Vadim woke up not felling well, coughing and with a sore throat, but we decided not to change our travel plans and left without hurry around 9 am. A taxi cab took us to the shady parking lot in Getsemani, and then escorted us back to the hotel. We put all the luggage on our bikes and caught another cab to guide us out of the city.
We followed the cab for about 15 minutes and then the driver left us in a gas station on a busy street. Further directions were simple, but the Saturday traffic was terrible. The main street was clogged with trucks, busses, cars, small mopeds and motorcycles swarming all around. It took us two hours to get out of Cartagena!
Luckily, there was no rain till Sincelejo and the police was very polite; they stopped us only once to ask about the price of the bikes. The roads were excellent. We had a nice lunch at Coral restaurant by the road, but as we were about to leave, it started raining. Our goal was to reach Caucasia and we proceeded forward despite bad weather. It rained all afternoon, only the last half-an-hour stretch was dry. We stopped at a nice looking hotel building with a restaurant at the very entrance to the town of Caucasia. A couple of by-passers confirmed that the hotel was good; all other places in the town center had been flooded.
We checked into the largest room on the top floor and left the bikes, tied together with a cable, on the street. One of the hotel staff said he would be watching after them all night long. We decided to take a short walk to a nearby supermarket Exito! before it got dark. The mall was small, but very nice, clean and modern. We bought some water, fruits and chocolates and took it all back to the hotel. The streets were full of motorbikes. It looked like motorbikes were the main mean of transportation here, relatively inexpensive to buy and more fuel efficient than cars (gasoline in Colombia is really expensive at $5 per gallon).
The restaurant in the hotel was pretty good. We sat outside and tried some local food – bandeja paisa – a huge dish with white rice, plantains, avocado, chorizo, pork rinds, ground meat, black pudding and an egg. This was a well deserved dish after a long day of riding.
Routes taken: 90, 25 (Pan-American Highway)
Miles ridden: 232 miles (373 km)