I have taken some trips to Colombia so thought I might share these with people. My main motivation here is to show people who might think Colombia is not a good place to visit that you shouldn't believe the hype!
*EDIT* The title of the thread is wrong, I took these trips in 2004, 08 & 09. I get confused sometimes because I travel at the end of one year and start of another!
I have been into Nissan Patrols for a long time. More then 20yrs, ever since I bought my first one as a young lad. In about 2002 I started talking to a guy online who lived in Colombia, I was on a Nissan Patrol forum and asking about parts. The guy who messaged me was telling me there was not only all kinds of parts for the old Patrols in Colombia but tons of trucks too. He and I became pretty good friends online. He invited me down to Colombia in late 2003.
I had never been to Colombia and at the time had not been traveling much outside the USA. I also at this time knew very little about Colombia. Instead of reading up or listening to a bunch of crap on the internet I just decided to go and find out for myself what Colombia was all about. I bought a plane ticket and a plan was in motion. What motivated me to take this trip was Nissan Patrols. My buddy down there is an avid Patrol owner and also a member in the largest 4wd Club in Colombia. So I knew my trip was going to be about trucks! I was a bit unsure what to expect, not only about Colombia but also because I really had not met many people online at this time and than met them in real life. However, I was going!
I am not going to get into exact names of places or details on history or any of this kind of thing. I am going to let the pictures do most of the talking in this trip report and just add some comments here and there. Think of it as being a spoiler for a new movie! If I get into all the details, history of the country or this or that place and add my opinions it will mumbo jumbo this up. I would rather, if this thread inspired you to travel to Colombia that you experience it for yourself, less any opinion, hype or whatever you want to call it. So on with the trip(s)!
My buddy picked me up at the airport in Bogota and thus began a solid long lasting friendship!
I quickly learned Colombia is not what I was expecting. While I didn't buy into the hype before I left I still could not avoid it. Everybody kept saying to me before I left, why do you want to go there!? Cocaine, murder & kidnapping...be careful! I heard a lot of that kind of thing before I left. I thought I was going to see mostly violence and poverty in Colombia. That was not the case at all. Also, I had no idea what to expect from the people of Colombia. I was quickly shown they are some of the nicest, most down to earth people anywhere I have been!
My buddy (Hector) had made arrangements to take me around Bogota a lot and show me everything from rare Patrols to new and used parts. I also went around to dealerships and test drove the Patrol and checked out the TLC's. On my first or second weekend there I got the chance to go out with the 4wd Club, Doble & Bajo, for a day of off-roading. This was an awesome day and I certainly enjoyed myself!
The day was fairly uneventful with no breakages or mishaps. That was until we were coming out of the mountains....
This member of the club ended up rolling his truck as we came out of the mountains. It happened right in front of me! Luckily nobody was seriously hurt but the Hilux was trashed. It was still fairly early in the day and another trail was planned but this ended the trip.