We drove through the deforested humid and hot coastal valley towards the mountains on highway 45
leading to Bogota.¬† We arrived in Aguachica and spent the night as neither of us could stand being on the bike any longer and the ferocious storm showers, lightening, and broken branches on the road made it inadvisable anyway.
The following day we determinedly set out at 8am for San Gil, both anxious to get into the mountains for fresher cooler air.¬† On the way we drove down into the dry canyon near the PARQUE NACIONAL DEL CHICAMOCHA SANTANDER, but perhaps given our last park experience neither of us seemed interested in getting off the motorbike and seeing it.¬† As we wound out of the mountains and stopped in
San Gil to get our bearings I was approached by a suspension mechanic and while going to his shop I found a new helmet (I’ve been riding with a duct-taped on visor and then after losing that, just sunglasses) that has European (ECE) certification – for reasonable price and the unfortunate name of Shaft.¬† We checked into the Macondo Guest House which, although a bit shabby and has no parking for the motorbike, has a good atmosphere and helpful friendly staff.
Day two in San Gil saw us hiking the old colonial trail – Camino Real a Guane (Lenguake trail) – from Barichara
to Guane. Both are very sleepy and pretty colonial towns that feel quite unaffected development – other than the government paying to have the cobbles nicely arranged and the white paint freshly applied to the houses.¬† After a bus back to my dear KLR650 we drove towards the Juan Curi 180m waterfall on the road to Charala, which after a 20 minute hike and a 5,000 peso ($2.50) entrance fee, we had to ourselves.