As we entered Southern Colombia our next destinations would teach us a bit more about the history of the country, including the archaeological ruins in San Agustin, independence day in Popoyan, and the gothic basilica church of Las Lajas close to the Colombian-Ecuadorian border. San Agustin Archeological Park In 1758 Friar Juan de Santa Gertrudis, a Spanish missionary, stumbled across the small village of San Agustin. He was quite disturbed by the giant stone statues

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We rolled into Manizales hoping to set up camp at a popular coffee finca called La Hacienda Venecia.  The property was lovely.  A big hacienda with a wrap around deck, rolling grass fields, perfectly clean bathrooms complete with liquid soap and towels, library-themed rooms, and the most amazing kitchen complete with granite countertops.  Yes!  Unfortunately they did not want our sweaty, dust-covered, unkempt persons camping on their property.  Fair enough. We took our pesos elsewhere,

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You see Colombian police everywhere on the side of the road. Every couple of long driving days we end up being pulled over. Normally they ask us where we’re going and where we are from. Sometimes they ask us for documents, but many times they just ask how we’re doing, shake our hands, and let us continue along our way. I guess we look like nice Canadian kids. On our way to Tatacoa we were

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Have you ever spent time in Tim Burton's mind?  If you haven't, but you'd like a good idea of what it must be like you should really stop at Andres Carne de Res.  This restaurant is one of the first that we have stopped at that wasn't an empty room filled with plain plastic tables and chairs.  Actually, this is about as far from the typical Colombian restaurant we normally eat at as you can get.

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What is the best part about touristy towns/cities?  The food and drink!  For us, in Villa de Leyva our favourite coffee spot also happened to be our favourite lunch spot.  We returned over and over again to Cafe Los Gallos for their fancy but budget-friendly arepas and lattes.  Our short morning hike to the mirador overlooking town and then a 20 minute walk to town from our very comfortable campsite at Hostal Renecer always increased our

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We rolled into Sogamoso looking for a little rest and relaxation after our time hiking in El Cocuy.  We camped at Finca San Pedro and it was exactly what we were looking for.  Easy camping and good wifi went a long way.  The following morning we were invited to a yoga session in the onsite studio.  Perfect!  Time to give everything a good stretch.  Little did we know that this 2.5 hour long yoga session would

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El Cocuy – The Town The town of El Cocuy is where we prepped for our visit to El Cocuy National Park.  There is more to this town than first meets the eye.  When we first showed up, our main focus was checking in at the hotel, getting secure parking sorted out, and walking for more than 5 minutes without being out of breath.  We were essentially arriving from being at sea level (we were

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From the Colombian coast our plan was to head south, and then east to El Cocuy National Park.  We needed to get some kilometres under our belts for no other reason but hitting the open road.  We had felt trapped by the shipping process and we were finally free in South America.  Little did we know that these first few days were a preview of the long driving days to come in Colombia. Our first stop

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From the mountainous coffee region of La Tagua we headed north to the coastal town of Taganga.  The small tourist town lies in a beautiful bay full of fishing boats and people of all ages looking to take a dip in the cool waters to attempt to lower their body temperature due to the intense heat. We spent an evening wandering the streets, swimming in the water, watching Copa America futbol at an outdoor restaurant,

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By Richard Panama City, where a 5 km drive takes two hours.  The stop and go traffic in 34C temperatures wasn't really easy on us or on the truck. This time it showed the truck’s weak link when we finally made it out of traffic, hit a hill, and I heard the engine revs climb as the clutch slipped like mad in second gear.  That wasn't good.  The clutch in the truck didn’t feel quite

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The shipyard in Colon, Panama is not exactly the most comfortable place we’ve been.  Really the only place we (especially Ashley) enjoyed was the bathroom at the Seaboard Marine Office, which was fully equipped with toilet paper, soap, and even some decor.  Otherwise, we spent half a day at the shipyard on an obstacle race/treasure hunt, following the instructions set out by our shipping agent Tea Kalmbach.  Tea was very quick to respond to our

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