Sunday, June 14, 2015

Time to see what's beyond the city walls of Cartagena

We finally rode away from Cartagena late in the afternoon, with our destination being somewhere between the city and the palm fringed paradise we’d heard could be found east of Parque Nacional Tayrona. Roel’s friend Tommy was already there and said it was a place one could happily spend a few days playing in the surf and swinging in a hammock strung between two palms.

It was a pretty depressing ride as we passed a lot of garbage strewn about the roadside, throughout communities and in several of the salt pools near Barranquilla. Nonetheless, it was good to be on the road again and in some respect, to get away from the very "dressed up" downtown of Cartagena.

We’d begun to use the iOverlander app a bit in Central America and there were several spots along our route that had been marked on the map by other overlanders. We made it to one of these spots, a public beach lined with palapas that were deserted mid-week… perfect for us 

With the ocean at my back, it was nice to be sheltered under these palapas.

We made a quick dinner and even bought a couple of beers from a guy who owned a restaurant/house behind the palapas. iOverlander has been great but every once in a while you get to a spot and realize that the person who posted it was definitely not traveling by motorcycle. We were in the tent happily watching a movie on my laptop when we realized this was the case here. There had been very little traffic on the road adjacent to the lot behind the palapas, and so we were a little surprised when a small motorbike with two riders made it’s way into the parking lot and rode within a few feet of our tent, slowing to check out the bikes and us. It was a police bike with two police riders on patrol. This continued for the next four hours, and whether it was a different patrol each time, just checking out the crazy westerners camped on the beach with their big bikes, OR the same patrol just being annoying, who knows. On one hand, we felt pretty well-protected and looked after, but on the other hand, it was a bit disconcerting as we could only tell they were police when they got within 10 feet of our tent. Needless to say, we did not enjoy a good nights rest.

This little guy seemed to like my new Metzler as much as I do... Not wanting to run him over, I spent five minutes trying to chase him away.

After a hot morning of riding Northeast, we finally made it to CosteƱo Beach Surf Camp Ecolodge. We set up our tent in the sand and dug our toes in for three days of yoga on the beach, volleyball, delicious family-style meals and all of the fresh coconut we could eat.

I love my new Metzlers. But I still don't love loose sand.

Danger #4...

Bad form. But good fun.

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