As we get ready to head back to Panama we are reflecting on one of our best trips ever. Peru was constantly amazing and we have had a couple of very pleasant weeks in Colombia (apart from the dentist....). We spent last week in the coffee country which was very pretty but without the grandure of Peru. Contrary to all the guides, we thought Salento was a scruffy, overcrowded dump and we got out of there to a delightful Oasis in the valley as quickly as we could.
However, the nearby town of Filandia was delightful and probably the nicest community we came across in Colombia. Hopefully they avoid the path Salento has taken.
We rented a car for this trip which proved to be quite an adventure. The main roads between towns are mainly paved but once you are off them roads vary from dreadful to completely impassable. Google maps was largely useless at distinguishing between them so we spent a lot of yesterday trying to get to a fairly large town with two access roads showing on the map that simply faded out into tracks. In the end we had to book into somewhere else because we simply could not get there.
Otherwise driving was pretty exciting. Hours and hours of tight mountain roads going in and out of the clouds
with masses of large trucks and frustrated drivers overtaking on completely blind bends. Yesterday we saw two overturned trucks, one right in front of us, and we were surprised that they were the only accidents we saw. Every journey took twice as long as the usually accurate Google predicted. We will be quite pleased to return the car later today.
Anyway, that wraps up the S. America trip. The main album is here
and an extended wildlife album is here
. I will start a new album for the Pacific crossing.
We are a little anxious about getting back to Leela. It will be hot and wet in Panama and we are really hoping we don't have a mold problem. We are also a bit intimidated by the still remarkably long to-do list. It will all come together.....