We left the farm early one morning hoping to head west to the Zona Cafetera – coffee highlands – of Colombia. The two-lane roads are littered with road blocks for construction work areas so we have to stop every couple of miles in a 30 mile stretch before reaching Honda and wait our turn. It takes us about 7 hours to cover roughly 110 miles. Slow going, and tiring.
We stop along the way for a chocolate and a pastry and then keep pushing on. We dropped down from Guaduas at the start of our day and then crossed the Rio Magdalena on our way west. This river used to bring large ships up the river from the Caribbean and towns along its edge are named Port something-or-other as a reminder of those days. It reminds me of the Mississippi River back home.
But then I see anteater warning signs on the road, and that reminds me I am not anywhere near home.
We push on across the river valley and up and over the mountains on the next ridge. We see horses and mules carrying gear down from work camps in the mountains and have to stop a few times over this section of mountain roads. We pass small tiendas, and lots more road construction and cross a big bridge south of Manizales on our way through Pereira. I’m tired of the traffic on the highways, and of the construction, but it’s still a beautiful place to be.