I am in Bogota.

I thought that the really bad weather was behind me, but it has caught up. Since the last km in Venezuela and my entry in Colombia the road is just a succession of road subsidence, landslides and flooding. I had similar roads in Costa Rica, but the difference with those, is that here I drive through a mountainous region. My altimeter climbs above 3400 meters, my thermometer drops below 7° C. The slopes are very steep, and all that rain from the last days destabilized the whole region. Fallen rock are al over the roads, on several occasions I saw them rolling down. This is quite a uncomfortable situation, I do not want to get smashed by falling rock and end as a giant pizza on a Colombian road. The first 100 km from the border to Cucuta to Pamplona are totally closed for a few hours a day in order to let the cleaning teams do their Sisyphus works. After that I had to stop at least some 10 times at other work sites, waiting 10-20 minutes to let the bulldozers clean the roads. Every time there are long queues of patiently waiting cars and trucks. With my bike I can easily pass them and wait in front of the queue till the road reopens. But there was one huge subsidence, leaving only a narrow part of asphalt in place. Only pedestrians and bikes were able to pass, no way that a car or even a truck would pass here before long. So, the people unload the trucks, carry everything on the other side, load it on another truck and continue their journey.

As expected, we both suffered a lot, my bike and I. Today my bike is in Bogota’s BMW garage to get a really urgent service. Since two days I have no more rear brake, not quite reassuring while driving on mountainous terrain under bad conditions. Edgar, the guy from the garage who takes care of us, does everything possible to help, and I decide to give my bike a total lifting. Besides new brakes, it gets new tires (my 4th set already!) new cranks and a new chain. The previous one lasted only 12000km, but despite my daily care, it did not survive all the rain, mud and sand from the last weeks. I also bought myself a new helmet, the Bluetooth system from the previous one never recovered from its involuntary bath on the border crossing from French Guiana.

Meantime I drove for a bit more than 30.000 km, roughly 2/3 of my total road. I am on the road since nearly 4 month now, and I think that, without exaggeration, I drove about 3 month in the rain! Here, in Colombia, for instance it rains since 2 weeks, while it should be the dry season now. On the long run this gets annoying, believe me. My gear does not dry anymore, every morning I put on wet clothes and boots. My laptop as well is not too happy with all that humidity, and goes on strike regularly. Since a week a have some 8-12 hours driving shifts and I am really tired; I have flu and my leg is still a bit swollen from my fall in Guyana. Besides that everything is fine, people are nice, life is beautiful and I am sure that one day I will see a star called sun again.