The drive from Santa Elena to Santa Fe de Antioquia is 76 km from which 21 km is just the dropdown to Medellin. The dropdown is 1,100 metres from 2,600 m to 1,500 on a steep swirling road. For whatever reasons the GPS (Garmin loaded with Open Street Maps) decided to take us in a funny way, but as I have ‘avoid traffic’ it might have chosen to avoid some busy roads. That does not mean much as the traffic on this route was quite congested as well. Medellin and area has about 3.5 million people so as any city of this size traffic is never really easy. We drove through some not so well-off hoods, not exactly the modern side of Medellin. Many stores had security grills in front which made them look like they were closed, but they were actually open, serving customers from behind the bars. This is a new feature we observed in Latin America so far and somewhat talks about the security in these hoods I guess. Medellin used to be one of the most dangerous cities in the world in the 80’s-90’s, then improved substantially by the millennium. Since then there has been ups and downs, never really made it to a very safe environment, but fell out from the list of top 50 most dangerous cities with the murder rate of 20/100,000 in 2015. I snapped few photos from the vehicle as we drove through and I hope I will return for some more later. The road leads up from Medellin for a little while, the we went through a toll booth, dropped 14,300 COP then drove through the 4.6 km tunnel. Once on the other side of the tunnel the road continuously drops all the way down to 500 m altitude in Santa Fe the Antioquia. Colombia joins the countries like Guatemala or Costa Rica where whatever the GPS timeframe says when you start driving just double it. On average you should calculate 40-50 km/h.

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