IKamper blog: Episode 10: Colombia tour
After 5 days crossing the ocean, our sailboat pulled into Cartagena, Colombia… we made it to South America! Colombia was especially exciting for us, because it is known for two things we love: coffee and salsa dancing. We planned our route, looking forward to touring Cartagena, Medellin, and Cali. Not only were these cities electric, vibrant, and full of energy, but the locals were extra friendly and welcoming. Colombia exceeded our urban expectations, but what we did not expect was it’s breathtaking landscape.
Our fearless ‘VUELTA1’ arrived safely across the ocean in the shipping container, and after another long week of paperwork signing and red tape, we were finally back in our captain chairs. Anxious to hike and camp again, we headed north toward Santa Maria and into the famous Tayrona National Park. We spent a full day’s hike trekking through such vast, unique landscape evolving from sunny golden beach, to the green foothills of the Sierra Nevada, to thick jungle, to the ocean with natural bays tucked behind towering boulders. Once we got as deep into the park as we could, we climbed a hill just to take it all in. The beauty and diversity felt like we had arrived to another planet. We finished the day deploying our iKamper by the nearby beach for a breezy night to cool down.
After a couple days of exploring, we continued south through the country toward Salento, the coffee region. We took a tour of the coffee plantation, learning about the interesting history of Colombian coffee, and completing the tour by sampling a delicious cup. Just outside of Salento, in the valley of the Sierras, we drove even deeper into the country and found ourselves in the mystical valley, Valle Cocora. The hillsides were full of sky-scraper wax palm trees and endless green rolling hills. We found a great campsite and met up with a french couple that we met in Medellin, and parked our rigs parallel with a wide view of the green valley.
We took advantage of the big green space to spread out, unloading everything from our cars, giving it a good clean and allowing the hot sun to dry it out. We try to keep the Skycamp as clean as possible, but on those rainy nights, we have been guilty to some cookies up to the tent for a late night snack. We removed the mat from inside the Skycamp, wiped the mat clean, cleaned out the tent really well, and maybe used the mat as an exercise mat as well. We talked with other overlanders who were starting to deal with mold growing on the inside of their tents, especially after being in a sealed container shipped over the ocean. We did a full check and even after nearly 5 months of being on the road, living out of our Skycamp, we couldn’t find even a trace of mold. We did, however, find those cookie crumbs.