Almost Missed it

With your choice of camper, it’s not a matter of if it will break, but when.

Before leaving,we were additionally warned against mounting the jerrycan on the rear because bandits will shoot at it to blow up the truck. The travel advice rendered from most Americans more closely resembles guidance for surviving an apocalyptic zombie wasteland.

Even in regard to destinations the prevailing theme is avoidance. We were told that if we managed to survive the Mexican border zone, Nicaragua or Colombia would surely be our ultimate demise. We found ourselves half agreeing with the misguided tips and held our breath as we crossed borders and moved deeper into Central America.

Suddenly we are in Colombia, South America. Complete strangers flash broad smiles at our gringo gear and stop whatever they are doing to engage us in friendly conversation. “NorteAmericanos! Welcome to my country! Welcome to Colombia!” They want to know how many kilometers we have traveled, where we are going next, and what the heck California plates are doing on the South American continent. The travel books will tell you “the friendliest people” live in every town. We have found this overused statement to be one hundred percent true in Colombia.

The warm welcome of the nation’s people is matched only by it’s superb countryside. Lush green valleys dip between massive hillsides and waterfalls cascade toward the PanAmerican at every bend. The fertile land is so rich in color and vibrancy, the greatest danger is keeping our focus on the road.

Colombia, like the rest of the countries we were warned against, has turned out to be a highlight of the trip. The country has a storied past and their worldwide reputation plays a role in the eager to please attitude toward foreigners. If you really want to see Colombia at it’s best, visit now. In 25 years it will be chock full of all-inclusive resorts and gated communities. This stunningly beautiful nation we initially planned to skip is quickly earning a spot on the “must return to” list.