This is Colombia

Looking down on Cali, the third largest city. There you'll find malls just as good as any in the US. In fact, their mall was way better than mine. Rockport Shoes, Tommy Hilfiger, Diesel jeans, Burger King....

Looking down on Cali, the third largest city. There you’ll find malls just as good as any in the US. In fact, their mall was way better than mine. Rockport Shoes, Tommy Hilfiger, Diesel jeans, Burger King….

My son Tanner, and friends Bobby Miles, Kevin Koval and I went to Colombia South America for five days of riding the countryside on dirt bikes.

Although many photos are included here, the best stuff I couldn’t take a photo of because we were riding at a good clip as a group and I couldn’t stop unless the guide did. Phone in my pocket. Can’t work it with riding gloves on.

Picture this-
Riding a ridge line. Rainforest. Twisty windy dirt road. 8000 feet elevation. Look down thousands of feet to the left. Same to the right. Coffee plants on steep slopes. Banana trees mixed in. Middle of nowhere it seems. Lush. Views. Tropical. Twisty road. Up. Up. Up. Switchbacks.

Our excellent guide Mike, who is from Denmark. Fled high taxes and socialism there. Came to Colombia,, met a girl, got married, two daughters, started his tour company. He's great!

Our excellent guide Mike, who is from Denmark. Fled high taxes and socialism there. Came to Colombia,, met a girl, got married, two daughters, started his tour company. He’s great!

All of a sudden there’s a house. Usually brightly painted. Poor family. Farmers. The kids are waving. They always have a dog. At least one. We’re the most excitement they’ve had all day – just us riding by. I always wave. They smile. Give thumbs up.

Ride more. Twists. Some dust. Some mud. Just beautiful. Up. Up.

All of a sudden there’s two cows in the road. They step to the side to let us by.

A little waterfall from the left, water crosses road, falls down to the right hundreds of feet, out of sight.

Ferns – one leaf the size of a sheet of plywood.

Another house. And while its makeshift on a poor family budget, there’s flowers all around it, in planters and pots and on bushes nearby. The house is perched on a cliff and has a view worth ten million bucks in California. They are poor and seem happy.


With the military at a checkpoint. They are friendly. Actually have a sense of comfort. Had American gear.

With the military at a checkpoint. They are friendly. Actually have a sense of comfort. Had American gear.

They have a little motorcycle for family transportation down this switchback dirt road, maybe an hour to the nearest town. They bring what they’ve grown.

A Willyz jeep from 1950 carries produce and as many people that can fit.

Cows eat the grass on the high steep slopes and over the years have terraced it with their hooves.

Riding. Switchbacks. Up. Down. Around. Up. All of a sudden four guys in camo fatigues and rifles are in the road. It’s the military on patrol for the rebels. We wave. They are friendly. There’s no war here. They patrol the entire country. Making sure. They actually give a sense of safety.

Coal mine. Seven guys down 300 feet. Three at the top operating a winch powered by a motorcycle engine pulling up a blue plastic garbage can. The woman is sorting bigger chunks from a pile. Tough way to make a living!  Competing with big mechanized industry elsewhere...

Coal mine. Seven guys down 300 feet. Three at the top operating a winch powered by a motorcycle engine pulling up a blue plastic garbage can. The woman is sorting bigger chunks from a pile. Tough way to make a living! Competing with big mechanized industry elsewhere…

A huge truck loaded with bananas winds slowly through the mountain.

Beautiful. Warm. Always warm.

No heating or air conditioning needed in poor homes or nice hotels in town.

Riding. A little shrine with Mary and Jesus up in the jungle.

A river to cross. Sometimes we use the bridge. Sometimes the bridge looks sketchy so we ride through the shallow water.

The climate is perfect to grow things. We see all kinds of fruits and vegetables. In the valley there are fields and they can use tractors. But in these mountains, the slopes are very steep, perhaps 45 degrees and even more. Here, it’s all done by hand.

This guy was sitting on a corner in a small town calling out his offer every 90 seconds. "Horseback rides."

This guy was sitting on a corner in a small town calling out his offer every 90 seconds. “Horseback rides.”

We see Sugarcane, coffee, bananas, tomatoes, pineapples, passion fruit, avocados, citrus, and more.

The dirt road finally goes down, and after a long while turns into a paved road. Still twisty following the terrain. Then homes. Then more. Then a town.

In the middle there’s a square. A large Catholic Church. Tiny Shops. Bakeries. Family businesses. Children. The Elderly. People live in small homes with many family members, so during the day they are all outside. Socializing. Hanging out. Waiting for customers. It’s safe. Teen boys have Mohawks and teen girls dress as stylish as any American teen girl, maybe more so. Motorcycles, scooters, motor scooters with trailers, horse and buggy, comfortable friendly police presence, some new vehicles, some decades old vehicles.

The people seem happy. In fact, Colombians were voted the happiest people of any country. I believe it.

This is Colombia.

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One video. This is awesome! Riding the ridge line!