The destruction of Mocoa and the death road (Columbia)

So how was death road of Columbia “El trampolin de la muerte”?

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I will get back to it later, because we had to stay overnight in Mocoa, which is the last town before taking the death road across the mountains to Laguna de la Cocha. On the way to Mocoa my motorcycle past the first 10,000 miles still driving without any problems. Normally motorcycles, trucks, busses and cars have a load limit, but we don’t think that is applied here in Columbia (right picture).

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When we came to Mocoa, we were not the only motorcycles in town

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In Mocoa the temperature reaches about 30 Celsius during the day, and it cools of a little during the evening to about 18-20 Celsius (Average temperature for August is 24 Celsius). So Esben treated himself with a COLD and SMALL Coca Cola without sugar (they are hard to find in Columbia).

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Together with the Coca Cola we find weaver eggs on a stick – and everybody knows that everything taste better on a stick!

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So why call this post “the destruction of Mocoa”? Because we didn’t have to walk far, before we could see the devastations after a big rainfall that coursed the rivers to overflow their banks. In both pictures you can see that the river have taken parts of the houses. Please notice the big boulders that have been carried down river in the right pictures.

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Several bridges have been torn away by the huge amounts of water, the ones that were left was in bad shape

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We asked a local they said that on the pre-dawn hours of 1 April 2017 Mocoa had been hit by one month of rain in less than 24 hours. According to residents, the rain became particularly intense between 11:00 p.m. and 1 a.m. local time. A total of 130 mm (5.1 in) of rain fell during the event, largely within a few hours. This caused the Mocoa, Sangoyaco, and Mulato rivers to overflow and send mudflows towards residences and infrastructure in the city of Mocoa by 3:00 a.m. More than 320 people had lost their lives, and at least 60 of them was children. In the middle of the night the rivers had overflown their banks and taken away families, who were a sleep in their beds. Approximately 45,000 people were directly affected throughout the town (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2017_Mocoa_landslide). Everybody in Mocoa has lost relatives or friends during that night. It is the third-deadliest weather-related disaster in Colombian history In the right picture you seen the leftovers from a truck, that was taken downriver that night.

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Even in our hotel room we could see, that the water had been running through the hotel in a height of 1 meter. So after sitting against the wall while watching a movie the plaster came of the wall on Esben’s shirt wlEmoticon-rollingonthefloorlaughing The destruction of Mocoa and the death road (Columbia)wlEmoticon-rollingonthefloorlaughing The destruction of Mocoa and the death road (Columbia)wlEmoticon-rollingonthefloorlaughing The destruction of Mocoa and the death road (Columbia)

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Its in sharp contrast to how cam and beautiful the river was we passed through Mocoa

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The next morning we headed for the death road in Columbia “El trampolin de la muerte” to reach Laguna de la Cocha later that day. At first it looked like a nice sunny day on a beautiful curved road.

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Check out the GPS!

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As we got higher up in the mountains, the clouds started to form and soon it was raining

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A pickup truck came straight against me, and took up the hole road, so I crashed into the ditch – it didn’t even stop

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Luckily I have Esben, who helped me pick up the motorcycle, and we were back on the road. The road got very slippery due to the rain, and going downhill Esbens motorcycle made a 180 degree turn, and he had to let go of it. Sorry no picture… The death road was really not that bad, the biggest challenge was to get pass the big trucks, since the road is narrow and you don’t want to get to close to the edges. The locals were driving the road in their normal cars without 4-wheel drive or anything.

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In general the road is in a good condition. The gravel is primary hard packed, and only slippery a few places. The more it rains the more slippery it gets, and the water crossings can get nasty (check Youtube). There was a fairly amount of traffic on the road, so if anything happens the help is near. Why up in the mountains is a military check point if you need to walk after help. Be careful and don’t drive to fast, we did the 69,7 km (Read more: http://www.dangerousroads.org/south-america/colombia/3030-trampolin-de-la-muerte-mocoa-san-francisco.html) in 3 hours including breaks. After getting back on the pavement we stopped for lunch in a small town. The son of the owner tried Esben’s helmets and after the lunch Esben gave the son a ride on the motorcycle.

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Back on the motorcycles we could finally see Laguna de la Cocha

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I had to make one more stop on the road to buy corns wlEmoticon-thumbsup The destruction of Mocoa and the death road (Columbia)

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Late in the afternoon we arrived at Jorge’s hostel (found on www.ioverlander.com) at Laguna de la Cocha. Jorge is a friendly guy from Germany, who as been living most of his life in Columbia. The place was beautiful, but when we got there it was closed, because Jorge was leaving for Medellin. BUT… to out luck and Jorge had been unlucky, one of his dogs had bit him in his hand by accident, and the doctor had ordered rest for a couple of days, and Jorge invited us to stay.

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