Cycling back to the coast for a day off

Trip Start Oct 16, 2012
Trip End Apr 20, 2013

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Flag of Colombia  , Sucre Department,
Monday, October 29, 2012

Although we were both exhausted neither of us slept very well; my mind was racing with conjugating verbs in Spanish and with random dreams about the threat of Colombian rebels and Kory had a bad stomach. We managed to have the bikes back down the two storeys and re-loaded up by 7.15am though.  The roads to get out of the town were a bit muddy because of the huge storm the previous night.  We cycled for an hour along a really quiet, paved road, before stopping for some water.  As we sat there for a few minutes a guy walked past carrying a machete that was about a metre long.  It still freaks me out that you see people carrying huge knives and rifles all of the time.  For example, the guys who pump your fuel at the petrol station each have a huge rifle slung over their shoulders.  Kory doesn't seem fazed by this at all and reminds me that we saw this all the time in Asia.  He is right and we did see huge knives a lot of the time, and the guy who walked past was clearly a farm worker.  However, coming from the UK, where even a lot of our police don’t carry guns, I find the petrol attendants having them a bit over the top!

As we continued the sun began to beat down stronger and we found a couple of places to stop for some drinks.  At one of the stops, two young teenage boys ran out to tell us to come to their shop, rather than the one next door.  It was good for me to practice my really bad Spanish on them and I managed to tell them that I wanted a cold, juice drink and to ask them if they had anything like that.  Once we managed to get hold of them someone else came over to ask us about where we were cycling to and from for the day and I managed to get that across.  We still have a LONG way to go but it feels good to be able to put a small amount of conversation together, we will just have to keep plodding at it, in the same way that we tackle each kilometre of the road.

As we continued on for the afternoon the rains came down on us a couple of times, but nothing more than showers, which actually felt quite refreshing in the heat.  We had a few kilometres of sandy, small gravel type road, which due to the rain had turned into slush, but on the whole it was another day of good, quiet, flat roads.  Regardless of this Kory found it tough going because his belly didn’t feel good and my legs were beginning to ache, so we were happy that at just over 100km we were arriving in to Tolu. 

Tolu is a small fishing town on the Caribbean coast (North Colombia).  It isn’t much of a foreigner tourist destination as most people head to Cartagena or the islands, but it is really popular with Colombians to come for their holidays.  It was really quiet with one square near the sea front, with one supermarket, a couple of banks and a church.  They are just putting in a boardwalk along the seafront but most of the "beach" area is sea defensive and not actually sand.  We knew of a hostel that we wanted to stay in, but couldn’t find it and the directions that people were giving us were sending us around in circles.  I’m sure it was just my accent trying to pronounce the hostel name but it was still infuriating, as we were cycling around with sore legs after a long day.  Eventually Kory took over the communications and thankfully his Canadian accent worked a treat and we had directions to get us here within minutes.  I’m going to have to force him to do the talking more often! 
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