Next we really wanted to visit Santa Marta, because of its historic significance. It was founded in 1525 by a Spanish conquistador, and it is the oldest existing city in Colombia and it was the first Spanish settlement in Colombia, and second oldest of South America. Simon Bolivar “the liberator of Colombia died here in 1830. We decided not to take the short direct route, but to go the long scenic way round taking us temptingly close to the Venezuelan border.
There are a lot of police and army checkpoints, but none have stopped us. Mostly there is just some rope or a tire on the road to slow you down. This guy was the first and all he wanted to do was shake our hands and welcome us to Colombia.
This is Dan explaining Yo hablo solo un poco de Espaniol, pero me esposa es major. (I only speak a liite Spanish but my wife is better.) Then they both looked at me and laughed! He asked how we liked Colombia and we said for motos its’ amazing.
Driving along in the middle of nowhere you come upon these roundabouts…so weird. Also in the middle of nowhere a paved divided bike/walking path.
This put a new meaning in motorbike!
As we got further east and north towards the coast the landscape was more desert like with sand and cactus.
We needed some gas and decided to have “an experience” as Dan says so we bought cheap Venezuelan gas from a guy on the side of the road for 3.24/ gallon. At the station regular gas is 4.73 or more.
On the way to the coast we had to go thru a few bigger crowded towns in traffic and 37 degree heat with humidity. At one point we had to make an emergency stop at Mc D for 20 min of aircon and a coke.
Finally we made it to drive along the the Caribbean sea where there were tons of banana plantations.
We stopped at a small roadside fruit stand for a snack and a cold drink. As usual the bike draw a crowd. Colombians are super friendly and very interested in our adventure. This guy was laughing at my joke in Spanish!
Here we stayed in a funky Hostel with a massive room. We had dinner at the grocery store cafe and it was pretty good. The of course we had massive ice creams.
We ventured down to the old city and the Bahia.
Here there was the obligatory Bolivar Square with his statue.
This is where it all started when the European boats sailed into this harbor to the New world!
The architecture is very colonial. This church was the previous site of Bolivars tomb; he was later moved to Venezuela.
The statues of the indigenous are portrayed with huge hands and feet to symbolize their strong hardworking nature.