Autopista de Fango - Bogota Colombia- an epic adventure in the cloudforest


Expedition Leader
This was planned to be a short trip

We met up at Rafael's house -one of the local Toyo 4x4 mechanics here in Bogota-
meet at 8 was the order, so being English I arrived at 10 to and the rest straggled in over the next hour and a half.

This was planned to be a short trip up in the mountains near Bogota on existing farm tracks.

We arrived at the start of the offroad part at 10.00am Sunday- the exit from the trail was aproximately 7 km.

9 cars in the posse 2 80 series -1 jeep GJ-my little prado- and a selection of FJ 40s and Machos.

We aired down and set off into the cloud forest with steady rain and very muddy tracks.

Planning to meet up with the wifes at the pub at 3.00pm

32 hours later we hit the next road..............

To be continued - as I load up the photo's !

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Expedition Leader
After driving out of Bogota through a barrio where I certainly would not wanted to have broken down we crested the ridge and drove down through a farming area with fields and cows.

We stopped and aired down - sorting out the winch - no winch sequence- later we realised a little mistake in that planning.

we drove up through more farm land on a relatively used trail as we got higher the dark soil loamy soil showed its face

after the convoy started to seperate we took a rest a high point where we waited for others to extricate themselves from the ditchs they spun into by over use of the go peddle and the slippery clay which was beneath the loam.

Then we turned left of the main track onto a narrow trail - which almost imediately decended in 1 meter slippy drops with mud walls and branches scrapping the sides

The trees on either side were too small to winch off of - this was a one way trip.

I felt every scratch as we decended - only bought it two days before :)


Expedition Leader
As we decended we came across a few rocky drops, just stick in 1 low and hope- braking did nothing much - and steering loose too with little grip.
This is not moab I thought as we crawled down

The later people in the convoy facing a more dificult decent

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Expedition Leader
After the rocky descents was an easy section

Then a step drop into a sort of lake-river

First car in was fernando and got stuck he winched out and went to find a place to turn arround to winch the GC out of the first hole

The swb Prado faired no better than anyone else- the only on truck that made it across was an 80 on 35" tires and a rear locker

This 1 mud hole took 7 hours for the 9 vehicles- by this time we missed the pub

Once out of the mudhole we hit the next dilema- how to get past the truck who just winched us out !

He tried a little forced turn arround in the brush and dropped of the hillside,ripping and damaging the side of his car on a rock post that had been covered in bushes.

Whilst winching himself back onto the track, we pruned the tree he was tied too- straight out of the ground

Yep definitly missed the PUB meetup- not that would have let us in



Expedition Leader
Each truck had to be winched across one by one- just love this FJ pic-

It was dusk by the time we moved on a whole 200 meters into the auto pista of fango its self (Motorway of Mud)

This is where we hit another little problem- some pipline heavy equipment had used this section of road- the ruts were built for 40" plus tyre sizes

So we drove in - and ground to a halt - high on the difs

The central area had the odd huge rock too so you could not just winch forward - you had to highlift - then winch over each of them in turn- this went on through till 11pm
when fernando wrapped his winch line arround his front hub.

We called it a day- all retiring cold and wet to our trucks

No drinks - no food - luckily I packed a spare set of clothes so i was a least dry - still had to run the engine and heater some time early in the morning

Up at 5 with the light and sorted the winch cable in short order- this section was 200 meters long- we cleared the first two trucks by 10am and the rest by 2ish

sorting the winch cable at 0530hrs and the sorry line of trucks stuck

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Expedition Leader
Rafael then sat and winched me out onto the firmer track, at the same time the FJ behind me winched forward off of me- ft by ft we advanced to where my bold tires could get some grip and the central flat areas held the weight of the truck.

I span out just after passing Rafa's 80 series and concaved my front bumper, on the dirt walls but managed to straighten myself out and carry on down the mountain.

Myself the yellow FJ and a Nissan patrol set off down the trail together while the rest extricated themselves car by car from the muddy mire that had been home for the night.

The nissan slid back into the ditch just after we passed the 80 series - winching alone could not extricate him...

we had to high lift him up then winch over in a text book manover.

Next up was an off camber corner which to us was non eventfull

Then past a fallen rock where we had to drive up the dirt wall at the side of the track to clear it.

It had blue paint on it from Rafa's night time haul ******** up the hill trip.

Then into muddy whell size slots and a first no brake descent down the hill.

I small area of the track had sunk away, we borowed a pick matlock from a peasent farmer and filled the hole in

Then carried on down to the road in the valley below - we emerged tired - hungry and covered in mud- the locals looking at us as if we were martians.

After a while we became concerned about the others as 2 hrs had passed and no sign of the following trucks.

Finally we managed to get hold of some one near the back of the crew.

Juju with his 20 day old to him 80 series had rolled it onto its roof on the off camber corner. so happy to be out of the mud- took it too fast and panic breaked turning the truck Turtle- 2 hrs were spend righting it back onto its rubber- then towed down the hill by an FJ

No one wanted to hang arround flushing oil out of the bores, they dragged it out and got a wrecker to bring it back to Bogota.

This has to be the hardest offroad trip to date- we had no food- no water- no sleeping bags ........nothing.

The whole group learnt some valuable lessons and as soon as my BBQ arrives we'll be having a photo swap and de-brief at my house !

All the photos and some video footage can be seen here- http://s56.photobucket.com/albums/g165/POshaughnessy/Colombia%20offroad/#!cpZZ1QQtppZZ20
Awesome trip!!! I wish I would have still been in Colombia for it. I did a couple of nice trips with Rafael, but none quite this extreme.

Glad you broken your new truck properly :sombrero: