Now This City You Have to See
Trip Start Dec 25, 2009
36Trip End Feb 13, 2010
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Where I stayed
We took a taxi out to Castillo de San Felepe de Barajas. This is the strongest fort the Spanish ever built. Started in 1657 it took a hundred years to complete. It was never overtaken although several tries were made. It has an extensive array of tunnels connecting strategic points, the tunnels were constructed to reverberate sounds so the slightest sound of enemy feet, or communications could be heard
While we were shopping we were walking through the Mercado and saw with no exaggeration about 500 shops that carried cell phone and cell phone stuff. There was booth after booth after booth. Then we ended up in a four story new mall full of stores from every vendor including, you guessed it, phone stores. We saw raw meat (actually I could smell it well ahead of time). It an impressive city that needs further exploration in my book.
This morning we took a taxi to lead us out of town. This was money well spent in the very heavy traffic of buses and motor scooters. Any space you can fit in is a lane, and is used. They are fluid depending on the type and number of vehicles in the same spot. A two lane road will accommodate at least three buses, or four smaller buses, or 6 small taxis, or 20 scooters, or quickly change as the combination of vehicles fluctuates. The 20,000 pesos we spent was money well spent. (That is about $10 US). The Taxi led us around circles, four lane roads, around construction and through back alleys and dirt roads to get to our road out of town. We stopped and got gas as we said good by to our taxi friend.
We were on our own again after being in the city for about 45 minutes of white knuckle riding
A couple of checkpoints later we run into a much more serious policia. They argue that we need vests and threaten to write us tickets. We promise to get them in the next town. A wet behind the ears police boy struts over to Jene and I and ask in Spanish if we are interested in Marijuana, we have trouble understanding his Spanish but then realize what he is trying to say in English, "I think you two are interested in marijuana". We laugh and say no and he goes to report this to his boss. Fern has one of the cops show him a 10,000 Peso note from his own pocket and indicated that he is to give the cop a similar bill. Fern ignores him. The leader wants to see some Canadian money, he is interested he says. Rene using perfect Spanish tells them they have no Canadian money. Usually these contacts are very friendly and take longer just because they are interested in the bikes and us as world travelers. You just never know what will come up next.
The riding here is BTTW, meaning full out full throttle. We don't even slow down when we see the cops on the road anymore unless they are manning the checkpoint and waving us over.
If you were planted on one of our bikes for a hour with out knowing the norm for the drivers over here, you would have a panic attack within the first few minutes!
The Columbian country sideis georgeous. It is farm and ranch land and isn't crowed by jungle. I wonder if this is natural or due to clearing and planting all thes years, perhaps it is from agent orange clearing out the Cocain fields.