The Andes Mountains are spectacular. Higher than much of the Rockies and deeper valleys. But they are so much greener; green top to bottom with a wide variety of plants and trees.
Bus rides are beautiful but scary. The bus drivers are very aggressive, passing where mere mortals wouldn’t even think about passing. No passing signs and double yellow stripes are apparently not something that they pay attention to.
So far the roads that we have been on have been fairly good. Our friends the Thompsons took one trip from Jardin to Riosucio (Dirty River and apparently the town is as exciting as it sounds; they only stayed a couple of hours even though they had paid for one night in a “hotel”). Riosucio is 50 KM away (about 31 miles) and the trip is 3 hours long. They had quite the adventure because part way through the trip they came on an area that had had a landslide. It was being cleared but they had to get off the bus, take their luggage across the landslide and board a different bus to go the rest of the way!
I know this sounds really scary but we have to trust that we will be safe in our travels. There isn’t an alternative unless we just left the area and even then, how would we get out of the area? There are few airports around here.
And speaking of bus rides, when we bought our tickets from Jardin to Riosucio (we got a bus to Manizales from there) and I asked if the road was open, the clerk said, “Maybe it is open, maybe it is closed. Maybe it will be a bus, maybe it will be a Chiva.” A Chiva is basically a flat bed truck that has had (usually) wooden bench seats (luckily ours were padded since we took the chiva the entire way) and a tarp or roof added to the seating area. It was better than I expected since it has to go so slow on the pot holed road at an average of about 10 mph.
So just keep us in your prayers as we travel from place to place.