Back on the road

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

Loading Map
Map your own trip!
Map Options
Show trip route
Hide lines

Flag of Colombia  , Valle del Cauca,
Friday, November 23, 2012

As we got up, I was relieved to see that my rash had not reappeared, so we could head off on our bikes, at last. I felt ready to get on to the road again and excited to see what southern Colombia had to offer us.  We started to pack up the tent and get ready to leave, but by the time I had finished breakfast my rash was starting to take hold again.  I wonder if it is the pollen or something that is near our tent, as it has only developed since we began camping.  Thankfully, after taking some anti-histamine, the rash improved and the itching reduced.  Therefore we continued our preparations for getting on the road and Kory did some maintenance on the bikes before we set off. 

As we set off a few of the backpackers were there and called out pep talk style slogans; including "if you finish second, you finish last; you have to beat him Gemma."  Which I thought clearly showed that they have never cycle toured because firstly, it isn't a race, if it was it would be the slowest race ever.  Secondly, we cycle together as a team and I wouldn’t be able to do it without Kory, not only does he maintain by bike for me, but he also helps to get me through the tough times and encourages me to get up the hardest hills.  I’m sure he would say the same for me, and that is what cycle touring is about; enjoying the highs and the lows, the ups and the downs together.  For the record, I arrived into town first today though, so I won!

We cycled up the hill to Armenia, which took about an hour, but it felt great to get back on the bike and to get the legs moving again.  I enjoyed by time in Salento but was really pleased to be on the move again.  Once we got through Armenia, we saw a sign that our destination for the day was only another 10km away and sure enough we were there by midday.  We stopped for lunch and considered what to do next.  We weren’t sure about hotel options further along the road but there was a sign for a town in 45km and we could see that the hills were far away, so the going should be good, with either rolling hills or flat roads.  We decided to push on to make it to the next town and hope that we weren’t making a bad decision. 

On the whole the day was spent going slightly downhill; each small rolling hill was slightly more down than up, and it meant that we were going fast.  We covered 85km and were in the town of La Piala by 2.30pm.  The roads had been quiet and we had enjoyed taking in the lowland scenery, with cows on either side of the road and warmth in the air.  La Paila hadn’t featured on our map or on google maps but it was a fairly sizeable, friendly town.  There appeared to be a children’s festival going on, with kids singing and dancing, and we also noticed lots of Christmas decorations and Christmas trees.

We checked into a hotel, which was simple but also the cheapest room that we have had so far; 13,000COP ($7, 5 GBR), and had a siesta.  In the evening, we walked around the main square, which had men playing cards and children playing under the Christmas lights.  We had arepa with chicken, avocado, tomato and herbs (very similar to a toasted sandwich that you would have at home, but we corn flour dough rather than bread) for 3,500 ($2).  Regardless of my continuing rash, I feel a great contentment about being back exploring the real Colombia again and am excited about what the road ahead brings.
Slideshow Report as Spam
  • Your comment has been posted. Click here or reload this page to see it below.

  • Please enter a comment.
  • Please provide your name.
  • Please avoid using symbols in your name.
  • This name is a bit long. Please shorten it, or avoid special characters.
  • Please enter your email address to receive notification
  • Please enter a valid email address


Grandma on

How's the rash today???Do hope it clears up soon!!Sounds like beautiful country, that you's are cycling through.

Use this image in your site

Copy and paste this html: