A rare window of opportunity opened up recently. The Colombian government and FARC rebels agreed to a cease fire and peace talks in Havana. This meant no kidnappings and no killings. But last week, peace talks went sideways when troops killed dozens of rebels.
Before the recent setback, I considered finishing my Pan-American bus trek in November. I'm thinking out loud here and this would be the schedule:
Cruz del Sur has buses that depart Lima, Peru, for Colombia on Mondays and Wednesdays at 5:00 p.m. The trip to Cali, Colombia, takes 2-1/2 days (<$200). In looking up videos of the journey on YouTube, I found these two videos. The first video purports to show how safe Cruz del Sur buses are with traction/stability control. But note the ringer bus is never on wet tarmac. Still, I'd be shitting bricks if I had to drive these double deckers, in the wet or in the dry.
Here is a cool video about the bus company's maintenance program.
So, I leave Lima on Wednesday, November 18. I ride through Ecuador and arrive in Cali on Saturday afternoon, the 21st. I then immediately take another bus to Medellin (9 hours, $20). I spend the night in Medellin and on Sunday the 22nd, I take my final bus to Turbo (8 hours, $24).
Turbo is the northern terminus of the South American portion of the Pan-American. Once I reach Turbo and walk to the end of the road, I will have completed traveling the entire Pan-American Highway by bus. This is a journey that I started in 2007.
To celebrate, I'll trace my route back to Medellin and take a Pablo Escobar tour.
And to top off the completion of the mega-journey, I go to Bogota on Wednesday, November 25, to see Pearl Jam in concert.