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.

8 thoughts on “Almost Missed it

  1. cant wait to get back to explore this magnificent country and have to agree with you the Colombians we met were all super friendly.
    Safe travels
    janet and tom

    • We just met up with Espen, Malin, George, and Andrea! We all miss having you at the table as we discuss our trials and triumphs on the road.

  2. I would say that Colombia had the most outgoing, friendly, helpful, and interested people along the entire trip south. I love the Colombians – and one day I’ll be back, hopefully soon!!

    • Colombia has certainly been an unexpected highlight, we can’t say enough good things about the country and it’s people. We too will return!

  3. We were planning on avoid Colombia only because of what we heard about bureocracy to get the car in the port. We don’t give a dime for the scarry stories since we live in Rio de Janeiro  :-)   But bureocracy is something that we hate so much we are now thinking to ship the car to Esmeralda or Guayaquil, in Ecuador.

    • We’ve heard even worse stories about shipping to Ecuador! Who knows? Our experience was certainly an extreme as we shipped around the same time as several other overlanders, ours was by far the most expensive and time consuming. Our friends on the other hand breezed through it. Seems like a coin toss.

  4. It’s amazing how wrong perceptions can be. Glad to hear first hand accounts that debunk fearful myth. Before I went to Santiago they warned me of yellow fever and gave me shots… what a joke.  

    • We were warned that malaria would be prevalent throughout Latin America and thus stocked up on meds. So far we haven’t met a single local with concerns about malaria. Go figure.

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