The death road to Ecuador and Las Lajas Cathedral

We hit the highway once again from San Agustin. Looking at the map we are so close to Ecuador we could taste it.

There are 2 routes from San Agustin towards the border. One involves a bit of back-tracking north to catch another highway back south again. I hate going backwards. The other route led us straight down to Ecuador but our friends at fromAtoB.org warned us of poor road conditions. Apparently the route between Mocoa and Pasto was very rough, rugged, and dangerous with lots of wash-outs, large trucks, and little clearance between you and a sheer cliff drop-off.

Being the kind of people who usually hear good advice and then completely disregard it, we of course chose to take the hard route.

It started off easy enough from San Agustin. We were on smooth well-maintained highway. After about an hour I started to wonder what the hell AtoB was talking about…

We were in some pretty remote country, apparently popular with Colombian FARC and guerrillas. The military presence was strong along the highway. We passed a few of these bad-ass truck TANKS.

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Desierto Tatacoa, The Tatacoa Desert, Colombia

We popped open our guidebook and searched for “What’s Next” while we drove south from Bogota.

Lauren found a short blurb describing a strange geological area of Colombia. The Desierto Tatacoa (Tatacoa Desert) is described as one of the “most attractive natural settings” in Colombia.

The guidebook described large sand pillars painted with orange and yellow hues, 30 foot deep eroded gullies, and miles upon miles of open land. It also stated that the Tatacoa Desert is one of the best places in the world for star-gazing due to lack of light pollution and close proximity to the equator, making it possible to view both the Northern and Southern hemisphere constellations. Sounds good!

Volcanoes popping up on the horizon

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Bogota Museo del Oro – Gold Museum

I’m shuffling through my pictures here for some of Bogota. Looks like we didn’t actually take much.

Bogota is a huge city, full of history, and culture. It is one of the largest cities in all of South America. Needless to say, driving around in it is a stressful nightmare that does not lend well to snapping photos.

We eventually settled on a hostel somewhere up in the “La Candelaria” historic district for our first night. The next morning I pulled the truck out of the micro-machine garage and caught the tail-light on the garage door. A couple minutes with some ducttape and screws and we were back in business.

Our destination for the day was Bogotas famous “Museo Del Oro” (Museum of Gold) home to largest collection of Pre-Hispanic gold artifacts in the WORLD. I have really been looking forward to this museum since reading about it before we even started our trip.

A boss chief and his bling

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