Where are we?


Wednesday Oct 16th

We had a long drive yesterday to get to Bucaramanga. We left at around 8am and didnt arrive in Bucaramanga until around 3:30 and then once we got close to the city it took another hour just to get to the the park in the centre of the city we were going to park for the night. I had read it has free wifi. So why not?? The reason for the very slow traffic is because they are working on a problem with one of the power lines!! Didnt look like they were doing anything when we finally got around it! Waiting for parts? LOL!!! Guess they just didnt want to move the truck once it had the landing gear placed just right! Who cares if it's rush hour traffic! People can wait - but they dont so the buses of course pass and then there is no room to get back into the lane until someone pulls over.

The drive to Bucaramanga was very windy and up and down thru the mountain pass. We did get up to  900m at one point- nice and cool up there :)  Again it was pretty slow going because big trucks go this way to avoid the tolls on the main highway, so of course they just chug along going uphill and passing on these roads is pretty hard!! Not always a lot of time before the next curve. But we didnt have any close calls :)
They really fancy up their pedal carts in this small town.

Another fancy pedal cart - stuffies attached to the back 

A couple hitching a ride on the back of a semi. 

Very strange that there is a highway to the left but not used? 

Lots of truck traffic on this highway

Getting higher into the mountains

Bought a sleeve of mandarins for $1C

Coming into Bucaramanga - must have had a sale on turquoise paint?

Then we see all the high-rise apartments

When we get to the park San Pio we find a level spot to park for the night. Of course lots of people watch as we get out and look at our license plate trying to figure out what planet we are from LOL!!!! A couple of guys came over and "talked" with us. One guy asked about El Perro? and I pointed to Dwayne - Èl es me Perro!!! He just laughed.  We walked around the area a bit, stopped to buy some bread and then of course there were cheese empanadas 😋 I had to try with my latte, and Dwayne had a donut. Bought a warm loaf of fresh bread :)  Sat and watched the people for awhile then walked around some more before heading back to Vanna to make supper. Pork chops with onions, mushrooms and zucchini.  Fried potatoes for Dwayne. A little weird making supper with all the curtains closed and knowing people are right outside our door sitting in the park. Once supper was done we sat outside on the bench near the van and used the wifi - not very strong to use inside Vanna. 3 people who are JWs and sitting with their pamphlets talked to me as they were leaving for the day and told me to be careful with my laptop sitting out here. I said Gracias :)  I'm alway careful.  After awhile we decide to head to Crepes and Waffles for ice cream.

Once we were back at the van we stayed outside awhile but of course we are targeted by everyone who is selling something. So we buy a few things, pay for the guy playing a guitar a ways down the sidewalk and then head inside to read. By 10 its pretty quite and we fall asleep.

By 6am people are in the park walking! Don't they like to sleep?? Guess it is nice and cool at this time of day. But surprised how many people are walking around this small park.

We have breakfast, shower inside and then head out to check out some sights. We walk to Sagrada Familia Church a few blocks away. Hummmm nothing like the Sagrada Familia Church in Barcelona!! This one was started in 1895 and completed in 1898 so not very old. Sagrada Familia means Holy Family. We walked into the church and they were busy washing the floors so all the pews were on their sides.  We walked around the park across the street before heading back. By the time we got back it was 11 and we walked 5km. That was good because yesterday and the day before I didnt do any walking and my hips were sore in the van.  We wont have to many more long stretches like yesterday.

Morning traffic 

This sounds familiar - Less Taxes, More private business, better pay for the workers LOL!!! The same everywhere!!

Sagrada Familia Cathedral 
Thursday Oct 17

We got Vanna ready for our next move. We are heading to a farm just outside of town. I've read its only 10,000/p and we can use a washing machine! Yea!! need to do a couple of loads of laundry. There is no wifi out there but hoping the setting is nice and we can just enjoy the afternoon there.

We arrive at noon and speak with the owner's daughter.  The owners Alberto and Lucila are away somewhere. We agreed on a price of 15,000 and laundry is 5000 a load. Plus there is water for us to fill our tank.  So guess tomorrow we get to shower again Yippee!!

The afternoon is spent getting the laundry done, having a couple of beers, Dwayne washing Vanna, having a couple of beers and taking the laundry off the line and having a couple of beers LOL!!! Was nice to use the washer but it is not hooked up to taps so had to fill using a hose and wait for it to get to the full level and then the machine would go thru the wash cycle. Then I'd have to go back and put water in again for the rinse cycle. Hey its better then having to wash them in the river LOL!!!

Our view

Just before 5pm Alberto and Lucila stopped by to say hello. Neither spoke any English so it was hard to talk with them. But they did want to take a picture with us and Vanna :)  Then Alberto showed us a rig that was here a couple of weeks ago.  A couple from Spain brought over a big huge camper truck and after touring Colombia they were heading to Alaska.  Told them, oh ya we've been there.... no we didnt say that! LOL!! We've seen a couple of decals on vehicles that say "Ushuaia, Argentina to Alaska' and Dwayne figures we should put on the box at the back 'Fairbanks, Alaska to Ushuaia, Argentina' 😁  It doesnt HAVE to be ALL in one trip Dwayne says ;)

Friday Oct 18

In the morning when I woke up I wasn't feeling good. During the night my stomach was churning and I thought I was going to throw up - but I'll do anything NOT to throw up! My joints were aching and I had a headache.  Took some Tylenol and got rid of some of the pain. But we decide to leave anyways and head off towards San Gil. We are going to stop at a national park that has a gondola.  We fill our water tank and say our goodbyes. Back onto the busy 2 lane highway to Bogota.

The highway again goes overtop the mountain range and we get to an altitude of 6000'. The trucks of course are impatient as are buses and are always passing just before a corner!! Surprised we haven't seen an accident yet! But we're use to seeing that in Honduras so drivers here don't really surprise us! LOL!!! The views are spectacular! The highway just continues to zigzag along the mountain.

We get to Chicamocha National Park and pay the $3 for parking and thought we could walk up to the top of the park area, but have to pay $20 just to walk thru the park. And to ride the gondola its another $20. At the time we were there the gondola wasnt working but it did start up just as we were leaving. It only goes down to the river.  Since we are already as high as we can get at 6000'!

Starting our climb up to Chicamocha National Park 
The road we are travelling 

Chicamocha Canyon - is 200km long

Inside the park there are rides for kids but nothing really for us to paid $20C for 

Great area for parasailing 

Looking down towards the river where the Gondola goes. It was not working when we first got there. You can just see a couple of the cars midway down (really really tiny :)

We stop at a nice hotel/campground just outside of San Gil with a swimming pool. When we drove thru San Gil it was very busy and I just wasnt feeling up to walking around the centre of town. We parked around 2pm and I pretty well slept for the rest of the day. Didn't even get to use the nice pool by our site :(

Our spot for 30,000COP which includes power and use of the pool 

Today feeling a little better so guess I dont have dengue fever!! I had all the symptoms other then a rash. So back on the road and see where it takes us today 😎

1 comment:

  1. When we were in Colombia back in 2015 we had every intention of making it up to Bucaramanga and to Parque Nacional del Chicamocha but we just ran out of time. There is just too much to see in Colombia. We look forward to going back there again some day. Sorry you aren't feeling so well but you will acclimatized to the altitude soon enough, we are having to do the same.