Jan 01, 2001
Dec 28, 2010
This morning it was time to set of for Pamplona, this meant having to go through Bucaramanga and we were hoping that after the practise we would manage in one go. Wrong again, we set off OK and had been told we just followed road 27. We did this and ended up at the gates of the university so it was a quick 180 and go back a bit to the next main road that crossed. Here we turned in the right direction even though there was no signs and surprise surprise it was correct. We started to climb as soon as we got on this road and the road surface began to get bad. At one point we came to a stop and after 20 minutes of crawling we came across a truck that was completely across the road. He had been trying to get into a garage when his front axle broke. Once round that we carried on until we came to a petrol station as we needed fuel. This one was a first; it would not accept credit cards, all the rest had. As a result of this and the fact that we were running down our cash we could only get 7 gallons, usually enough to cover 70-80 miles. Unfortunately we had to climb and climb, the highest point was 12,600ft. All the time we were looking for another fuel stop but with no success. Needless to say we run out of fuel about 3 km from the highest point. That meant we had to get the moped out and Mike set off to get some, we had been told there was some in 3 kms. After a 20 km trip him eventually found a small garage and filled up our can, which only holds 3 gallon. On his return we poured it in and had enough to get back to the garage. On arrival this time we were told that this garage had no fuel left so we had to carry on. Luckily we found another one, but still none that would accept credit cards and by now we only had 17,000 pesos left and so asked them to put that much in. They misunderstood and put in 17 gallons, instead of the 3 it should have been. That then entailed them siphoning back out the extra fuel because they would only accept pesos and would not look at dollars which we had been told we could use in an emergency. Any way we eventually carried on and got to the town of Pamplona, a quite large town with very narrow streets, we had to back up at one point to allow an 18 wheeler to get round the corner. Eventually we found a parking place in the local bus garage (N18.104.22.168 W22.214.171.124) and were able to walk into town to get some money and have a look at the historic centre. Although it does have some colonial buildings, in our view the town is not worth stopping at, It is still very high, about 8.000 ft, so is quite cold, but also very damp with lots of fog and mist. The worst thing though is that it is quite dirty and has lots of graffiti around. We will certainly not be staying another night. We would add that the fuel situation is unusual, everywhere else that we have been they have had lots of petrol stations and all accepted credit cards, and it certainly lulled us into a false sense of security.