We set off early from Merida in Venezuela to wind down a great road to the valley floor. Lots of curves and an increasing number of trucks make the riding interesting and then the temperature was back up to 30 degrees as we hit the lower valley. My Gps maps didn´t want to make things easy, and seemed to not be working on this section so I followed Gareth for the mountain pass to get us to near the border.
As we were trying to sort the maze of mountain tracks to the border we were stopped by some young policemen who told us the border was closed….. mud slips. We were tired and the thought of back-tracking 150 km was too much … some of the words we muttered should not be written. We are dejectedly looking at the map while the police tell us to wait and get on the phone to their colleagues at the border. Their sign language indicates that maybe a moto can get through, so give us directions and we head up a deserted track until near the summit where we find 50 trucks and a road block. We drive through, the guard just shrugs with that knowing look – you´ll be back, there’s no way through.
This Venezuela/Colombia border is pretty testy with a total standoff just a couple of months ago as Chavez and the Colombians got agitated with each other.
A few km on we strike slips but the road is still passable. But then the whole road is gone and diggers and dozers are trying to create a new one. We park and watch.. hopeless we think. The dozer driver looks at the bikes and we tell him about the trip. He fires up and makes us wait as he clears a path through the rocks for us, all the workers start to throw the bigger rocks from our path as they continue to fall.
So we were the only vehicles to cross the border today and the Venezuela officials guys just waved us through so no exit stamps. But then no one from the Colombia side even looked at us so again we’re in a country unofficially. The last 20 km of truck traffic in the severely slip damaged roads has left me shaking, too much adrenaline – too many holes and ledges to negaotiate as we weave through all the heavy stuff. Some days you just get really pumped. This was one of them