In total I spent 1 month in Colombia. If you ask me, this is not nearly enough time to explore this awesome country. I could have been here 2 more months easily. Colombia has a special vibe, I can’t put my finger on it yet. I’m not sure if it’s the roads; smooth pavement, crappy pavement, super twisty pavement, dirt roads built out of clay, tight donkey roads or all of the above. Or the fact that in most small towns it feels like you step back in time 40 years and a lack of tourists gives you a raw experience. For the motorcyclist that wants some action, this country has it. The people are unbelievably happy and more than willing to help out if need be. Smiles are everywhere. Accommodation is affordable for hotels and hostels. I can’t say anything bad about this country, maybe that’s why I wanted to stay longer 😉
I ended up staying in Colombia’s coffee region in Filandia for a week at Finca Steelhorse Filandia Hostel. Yvette and her partner Paul purchased an ex horse farm under a year ago and are turning it into an Overland retreat and they are doing one fine job. Unfortunately I did not get to meet Paul as he was in the UK, but Yvette knows what she is doing and knows how to cook and host, more importantly she knows how to cook one hell of a chicken dinner 😉 If you are passing through Colombia, it is an absolute no brainer to stay at Steelhorse Filandia, it was a highlight of mine for Colombia.
Since I was in Filandia for a week, it gave me a chance to do some maintenance to Donkey. A local named Andres Felipe reached out to me via Instagram asking if I needed anything while I was there and I was going to need tires soon, so he ended up sourcing out a new set of Motoz Tractionator GPS tires for me and setup a shop to do the install in Pereira. If you ask me, that was way too easy. Thanks Andres ! If you are passing through Colombia, look up @a2ruedas on instagram, he’s got a Tiger 800 and he is a rad dude.
I went on a full day Coffee Farm tour in Salento and learned from beginning to end how coffee is farmed, picked, graded, dried, roasted and drank. We all have a very personal attachment to coffee in one way or another and for me this connected way to many dots in my head. I won’t drink coffee the same anymore. I could write a full book on the process of coffee and I’m sure there are hundreds out there so you get pics to see instead 😉
I met Steve Perez in Cartagena and we ended up meeting up in Filandia to ride south for the next while. He’s from from Santa Cruz, California and is riding his trusty KLR650 to Argentina.