I’ve made it to South America…20,000km, 10 border crossings and three months after setting off from Manitoba.
My last update was from Panama City…I spent more than one week there, sorting out some bike repairs, visas, banking and a million other little things. I was also down with a nasty flu bug, which I think I’ve finally managed to shake after about a month of feeling off-key.
From Panama City I drove towards the Darien Gap, a several hundred kilometer jungle wilderness that separates Panama from Colombia. It was a great ride to the Caribbean, where I and my bike boarded Jacqueline, a 56-foot catamaran. I was joined by about eight backpackers from around the world…a full boat means a big party. We spent several days lolling around in the San Blas islands, snorkling, spear-fishing and just being lazy. Then we hoisted sail and since there was almost no wind we motor-sailed the 200 miles to Cartegena, Colombia. We arrived yesterday morning, and spent much of the day getting through immigration and clearing the bikes through customs. Cartegena is a very lovely colonial city. If only it wasn’t too blazing hot to actually walk the streets…but I’ve checked into a hostel with some new friends and we are doing a bit of exploring, hanging out on the old city walls, etc.
Tomorrow I set off on Stage 3 of Menno Moto. I’ll stop in Bogota for a Paraguayan visa, and maybe a new sprocket for the bike, and then through Ecuador, Peru and long stops in Bolivia and Paraguay to get to know the Mennonite colonies there. I’m running exactly 2 weeks behind my planned schedule…not too bad after three months on the road, considering that I’ve driven about 7,000km more than I had expected to cover by this point.