Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!

Cheers and Happy New Year!

Thanks for having been a part of my trip on the Americas, whether here as blog reader, back home or when we have met or will meet somewhere on the road. 

All the very best for the fast approaching 2013.


1'000 k's and counting

Whenever the odometer of my Toyota records another 1'000 kilometers since I set off in New Jersey I shoot a picture out of the windshield. No matter whether exciting, boring, hectic or beautiful. The 1'000 kilometer gallery has just been up-dated.

Click HERE to get on your very own road trip through the Americas.

Enjoy it!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Safe Vehicle-Camping in the Middle of Bogota

It was Brigitte & Lukas, a Swiss couple I have met in Villa de Leyva at the great Hostal Renacer that have given me the coordinates for that safe place to camp, right in the middle of Bogota's old town La Candaleria.  This is actually a 24 hour parking lot, but there are 4 gernarations of the owners families living right there on the lot, it is surprisingly quiet and for the location extremly safe. There is a toilet and a simple shower that the families will share with you. The price for camping on site is not different from overnight parking. As typical in Colombia, every one is super friendly and nice.

The gate closes at 10pm, should you come back later arrange before hand so you can get back in. I felt safe there and in the neigborhood but never wandered around later than 10pm. It is about a 7 minute walk to the TransMilenio station Calle 22 which will get you up North (linea B1) to the fancy area of Zona Rosa (get off at Calle 93) and all its shopping and eating possibilities (linea F1 will bring you back home, get off at Calle 22). It is about a 15 minutes walk to Plaza Bolivar, about 10 minutes to the museo de oro. 

GPS Coordinates: N04°36.417 W074°04.173, use the most upper left entrance (there is fancy guarded parking lot before the entrance, which is not 24hours) when you drive east on Calle 22 and ask for Carlos (give him and his family my regards). There is no tent camping possibilities at this site.

Enjoy Colombia's vivid capital.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

El Tambo - Overnight Stop

There is a sign for the restaurant about 2 km before
I got to that place thanks to Petra & Klaus, a german couple I have met in Guatemala, earlier this year. Their web-page which is actually more kind of a on-line guide book for Panamericana-Overlanders than just a regular traveller's blog. 

The restaurant El Tambo lies just before you get to the rather unattractive town of El Paso right on highway 45. It makes for a perfect stop if you are headed either North or South between Santa Marta at the caribean cost and Bogota in the Central Highlands, or visa versa. The people that run the restaurant are not only super friendly, they also cook outstanding food for an outstandingly economical price. 

Once you eat there, which for sure you won't regret, you are allowed to camp right next to the restaurant. There is a 24 hour armed guard service for the restaurant, actually restaurants, there is one up at the street another one down (ideal to park your car or truck just behind) and a bar. There is also a swimming pool and cold showers. You'll be happy for the cold, since it is still very hot and humid down there. I am sure you are also allowed to pitch a tent if you ask since the property is rather big. It includes a small zoo where local animals are studied since the restaurant belongs to a oil & gas company that also has their HQ for the environmental feasibility studies there. 

Right now there are no rooms but while I stopped there one cabaña (cabin) with private bath was under construction and more are planned. So you will need to bring your own bed with you. All that said, even if you pass by there mid-day and you do not want to stay overnight it is worthwhile to stopp for a meal.

Turn around, down, right after you passed the first building
with the sign El Tambo
Coordinates for El Tambo: N 9.74543 W 73.71566

Click HERE to get to the list of overnight stops posted on the blue truck blog.

HERE you'll get to Petra & Klaus' list of all their overnight-stops in Colombia (in german) and a download option for the GPS coordinates as well. for all kinds of information for overland travellers on the panamericana.                            

Friday, December 28, 2012

On the Road from Villa de Leyva to Bogota

It is a small photo gallery, the latest one with pictures of the trip from Villa de Leyva to Bogota. It includes the pictures of the fantastic salt cathedral in Zipaquira. HERE you'll be on your way to the galery!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Villa de Leyva

Check out the latest Photo Gallery with pictures of the beautiful Town of Villa de Leyva in Colombia.

Cartagena to Villa de Leyva

There is a new Photo Gallery with Photos of my way along the coast to the North East of the Guajira Peninsula and down South, crossing the River Magdalena to get to Mompox and than up into the mountains to the beautiful Pueblo de Villa de Leyva.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Wishing you:

Thank you for having been part of my trip by travelling along on my blog.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

New Road Warriors

Check out the newest addition to the Road Warriors Photo Gallery. Click here to get there in no time.


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Never turn that volume... full max. Because... gonna blow that window out!

La Guajira

One of my rather exciting routes off the beaten track on this trip...

...was leading me through some rather...

...uneven terrains.

To deserted and lonely beaches...

...wonderful peaceful free-camping spots.

At times it challenged my navigational skills... much as the mud-loving side inside of me.

Sometimes it looks a lot easier than it is to pass...

...and sometimes it is a lot more challenging than what it appears to be.

I haven't always been travelling on my own, some passengers
joined me for a portion of the trip...

...but when it got muddy and...

...wet again, those passengers used to jump off as quick as they
jumped aboard earlier on.

In total I recovered 5 vehicles out of the mud. It is amazing how the
locals get through the mud with just two wheel drive and tires that 
look more like the ones of race car than the ones of a mud- crawler.

Alone at Bahia Honda.

The road to Punta Gallinas, the most northern point of South-America
is supposed to go through that muddy pond. No chance to pass through,
even before getting into the pond I was almost knee deep in mud when
I went to check it out. 

So I went to check out other routes to get there, more mud,
more Sand...

...and sharp, hard rocks as soon as the road was heading up.

You gotta love...


Another spot to camp, off the road hidden in the bushes.

The third day there was no more rain and things started to dry up.

The blue truck though could not deny having had some fun in the dirt.

The dry mud got hard and its surface where uneven to drive on...

...and more rocks...

...through the Parque National Macuira the stones got tire cutting
sharp edged.

While later on along the Venezuelan border rocks and sand dominated
the terrain.

Dry desert lake, impossible to pass after rain.

More hard mud and clay...

...and signs that it has just been days since the last rain...

...along the road in the South of the...

...Peninsula de la Guajira.



Through a part that tends to get flooded really bad the road was 
stabilized with two concret tracks to cruise along on.

The last free camping night I have spent in...

...a forest of cactus...

...before the good gravel road brought me to places where I first saw
other cars again after a couple of days in the wild. And soon I was 
back in Riohacha, where I got a stop at Toyota to pay the toll the 
peninsula has asked of the blue truck. But as a regular blog reader
you know it wasn't all that bad at Toyota in Riohacha.

Check out my German blog for more pictures of the La Guajira-Tour!