Friday, November 15, 2013

Suesca to Salento... 200 Miles... 13 Hours...

Our early celebration of successfully skirting the western edge of Bogatá, with nary a traffic jam, probably jinxed us. Our celebration was mostly silent, but I know both of us were thinking the same thing, "hmm, that was easy." Bogatá is notorious for horrible traffic.

Our 200-mile, 13-hour route from Suesca to Armenia

We had planned on driving either 150 miles or 200 miles that day, depending on our progress. As we climbed higher and higher into the mountains, we couldn't stop saying "wow!" at the gorgeous scenery that appeared around every turn. At the 150-mile mark, it was around 1:30 pm. So, we agreed to keep going. This is where the jinxing comes in... the final 50 miles took us 7 hours! The drive went from, "wow, this is beautiful", to "OMG, I sure wish we weren't driving over this gorgeous pass in the rain, fog, and dark".

You know it's great scenery, when you can pop the camera out the window of a moving vehicle and capture this

We started driving at 7:30 am and finished at 9:30 pm

We can't really explain why it took 7 hours to drive those last 50 miles. We never saw an accident, nor a 1-way lane due to construction. The road was perfectly paved, but incredibly curvy. So curvy, that they were in the process of constructing bridges to straighten things out. The only thing we can blame it on is the over zealous trucks that would take up 2 lanes when driving around a tight corner. I guess when there are hundreds of hairpin turns, with hundreds of trucks (in both directions), things can get pretty backed up.

Serious feat of engineering to construct these bridges along the highway

The drive took so long, we almost ran out of fuel. We hadn't planned for all the idling, so we started turning the truck off at every stop. We didn't make it to our final destination, only to the first gas station, where we got some diesel and asked if we could sleep for the night. The next morning, we drove to Salento, where we were greeted by this gorgeous view from our camping spot, almost enough to make us forget what it took to get there...

The view from La Serrana campground in Salento, Columbia

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