27. Bucaramanga to MedellinSeptember 21, 2019 in Colombia ⋅ 🌧 66 °F
We left Mompox (which took us about 9 hours to get to), for another 8 hour drive to Bucaramanga, which, although a fairly large city, was once again just a stepping stone for us.
The interesting parts of these long travel days really centered around the travel itself. This part of Colombia is very mountainous, with nothing but one-lane switchback roads filled with buses, 18-wheelers, and motorcycles. (My guess is that 65% of the population travel by motorcycle here). Passing a semi (going 12 mph up a one-lane winding road that has double yellow lines and "no passing" signs) is truly an art form here. You have to do it, or you'll never reach your destination. Because the roads are very sharp s-curves, visibility is limited and passing is a challenge. But everyone participates in helping others pass, whether it be the semi you are trying to pass (who puts his left blinker on to let you know he has enough visibility around the blind curve to see it is safe), or the motorcyclists, who will pass a truck ahead of you, and then reach back and wave to you if the road is clear. The other passing method, which is often necessary, is pulling out halfway into the oncoming traffic lane to assess the situation, and putting pedal to the metal if the coast is clear. That usually requires about a half dozen failed attempts before you make it. The whole process is part entertaining, part stress, and after several days of it, part "just another day's commute".
The views, however, from Bucaramenga to our next destination, Medellin (famous for being the home of the infamous drug lord Pablo Escobar), were pretty spectacular, at least in my opinion. Some pix attached here.Read more