Colombia- fun along the highway!

I wanted to write this post to share some of the photos and scenes that we have from our recent driving along the highways of Colombia.  But first I must explain that when a road is labeled as a highway, it isn’t always what we think of as a highway.  It merely refers to the route number.  Not the condition of the road (paved, dirt, potholed, single-lane, pedestrians, through town, etc)  As you will see in some of these photos, the highway isn’t always safe, passable or fast.  But it is always entertaining.  Enjoy the photos and their descriptions.

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The woman is carrying a television on her hip while riding as a passenger on a motorcycle.

 

roadside art

Roadside art? Or perhaps a reminder to drive safely.

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Our own highway fun, a spider on the grill.  Captures many stares and giggles along the way.

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This colorful woman lives along the highway, next to a fuel station.  She has at least 8 dogs housed in her front yard.  Look closely at her bright colors and the dogs in the various shelters.

Some of our overnight locations are not very glamorous, but still quite functional.  Here is a quick video of a highway truck stop.  This one offered showers, water refills and an outdoor sink for washing dishes.  (find Mike)

 

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Colombia has been experiencing many student protests lately.  We encountered this small group walking along the highway and blocking traffic to make their point.

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This highway was blocked by a landslide overnight.  We came along just as the cleanup crew was finishing the work.  There is a tractor on the other side that is scraping up the dirt and rocks and placing it in the truck.  We parked here for about 20 minutes, waiting for them to finish.

When we stopped on this highway for a fuel refill, then we noticed a car wash service in the corner.  We assumed it would be a quick rinse, but it turned into a two hour truck spa!  She was quite beautiful when the work was done.  But you can never be in a hurry on a Colombian highway.

 

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This section of highway took us right through the crowded city.  This is a typical city traffic scene with motorcycles cutting between cars to jump to the front of the line.  Police with a tow truck ready to confiscate unlicensed vehicles, pedestrians, narrow streets, low wires and the assault of sounds and smells of a developing nation.

As we pass through villages and small cities we have the opportunity to observe a wide variety of people going about their daily business.  The ever-present cell phone is the common theme.  Nearly everyone has one.  Here are a few village scenes.

 

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Colombian mountain cowboys.

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Poker is the beer of Colombia.  This is a typical roadside bar in the mountains.

Sometimes highways are competing with the forces of Mother Nature.  She usually wins, especially when water is involved.  This section of highway crosses a river.  Apparently the municipality gave up on replacing the highway and instead just keeps the crossing passable.  Enjoy the little video of our big rig blundering over the low-water-crossing.

 

Sometimes we stop along the highway to enjoy the local specialties.  One such stop was in an area that specializes in meat plates.  Yes, you read that right, meat plates!  Check this out… it includes link sausage, blood sausage, fried pork skin, corn bread, boiled local potatoes and smoked pork.  Now that is a highway meal!

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A heaping plate of various Colombian meats and other specialties.

 

feijoa capital of the world

We had to turn off the highway to check out the self-proclaimed “feijoa capital of the world”  Feijoa ice cream was indeed a unique treat.  A feijoa tastes like a tart fig.

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As we drove around the lake we spotted this group of young people painting a colorful mural on a windy day.  We drove into the next village and bought them a huge bag of snacks.  We drove back to them and dropped off the snacks to support their energy as they completed this wonderful project.  They were very appreciative, and we were glad to help out!

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And every now and then, the highway takes us through a small village.  The maps tell us to go one way, but clearly the route will not allow that.  Here is an example of that exact situation.

The highways of Colombia are never to be approached in a rushed fashion.  Plan to go slow.  Leave time for delays.  Keep the camera ready.  Help others whenever possible. And stop frequently to discover the treasures that lie along the route.

Remember, it’s not a slow car, it’s a fast house.

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