i was only in Medellin for the afternoon & night, some people need an urban fix every once in a while, for me living in a city of over 10,000,000 people for years and years i don't need that
i had a quick look around and saw these
look at the tank area????
and now my bike the XT660Z is for sale in Colombia
so leaving in the morning from the Casa Kiwi before Medellin was awake and heading east out of town
going out of town over the mountain it was 8C or 46F degrees, but felt a lot colder, i headed to El Penol and it wasn't open so i took a couple of shots, i wasn't going to wait for a few hours climb 639 steps and headed on...
following the lake around i headed to Guatape and its not awake yet either!!!
as i roll out of town i check the map and see Granada, but the problem its a full mountain range and no obvious way across, i looked at my GPS, i was using three different maps, OSM, Garmin SA and Colrut, none of them showed a complete route, roads just ended and 10-20kms they started again...so in true Throttlemeister style i just said f**k it and rode on hoping it would come out somewhere useful...but keep in mind here i have to be in Bogota in two days to drop my bike off at the airport, OK lets go
i headed towards San Rafael, in the tiny little town i asked a cop if i could get to San Carlos, he points down the road i'm on and tells me go straight...about 5 kms later in come to split in the road, there's and army check point they ask where i'm headed, i tell them San Carlos and then Granada, they tell me i can go straight, this is the point that i have no roads on my map (any of them consistently all the way thru), i reconfirm and they say sure San Carlos/ Granada, no problem for you...
so here it is on two maps the first one is where the checkpoint was and the second was where i was headed, the army pointed me southwest, not along the road to the east
so if you are headed this way i have a track for you if you want it...but...a few km's later there are landslides
its possible to ride around them but from here on out its dirt all the way, and amazingly the occasional truck, i figured later they must only go so far then turn around
small sections are very steep and reminisent of the hancock pass in Colorado, big boulders, full throttle to get up and of course i was having too much fun and forgot to take a photo or two
i make a turn and there is a big army checkpoint and about 20 soldiers surround me, as usual more interested in the bike and where i'd been. Once we are done with the 'short' conversation they want to know where i'm headed, i say "Granada?"
Sure they point ahead, it was the only way other than turn around, i ask if its safe for me, sure no problem, i usually get the opposite answer in this kind of situation! Got me some Throttlemeister luck rolling here
i'm told it could take two hours to get there, but once i can see Granada the road will turn back to pavement
so i head on and hit peak after peak, amazing scenery but one thing stands out every single building is empty for miles, but there is some graffiti so was this possibly a drug running route years back and why so many army guys in such a remote area, even riding along i pass some military just walking along the road?
hey TM swimming holes...but it was too cold
so i see Granada and i'm still on dirt...the military were wrong
then i go around the next corner and the pavement starts...the military were right
just before town i find a lady selling empanadas by the side of the road - two please
so a few posts back i tell you these aren't around anymore
on this day i see seven of them in the Granada area, they must be some of the only old GMC ones left, but everyone comes by me on a blind bend and i never get a good shot in time, so if you want to see the fully loaded old chicken buses in Colombia then Granada is your town
once i get thru Granada, there is another mountain pass that eventually drops you onto a main road, i make a left, thru a peaje (toll) and then on my left i spot an amazing waterfall on the other side of the valley, time for a break and a few photos
a family stops to take a photo too and as the little boy gets out of the back of the car he immediately shouts WOW!!!
i turn and look up where he is looking...
looking back to the waterfall and more paragliders are playing in the thermals