Tuesday 31 , December 2019 55 km – Total so far: 418,9 km
Pedaling started at 5:15 in the morning. I knew the road would first go down for 600m and so I expected an easy start. Unfortunately it shouldn’t be like that….After I was sitting for 10min on the bike heavy rains started like yesterday. Oh nooo!! But lucky me also like yesterday I could find a house nearby and I stopped and waited. At least today, after 20 min I already could dare to pedal on.
I went down a valley and crossed a bridge with a magnificant view. Underneath the river was flowing with a powerful stream. It was awesome! I stayed for a while observing the water and enjoying this beautiful spectacle. Many times today mother nature presented to me these special moments when you feel so small in comparison to its strengh and power. I saw a lot of rivers like this one coming down from the mountains, today. Beautiful earth.
I went on and again I had to cycle up the hill. The weather god was not on my side today….. Just after some seconds back in the saddle it started to rain again like hell. I began to curse the weather….At least I was lucky again. There was a house and I found shelter. I stood there for maybe one hour but the rain wouldn’t stop. I had to take a decision because I couldn’t stay here waiting all day.
I put my sandals and my rain jacket on and I started to cycle again. It’s only water I told myself and pedaled in the pouring rain. The temperature at least was ok. About 25°C.
I felt tired the whole day already and so I was climbing up the steep hills very slowly. I was thinking to myself „now it’s really time to stay for one or two days in one place to recover a little bit.“
The climbs stayed steep. I was going maybe at 5km/h. The secret is just keep going and keep the bike straight.
Could be traffic was maybe a little bit less then usually but still there were a lot of trucks and buses on the road. It was ok because on the side there were comfortable shoulders to ride on. Until now I have no reason to complain about colombian drivers.
I finally stopped to have breakfast and I saw a lot of other local cyclists – all with racing bikes. There are so many of them here in Colombia, I never guessed that Colombia was such a bike-crazy nation. Most of the cyclists go for their training from Bogota to Medellin and they all use small backpacks – ultralight.
Before Cocorna I did another stop. I bought some bananas and the owner of the restaurant was nice. He gave me some for free and also offered a drink of sugar cane juice to me. I didn’t want to accept but he insisted so much that I did him the favour to drink it. I knew my stomach wouldn’t t like it very much but I wanted to be nice. I finished the drink and told him bye-bye. The next climb was already waiting for me.
The road went up until it reached the top called „Alto Bonito“ at 2280m. In total numbers I climbed today 1540m and on top of it all it was still raining like hell…..
Meanwhile I was all wet and the temperature at the top was only about 14°C. F…ing cold !!! I quickly took a picture and went on. Suddenly one of the guys with the racing bikes catched up with me from behind. He told me that this really was a very strong hill – hard to cycle. I was happy others were suffering, too. (And they had much lighter and faster bikes than me.)
From here on the road was going all down to the city. I freezed my ass off during the downhill. It was so cold my fingers got numb – no gloves.
I arrived at the town and like always I began to look for a room. On the main square I knew one could always find hotels but the one I checked out only had a room on the third floor – I would have to get up the stairs with the bike and all of my stuff. „No way“ I said.
I stood there at the square thinking of where to turn to find another hotel. A guy approched to me then. He was columbian and also touring the country by bike together with his girlfried. We chatted a little bit and he told me where to find another hotel. Then we planned to have dinner together at night.
So I checked in in the Hotel Terra Monte, close to the main square.
I took a shower and I met with the colombian couple. We walked to the restaurant and on the way we saw another guy with a fully loaded bike. Gabriel from Brasil. For 8 years already on the road with his bike. We invited him to eat with us. Nice evening.
On our way back we had some beers and „agua ardiente“ which is simular to Anis stuff. It’s not my taste. Strong. Like Ouzo.
When I went back to my room at 11pm I put all of my clothes into a bucket. I added hot water and soap and I went to sleep. At least they would have a bearable smell tomorrow. I was extremely tired.–