Overland from Colombia to Venezuela

Overland from Colombia to Venezuela
Overland from Colombia to Venezuela

We ignored all warnings and decided to cross the border between Colombia and Venezuela overland.

We had been staying for a few days in the lovely little village Mompos in Colombia. To get out of this city we had to take a “jeep”. We thought that sounded reasonable enough…until we realised that we were 18 people plus heavy luggage travelling with one car. The result: The car broke into two…several time. As you can see on the picture in which we are, again, stranded in the middle of nowhere.

We finally reached Buracamanga after 9 instead of 6 hours and obviously lost our onwards bus. Lucky we got the next overnight bus to Cucuta in Venezuela and it all went smooth from there…except Thomas being covered in dust from top to toe…having been a gentleman and sat in the back of the car the whole way 馃檪

Momp贸s, Colombia

Momp贸s was founded by the Spanish in 1537 on the banks of the Rio Magdalena, and quickly became an important port through which goods passed from Cartagena to the interior of the Colombian colony. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Momp贸s is a charming town and well worth a visit despite the hassle getting there & away.

Mompos, Colombia

When the Spanish diverted their trade route to the other branch of the Rio Magdalena at the end of the 19th century, Momp贸s declined in importance and what you find today is a town where time seems to have stood still.

Momp贸s lies 230km southeast of Cartagena, and the journey there involved a series of boats, buses & taxis taking most of the day.

Famous for its locally made rocking chairs (in evidence all around town from about 5 pm when the locals emerge to sit out on their porches), Momp贸s has developed its own unique form of architecture.

The town has a beautifully laid-back riverside atmosphere (as the Lonely Planet describes it: "It may feel more like Mississippi"聺), making Momp贸s one of those places ideal for ambling around not doing very much at all. Which is how I spent my time.

Getting away from Momp贸s was troublesome to say the least. I ended up in the back of a pick-up sucking in dust for 4 hours, on unsealed roads. It broke down twice, and one night bus and 36 hours later, I arrived in Merida, Venezuela.

Links

More photos of Momp脧艗s, Colombia

A little message from the Brazilian Amazonas

Ooooops! We’ve been pretty slow at updating Earthoria recently, and it’s about time we updated you on our whereabouts. Since the last post from Nicaragua (below), we have hot-footed it through Panama to Columbia, through Venezuela and into Managua, Brazil from where I’m writing this. During our travels we’ve recorded a backlog of audio and video that we’ll be putting together on a week long trip up the Amazon towards Iquitos, Peru, beginning tomorrow.

In the mean time, here’s a photo from the Venezuelan Andes to keep you going:

Skull, Venezuelan Andes

Quito, Ecuador

Quito was a remarkable city. The second highest capital city in South America, after La Paz in Bolivia, it quite literally takes your breath away. I discovered this the hard way, leaning against a wall and seeing stars whilst running around town for an hour trying to find us a guest house before dark!

Plaza de San Francisco, Quito, Ecuador

At an altitude of 2,850 metres, the climate is relatively comfortable, with warm days and cool/cold nights.

The main attraction of Quito, providing it with its status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site is the ‘Old City’. The heart of the old Spanish colonial centre is Plaza de la Independencia from here it is easy to wander through the many cobblestone streets and explore the rest of the old city on foot. The photo pictured above shows Plaza de San Francisco, and the famous church and monastery of the patron saint of Quito – San Francisco – constructed by the Spanish in 1553.

The new city, especially La Mariscal district on the other hand is not quite so pleasant, with frequent reports of pickpockets and robberies at night. I stayed there for a week whilst doing some work, and generally made sure I was back in the hostel before dark.

There are a few day trips you can make from Quito, including visiting Mitad Del Mundo – the Equator line, a couple of hours on a bus from the city centre.

Links

Photos of Quito
Warning – bagslash robberies on buses leaving Quito