We wish that sharing moments are at the heart of this adventure. Therefore, we are sharing our travel with children of French schools, our relatives and on social media. But the exchange is built everyday with people crossing our road. Without them, we couldn’t share as many stories. Unfortunately, we can’t be exhaustive and present all of these people to you, but each encounter will be unforgettable.
Benjamin & José Luis – Mutiscua
Our first story started on the way to Pamplona. Since our departure in Cartagena, we got used to make a stop every 150 kms. But there are 300 kms separating Bucaramanga and Pamplona. Between these cities, there are only mountains, fields and a few villages. No need to say that there is not that much of choices to find a place to stay overnight when you look on internet. We choose a little hotel in the village of Mutiscua.
After leaving the main road, we are going down a few zig zags during 2 kms. We started tonsee the first houses. After a hairpin bend, we arrive on the nice main square. Marie and Emilie, with the sat nav, go by walking to find the hotel while Julien and I are keeping an eye on the sidecars.
Intrigued by the motorbikes, Benjamin introduced himself to us. We start to chat about the mechanics, cylinders and wide of the tires, before he offers us a coffee. We are happy to accept but later as we are waiting the girls. After walking all around the village 3 times, Marie and Emilie tell us they didn’t find the hotel.
We ask Benjamin if he knows a place to stay overnight with a parking. Without a second thought, he asks us to follow him. We go to a street next to the square. Benjamin stops in front of a house and rings the bell. A old woman opens the door. Benjamin explains our situation in a Spanish that we can’t understand. She opens the door of her parking and shows 2 rooms in a building next to her house. She is very happy to let us staying overnight.
Once the side-cars parked and the luggages in the rooms, we are going to meet Benjamin on the main square. In the bar, it’s time for a beer to enjoy the end of the day. On the tables, there are already a few emptied. We share with Benjamin and his friends the « cervicita » of the end of the day. Then we discover with them the Aguardiente, the local aniseed liqueur. At the desk, we meet José Luis. He is curious about our travel and asks us many questions about the daily life in Europe, compared to their village. He wants to do everything for our stay in Mutiscua to be unforgettable . Once a few beers enjoyed, José Luis comes with us to enjoy a « Perro Caliente » in the next shop. The night ends with a last chat with a glass of Aguardiente, about the economic ressources, celebrations and traditions of the village.
The next day, we walk in the village and bumped into Benjamin. It’s 10am, time for a break. His day started at 6:30am. He offers us a beer, that we declined. He insists to offers us chocolate bars as snacks for the breakfast.
On the point of departure, José Luis makes the surprise to pop by to say goodbye. We take a last photo with our hostess before to go back on the main road towards Pamplona.
Bryan & Erin – Medellín
On the way to Medellín, we did a stop in San José del Nus. The mechanics to do before to go back on the road was longer that we thought. Indeed, we noticed that the set of feeler gauges to adjust the valves was not the correct one. We lost a few hours, but anyway, thanks to this we met Bryan and Erin who were passing by. When they saw us working on the sidecars, they came to chat with us.
After a short chat about our vehicles, we exchanged our contact details to meet in Medellin and have a longer discussion about our travel stories.
After a day visiting the « Comuna 13 » area and the historical centre, we met Erin and Bryan at the end of the afternoon in the Parque Lleras area. We share a first beer and exchange good travelling tips. Our projects are similar: riding to reach the Chilean Patagonia.
Dreams making us hungry, we are looking to grab a bite. After telling them we didn’t had the opportunity to enjoy a good pizza since the beginning of our adventure, we opt for the Italian restaurant named « Il Forno » matching with our expectations.
We end this meal by promising we will meet again to share a nice time together if we bump into them again.
Yeison & his family – La Pintada
After leaving Guatapé, on the way to the coffee area, we wanted to make a stop in the small city of La Pintada to stay overnight. Arriving at the end of the afternoon, we are looking quickly for a hotel. After 3 refusals as they are all fully booked, we park the sidecars in front of a fourth hotel with a touch of stress. While Emilie and Marie are asking the hotel reception for a room; Yeison, the owner of the restaurant next to the hotel, chats with us to know a little bit more about our travel. When the girls are back, they let us know there are no availabilities here again.
Yeison tells us that the city is very touristic and many people are coming from Medellín to enjoy the thermal baths during the weekends. This Sunday night, the hotels are fully booked due to the Monday bank holiday. Indeed, Colombia is celebrating the discovery of America by Christrophe Colombus.
Seeing us in a tricky situation, Yeison offered us spontaneously to stay in his house.
Once our luggages dropped in his living room, we are going to dine in his restaurant to enjoy a delicious burger made by his wife Neiyireth. Yeison chats with us about his passion for the downhill mountain biking, he shows us a few videos and tells us more about the area.
We spent the night in their living room. The street has a lot of traffic and the noise made by a few trucks passing by are giving rhythm to our sleep.
When we woke up, Neiyireth offers us a great breakfast including scrambled eggs, rice, toasts and a “chocolate con queso” (a hot chocolate served with a slice of fresh cheese). We chat during all the morning and compare our daily lifes in France and Colombia. It’s noon and it’s time to go back on the road, our next stop: Santa-Rosa.
Bernard & Fabienne avec leur super camping-car 4×4 – Salento
Upon our arrival in the campsite La Serrana, in Salento, we are impressed by the Mercedes 4×4 camping-car next to our camp. Next to it, our tents seem ridiculously tiny. The next day, during our hike in the Cocora Valley, in the middle of a steep hill under the rain, we bumped into a French couple asking us about the distance separating them from the Hummingbird’s House, key step of the hike. We realise this is Bernard and Fabienne, our neighbours in the campsite. We chat with them about our travels. Intrigued by the sidecars, we decide to carry on our chat when we will be back at the campsite.
The next day, during the service of the Urals, we continue our chat stopped the previous day. Bernard tells us about his passion for 2-wheels, his young riding a Mash and their experience in South of America. With his super camping-car, Bernard went everywhere including the Death Road in Ipiales, the steep roads in the White Mountain Range and the Bolivian paths. Fabienne doesn’t hesitate to give us good tips and reassure us for crossing the borders and more specifically the Ecuadorian one as we are getting close. We are taking a few notes that we will improve by reading their blog: https://www.myatlas.com/Nanarl
We are going back on the road towards South but we keep cautiously their contact details to share a coffee during our next stop in Briançon.
René – Popayan
There are meetings that you can’t plan. 6:30pm, the night just fall down in Popayan. On the way back to the campsite after visiting the town centre, a motorbike, with many stickers on its cases, overtakes us. At the service station, the biker waves us to stop. We stop the engines behind his motorbikes. René introduces himself. He is part of the biker club of the city and usually invites bikers travelling to come at his house. We accept his invitation to share a breakfast with him and discuss more about our travel.
The next day, at 8:30am, we arrive in front of a house which René gave us the adresse the previous day. He is waiting for us in front of the house with a flag from his biker club. We take a few photos and selfies before to go inside for a coffee. René welcomes us warmly in his home and shares biscuits and local candies looking like marshmallows. On the door of his office, he shows with proud the stickers given by the bikers who came at his place. We add proudly our card.
We leave René, with a full stomach, to go back on the road towards Pasto.
It’s 11:15am, René didn’t say a word but today it’s the Communion of his daughter at 11am. No stress, it was important for him to welcome bikers.
We are leaving the Colombian roads to enjoy the Ecuadorian ones. The adventure towards the South continues where we will meet new people.