Heading to the border town of Ipiales

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

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Monday, December 3, 2012

Somehow we didn't make it out of the hotel until just after 9am. The weather had been really cold and it had been raining, so we hadn’t been too inclined to rush out of the door.  The town of Pasto had been in a valley, so we had to climb out of it, which took about an hour and a half.  By the time we got to the top, it was cold and misty and we were getting cold quickly.  We wrapped up in our water proof coats and were excited to descend back out of the clouds.  The downhill continued for ages and we found ourselves in a warm valley, with amazing views.  The road was quiet so we were able to whizz down it at a good pace, which felt great after the slow plod up hill. 

As we continued downhill we saw a small roadside restaurant, which seemed to be the perfect place to stop for some lunch.  The restaurant was perched on the side of the hill, overlooking the stunning valley.  As we ate our huge set lunch we wondered if it would be the last one that we would have, as we will be in Ecuador tomorrow and we don't know if they have the same "meal of the day" that they have here.  After our huge set lunch of rice, beans, salad, beef steak, a fried banana and a fresh banana, washed down with a juice and a coffee we set off with full tummies, to complete the downhill.  

Once we arrived at the bottom of the valley the road followed the river for a while and we enjoyed some rolling hills.  We had been staying at 2500m and really noticed the heat in the valley as it was about 1000m lower than where we had been.  We were getting hot and sweaty and had tremendous thirsts, which led to us having to re-fill our water bottles a few times as we made our way through the valley towards Ipiales. 

The sun beat down upon us as we started to climb the hill towards our destination, knowing that we had about 1500m to climb back up to the cooler temperatures again.  We were surrounded by farmed hills again, with tiny sections of steep land covered in rows of crops.  The road was good but every now and again it was closed off for roadworks as they were making improvements.  Sometimes they would allow us to continue onwards even though the rest of the traffic had to wait, which was great because it meant that we had the road to ourselves for the next 15 minutes or so

By the end of the day, we had cycled just over 80km, but as a lot of that was uphill, it had taken us almost 6 hours on the bike.  Therefore we were quite tired as we arrived into Ipiales and consequently checked into the first hotel that we saw.  We hadn't even cycled into town this time, we had just gone for a hotel on the side of the highway.  Thankfully it was a nice hotel though; it was quiet, with a hot shower, a really comfortable bed and cable TV.  It was owned by a Chinese family, who also ran a restaurant downstairs, which is how Kory and I ended up having Chinese takeaway two evenings in a row.  Oh well, the stir-fried vegetable dish was actually quite delicious and I was too tired to scope out eating elsewhere.
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Grandma on

Very interesting, but sounds like alot of cycling for one day. The flowers look so pretty, in the picture you's posted. They look like our tiger lillies here. Today I'm anxious to hear from your mom, she's going for an interview for an Optomertist. She seemed stressed out last nite.I told her just to be her normal self,she's beautiful just the way she is. We'll see what happens!!!

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