The temperatures of Colombia [23/50]

Colombia has one of the most diverse climates of any region that I have ever encountered; from tropical beaches, to cool cloud forests, to misty towns in the mountains, to dusty lawless deserts fit only for banditos. Riding a motorcycle over this geography is challenging as it is almost impossible to predict what the temperature will be in the next town. When I was in Santa Marta on the Caribbean coast, I rode a mere twenty kms to a city called Minca and the temperature halved (from 30+ Celsius to about 14 Celsius). Minca is at an elevation of only about 1000 meters but has its own sub-climate of heavy predictable monsoon rainfalls, cold nights, and misty days.


At the next town that I stopped, Tolu, the temperature was unbearably hot at noon and only the mentally challenged (and gringos) could be seen wandering about outdoors at this time of day. In the next town, the vast modern metropolis of Santa Marta, the temperature was a mild and comfortable 25 Celsius with bright sunny days and cool evenings. But in the next town, Soleno in the coffee region up in the mountains, the rains and the mist had returned, and the weather forecast predicted that the likelihood of rain was 100% over the next seven days (it has a monsoonal sub-climate good for growing coffee beans).


I am now in Popayan, not far from the Ecuadorian border, a beautiful colonial town with an impressive and well maintained historical central district. The temperature here is hot with bright sunny days and shorts and tee shirts are a must (yesterday in Solento I was wearing thermals and a puff jacket).

Soleno, coffee plantation

In the next couple of days I will cross into Ecuador to do some trekking near Quito and make my way the next 6000 KMS (on my trusty 125cc motorcycle) through the other diverse climates of South America on the way to Mount Fitz Roy in Patagonia.


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