WEEK #65 HOW ARE WE DOING? Boats, locals & authorities…

The week couldn’t start off any better, Monday the 1st of September I had been on the road for exactly a year, there was a very successful fundraising dinner in Amsterdam and I had shaved my beard, all in the name of charity. The fundraising dinner raised just over €7000, an incredible amount which 99%RIDE will be using to further help projects concerning children & education in South America, the next continent I’ll be crossing.

IMG_8761Looking for the cheapest and quickest option over the Darien Gap and into Colombia, guest rider Steven and I had found a good route by bicycle and several speedboats that would take us to Turbo, Colombia, where we would start cycling again.
The road took us to Carti, a small port about 120km from Panama City, a rough ride though; the last 40 km are rollercoaster hills going up and down with grades up to almost 30% (see Strava for details). Twice we had to get off and push our bikes because it was too steep…
Once we arrived in Carti we had to take a boat to one of the local islands, there were no tourists here and we were the only white boys walking around the little huts made of bamboo and palm leaves, a great experience though.

The next day we had arranged a boat to bring us to our next destination; Puerto Obaldia. This is also the place where all of my bags were searched for the very first time since I started cycling. After the search we had some issues with the authorities regarding our “return ticket”. Apparently everybody needs one when entering Colombia, except we’re on bicycles and that changes everything.. After a while we finally got our stamps and moved on to the next boat for our next destination: Capurganá, Colombia, a nice little town with very friendly people and some really tasty food.

Early the next morning we woke with rain outside, yet this didn’t stop us nor the boat from leaving and taking us to our final destination before we would hop on the bikes again.IMG_8736

Turbo, Colombia is a busy and vibrant town. After arriving we quickly made our way to a local supermarket to stock up on some food and headed off into the unknown. Our first stage in Colombia started well, an almost flat road took us to Mutatá, a small village 120km to the south of Turbo, and (hopefully) another two days of cycling from Medellin, where I’ll be visiting the next project. The next two days will be mainly climbing, as we’ll be crossing over two 2500 meter mountains, which is pretty nice because the temperature is fairly high at the moment and the mountains will be nice and cool…

As I am typing this there is another tropical storm going on, it is the rainy season, and hopefully we’ll have dry day tomorrow. Let’s see what happens. The week has started out in an amazing way, and nothing is going to change that! Please keep following the progress of 99%RIDE and see what’s going to happen next!

From a rainy Mutatá, Colombia,

Dirk Spits

Share this!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post Navigation