Water fun and hills

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

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Flag of Colombia  , Antioquia,
Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Today was a fairly remarkable day for us, thankfully in a good way.  We set off at 7.30, and luckily didn't have an altercation with the hotel lady about us staying for so many hours.  We had been on the road for about an hour when I committed a beer-able offense, which we had managed to avoid during our entire 8000km Aus/India/Sri Lanka trip…..i got a puncture!  Somehow I had a thick spike of metal that was about 3cms long in my tyre.  It didn’t slow us down for long, as Kory very quickly repaired it as good as new but we couldn’t quite believe that we had encountered the problem so early into our trip here. 

Once we got back on the road again, we were joined by a young guy, who was training to become a teacher.  He had a fairly fast looking road bike and had hopped on it when he saw us cycle past.  We chatted for about half an hour as we cycled along.  He was patient with my limited Spanish but seemed to enjoy the chat.  We had a varied conversation about bikes, England, the beautiful Colombian ladies and his love of golf…I wasn’t expecting that!

We pulled in for a quick drink stop at around 10.30 but somehow it was about two hours before we started to cycle again.  We had drinks, and decided to heat up our left overs from our meal last night.  The café was pretty basic and the woman didn’t comment on us heating our food over the camp stove just outside.  Whilst having our lunch we noticed that people had their swimming costumes on at the bottom of the parking area.  On closer inspection we saw that they were swimming in the stream, which had a deep pool area below some small waterfalls.  It looked so inviting, as we stood in the blistering heat, so it was an easy decision to make to join them for a bit.  We were soon stripped down to our underwear and enjoying the cold water with the locals for a while.  The Colombians seemed to be a lot more confident in the water, than anyone that we saw swimming in India, and it was great to enjoy the fun with them.

After a while we forced ourselves to get back out and to pedal on further, as we had a further 20km to make it to arrive at some accommodation, which we anticipated would involve some hill climbing.  After a couple of kilometres we crossed the river that we have been following for the past few days, and immediately started an ascent into the hills.  I won’t lie, it didn’t feel good.  We gained about 900-1000meters in elevation, over about 15 kilometres.  It was slow going, as our legs seem to have forgotten what to do and it took us about 3 and a half hours to cycle the 15kms.  As we plodded up we had sweat dripping from every square inch of our bodies and I thought we resembled a sticky, sweaty un-fairytale of "hansel and gretal", but instead of leaving a trail of bread behind us, we left big drips of sweat every couple of seconds.  All in all, we did well and we got there in the end and we know that it should get easier as our calves kick in to gear again. I have however seen women make it look easier and sweat less whilst having a baby, and can't pretend we did it very gracefully!

I was really pleased when we cycled in to town to find numerous hotels and as soon as we checked in to one, the woman brought us both cervezas!  All was well again; I was looking out over an incredible view of lush green vegetation covered hills, it was noticeably cooler and I had a beer in my hand.  The hotel lady was really friendly and cooked us up a feast of two different types of soup, and a plate of beef, rice, a salad and a fried banana, on the side.  We noticed that the girls had caught a scorpion in the kitchen, but we were way too hungry to let it worry us and way too tired to let it keep us awake.
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