We had to back track a bit but it was a beautiful ride out of the mountains… The cooler temperatures in the higher elevations has been great for riding. The valleys are very hot (90’s).
We road along the River, which we needed to cross over before riding west.
We took the road that had a bridge that crossed over this big river. But as we road to the bridge. It was closed for repairs, and there were tons of Military guys in full gear. We could not figure out why they had all the riot type gear on? As there were not too many people around.
But they were super friendly, as we asked how to get around this bridge out.
But first they wanted to know about the bikes, the ride etc.
and to sit on the bikes to get a few photos!
Then a group photo.
The locals were crossing the river in Canoes
The river was really flowing fast, they wanted 20,000 pesos for each bike (about $10 bucks) and the other side looked like a real steep get out. We decided that it would be easier to ride down the road to the next set of towns as the map showed a bridge. A bus driver that was also their …. agreed. The canoe ride could have really been an adventure but the risk of losing a bike in the fast moving river….. felt like too big a risk.
We stopped for Breakfast… The same as we have had for about a week. Eggs, Plantans, and bread.
it took us about 4 miles to find a bridge as the GPS and maps seemed to not be correct. But we found one, and it took us up into the mountains on some rough dirt roads….. It was now about 2pm…. But we kept riding through towns that were on the map and then finally into La Plata which had a greta paved road going into it. so we though great we will make Popayan just before dark.
As we came into La Plata, we stopped for gas, and this wonderful Colombia woman got out of her car and came over to share how she loved that we were in her country riding our bike! No english but her enthusiasm was amazingly sincerely and genuine!! We have been treat so well, but this woman was the best!
She handed Candy to James for the both of us!
We rolled out of La Plata, which was about 100 + KM away from Popayan. The road turned right to unpaved gravel road continuing up into the mountains. Lush green hills overlooking the rivers and valleys below.
Was some great roads as we climbed higher into the mountains. Think we were at about 7-8,000 feet now.
Mostly just us, some little 125 Motos everyone else rides and a very rare truck or bus.
Stopped to wait for James, as he is on street tires
and some cool waterfalls.
We continue to climb up and reached over 10,500 feet. It was a rough, then wet rocky gravel road that showed we were still 30-40 miles to Popayan, and it was getting dark fast. We both had camera’s having problems
The temps started to drop as well, so we stopped to gear up a bit.
As we wound down the mountains into Popoyan it was dark (oops, I have always avoided riding at night on this ride except a couple times, which has been a Cardinal rule. But the bridge out cost of 2-3 hours + the rough mountain roads as well.)
But we arrived into Popayan and after a few stops to try to find a hotel with secure parking we found one. It cost us a bit more but was about $45 USD including breakfast for the two of us. We were both beat from 10+ hours riding! And we needed a place to take a day off to rest and enjoy.