Bogotá to Manizales and back
I did a tour to Manizales passing Ibagué and Armenia, and back to Bogotá driving the Andes mountain pass from Manizales over Cerro Bravo mountain to Mariquita, Honda, Guaduas, Villeta, La Vega and finally Bogotá. It was a motorcycle ride with 750km... and not a very comfortable one.
I took the first picture at a bridge over the Sumapaz river in direction to Giradot at a little village named Boquerón. After I got completely wet, it was close to Melgar, but also I dried within 45 minutes taking the beautiful butterfly pictures and the white birds at that little swampy lake close to Ibagué at Autopista 40 - Variante de Picaleña.
I continued with the awesome Autopista 40, arriving Cajimarca where I had a lunch. This town is very little, but I think I have not seen before that much people on the streets in a town of that little size. People were very friendly there. Then I continued to Armenia. In this mountain pass I got again refueling problems, because I underestimated the total length. But refueling was possible in Cajimarca (the only possibility between Ibagué and Armenia), after I almost emptied the fuel tank.
Until Armenia I had a nice ride, which was like 50% of my tour. After, it got worse. Armenia is a provincial town and I really hated peoples behaviors with foreigners. I wanted to have pictures of these Jeep's they use for transportation of people and things. Its very special, have not seen this in other parts of Cololmbia. But I aborted my photography mission directly and escaped in direction to Manizales. I got wet two times more, and also the street to there is super boring. I decided not to enter the town, and so I took the Andes in direction to Mariquita, completly wet, and I got really critical cold at 3500+ meters close to Cerro Bravo, which is a 4000 meters mountain. The mountain pass is worth a second ride, its also awesome (nature and the view), but its necessary to prepare a little bit for it. Refueling before is a must, warm clothing also - especially if its late evening, or early morning. Also in the raining season theres always fog, I had the pleasure with zero sight at night time. It took me two and a half hours until I arrived in Mariquita.
I continued via Honda, Guaduas, Villeta and La Vega back to Bogotá. This autopista is well known to me, but mountain passes at night time are in general not very much fun. Next time I start earlier and I reduce the length of the tour a bit. I hate rain clothing, so I accepted it to be wet for over 350km in total.