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Oct 7, 2012:

Bienvenidos a Colombia

Distance to Date: 9974 km, 6184 mi

"Con mucha paciencia, todo es posible." When we were in Punta Arenas in southern Chile, we visited the tourist information office where we encountered a six-foot tall map of Chile. We were about one inch from the very bottom. With so many setbacks in the last ten months, it's hard to believe that we are finally in Colombia, the most northen country that we will visit on the South American continent.

We crossed into Colombia a couple of days ago and have been fighting the up's and down's of the country's mountainous terrain. The people, though, have been fantastic! Nice folks who are curious about our "bicicleta larga" and are always interested in a quick conversation. We look forward to more of Colombia as we close in on the Panama Canal. We have pretty much stopped camping since rooms are so inexpensive down here! $6 to $7 a night? Why camp?

A view of Quito before we left.

You'd think you're somewhere in Europe! But it's Quito.

Afternoons bring in dark clouds and some rain. After a couple of days, we decided to continue northward towards Colombia.

After 220 km, we reach the bridge that separates Ecuador and Colombia.

Colombia! We've heard so many good things about Colombia from other cyclists that we were looking forward to seeing this.

Okay, time to enter and head for Ipiales a couple of kilometers away.

It's 83 km from Ipiales to Pasto. 45 km downhill, but then 25 km uphill gaining some 1500 meters (4950 ft) before descending 13 km down to Pasto. Christi takes a turn walking the bike up to the 3200 meter (10,560 ft) pass.

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