An Épico Adventure in Colombia
Backcountry Discovery Routes (BDR) was having a fundraiser that included auctions of goods and services. I saw a nine-day tour of Colombia, threw in a low-ball offer, and suddenly, I was headed for Santiago de Cali and Épico Moto Adventures’ Seven Wonders Tour.
The extremely genial host Ricardo Congote greeted me at the airport and put me up for the night at his house, where I met the other men who’d signed up for the ride. Jim and Chad had ridden together before, as had Chad and Matt. Tom was new to the group, like me.
All of us, it seemed, had friends in common. My friend Jonathan, whom I’d met on a tour in Iceland, had ridden with Ricardo. Chad had ridden with my friend Rob, who’d done one tour with Ricardo and was due back for another.
By breakfast the following morning, we were laughing and joking like old pals. By lunchtime, I knew I’d been all wrong about Colombia.
Not Lacking in Variety
Colombia is an old country, colonial and well preserved, with an extremely varied landscape. It’s cut north to south by three spines of the Andes mountains.
At around 3,300 feet, the lowlands where we would ride were warm, humid, and tropical. The mountain passes we would summit were alpine and cool, with the highest peaks at well over 17,000 feet.
And then there was everything in between. The mountain town of Sevilla, like almost all small Colombian towns, comprised of blocks of brightly-colored two-story buildings gathered around a central square, invariably anchored by an imposing church.
Motorcycles & Gear
2021 KTM 890S
Helmet: Bell MX-9 Adventure MIPS
Jacket & Pants: REV’IT! Sand 4 H2O
Boots: REV’IT! Expedition GTX
Gloves: REV’IT! Caliber
Luggage: REV’IT! Barren 18L H2O
As we sat for lunch, we had already ridden through valleys lined with banana fields, hillside groves of the bamboo-like guadua, terraces decked with coffee plantations, and mountain villages surrounded by pine trees.