🇨🇴 Overlanding with The Pesky Construction Sites In The Cauca Valley

Diary Entry

From the beautiful valley of Quindío and the idyllic town of Salento we return to the expressway and follow it north towards Medellín. We cross the tropical mountains and follow the Rio Cauca, a flowing river of brown broth with a powerful current.

When we stop for lunch, the hummingbirds are buzzing around us. The young woman who brings us food is so enthusiastic about Leon that she takes us around the restaurant to show the little one the domestic pig.

Hummingbirds and pigs…

The fun of the ride is spoiled by numerous construction sites, for which the road is repeatedly closed to traffic at times. Here we stand for half an hour, there for a whole hour, then again for half an hour.


Since all other roads that would be an alternative are blocked by landslides, we have to go through here like everyone else. And we have to bleed a lot, because every few kilometers a new toll station is waiting for us to take pesos worth two to five euros out of our pockets.

We reach the small town of La Pintada at a bend in the Rio Cauca in the late afternoon and decide to stay there. There is a pool and good food, a little luxury at the end of the day. Some call this luxury campingglamping“.

Our last night in Dusty

We spend our last night in our car. The next day we will reach Medellín and park our car there until it will be picked up by our friend Esteban from Paraguay.

We find an alternative to the tinto, which we got to know as a loveless coffee variant, namely a cafecito.

After all, we can’t look at the bottom of the cup. While we treat ourselves to a cafecito and a hot chocolate for breakfast, two scarlet macaws greet us with a lot of chatter. The colorful birds fly overhead and perch on the branch of a nearby tree, where they plunder the fruit and tease each other.

This night we have a pool instead of dust

The next day we choose a route that goes over the mountains and is not blocked. The road is also not very busy and offers a beautiful view over the Cauca Valley. We cross the river over an old steel bridge, then it goes steadily uphill.

We reach the pass of El Calvario and stop in Fredonia to eat. Then we face the construction sites and heavy traffic again on the way down, which we follow into the city of Medellin.

With Dusty through the Valley of the Rio Cauca

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