scattered through it and we stopped for some comida tipico. Rice, eggs and a slab of beef. Yum yum! The meat here is amazing. A beautiful smokey flavour permeates the stuff. So good.
Eventually we wound up in the town of Magangue where we knew we would need to sort out our ferry crossing. We had to get ferried up a river, and then down a side creek to get to a road where we could ride to the town of Mompos. We didn’t know anything about the ferry. Where it went from, when it went, how much etc etc. We are getting good at these water crossing debacles though!
As soon as we pulled up to look at our google maps we were surrounded by gentlemen who all seemed to know exactly where we wanted to go and told us the ferry had gone but that we should ride quickly up a dirt road where we would find a way to Mompos. One guy walked us to the start of the road and then said ‘Go go!’ and so go we did!
We found a barge that was preparing to load and cross to Mompos so we parked up and lounged about trying to find some respite from the sun. We watched as a large number of trucks reversed down a sandy bank onto the old barge and then cars squeezed themselves into the remaining gaps. I couldn’t believe how many vehicles they fitted onto this thing. Then a guy came up and told us to come along and put our bikes on too.
We parked between hot trucks. One of them full of huge bulls. We were a little worried about them pooing on our bikes but another man told us that we should move them over to avoid just that happening! We paid our $2 for the bikes and then spent the next 10 minutes chatting to all the men who came to see the two touristas on the barge. Chantelle seems to be a real hit here in Colombia with many people doing a double take when they see its a woman under that helmet.
C – Everyone has been really friendly and super helpful whenever we have looked like we might be lost! The men on the barge just wanted to talk about our bikes, where we are from, what are doing and it was a fun conversation.
T – We then sat on the boiling hot steel deck and tried to avoid the sun by scooting under a truck. Finally the barge bumped onto land and we were off.
The road from here to Mompos was about 40kms in length and it was in a right state! Massive sections were torn up, fallen over, and covered in pea gravel. It was a hoot and the gravelly bumpy sections gave us a chance to pass the slow trucks and cars.
We pulled into the gorgeous little town of Mompos. Narrow streets, colonial architecture and gorgeous churches and parks. We were already falling in love with Colombia. We found our hotel for the night and the super friendly owners soon had us tucked away into a huge room and told us that we could park our bikes in the lobby tonight. Then it was time to have a wander through the town.
C – Thanks so much to our Aussie buddies (who we are yet to meet!!!) Monica and Simon who recently travelled through these parts and recommended this gorgeous little town to us! The hotel was lovely and set up a possie in the back courtyard where we could do our washing – Mum, you will be proud, I actually handwashed my clothes!
T – And we ended up lost. The maze of side roads and alleyways was brilliant. All the buildings were painted in bright colours and the were quite a few lovely murals scattered around the place. After a while we saw something we recognised and realised we were only a block away from the hotel.
Mompos is a delightful little place and very welcoming. We saw a few other tourists and it looks like this is one of those places where the secret of its charm is out. If you want to see a lovely untouched little place get in quick before the tourist buses find a way here.
C – As we were wandering around, a little girl getting her hair brushed by her grandmother on the pavement in front of their house, yelled to us ‘Turistas! Turistas!’ in a cheeky voice and then promptly buried herself into her grandmother whilst we all laughed. She was very cute!!
T – Tomorrow we are going to make our way to another hidden secret called Zapatoca. Probably a good two days ride away for us. We have also learnt of Colombias most dangerous road down south so that may be something to ride even the name alone makes us want to ride it. The Devils Trampoline, or as the locals call it “Adios mi vida” (Goodbye my life). Sound fun right?!