There are tons of police checks in Columbia, which we don’t mind as they make us feel safer. Actually, travelling along the Panamerica is perfectly fine, but there are still certain areas of the country tourists are told to avoid.
In other countries we had found that saying “Hello” in English and looking dumb nearly always got us waved through police checks without having to stop. Most police spoke very little English and when they did stop us to see our documents, they couldn’t make head or tail of our Canadian car insurance/registration, so it was a hassle for them. In Columbia, looking dumb wouldn’t work at all. The police want to chat to you, and they always start by shaking our hands. We then always introduce ourselves right away and say we’re from Canada. They then tell us their name and want to know where we’re going and what countries we’ve seen on the trip. Sometimes they ask for our documents, but they are always very friendly, so it’s a pretty fun experience, and I get to practice my Spanish!
It’s not unusual to see people hop on the back of a truck to catch a ride. This guy is obviously well practiced, and he looks very relaxed hanging on even though there are the occasional pot hole and speedbump along the way.
When he’s ready to get off, he turns around and moves to the corner of the truck.
Horse carrying milk churns. Avocados are for sale in front.
The back of the buses are really cramped as Ken, and I’m sure this man, can testify.