La Dorada – Doradal : Almost flat road today

Green landscape

Sunday 29, December 2019 75 km – Total so far: 298,4 km

At 5 o’clock my alarm rang. I finished packing and started to pedal at about 6 in the morning.

I figured out yesterday evening that I needed to return to the main highway going to Medellin.

The traffic was a little bit less then yesterday but still enough. The highway consisted of two lanes going boths directions.The first 30km where flat and always straight – nothing special.

I listened to some music which I preferred to the sound of the truck engines.

On the side of the road there was a guy with his motorbike giving me hints to stop and waving to me. So I stopped to see what was the matter.

Well, he needed some tools. His radiator cap didn’t close the way it should. I gave him my bicycle tools and he was able to repair it. In  the end he asked me how much he would owe to me now. I felt embarrased and shook my head in disbelief. “Of course nothing” I told him but I really had to tell him many times before he accepted that I didn’t want anything. Nice people.

I rode on and the highway turned into a normal road – but the traffic was the same….

On top just 2km before town it started to rain. Flashlights in the sky but I was enjoying it. To me it was like a refreshing shower.

I arrived all wet and the small town was full with tourists from Colombia. They all come here because theres a big park which is built on the ex-farm Hacienda Napoles of Pablo Escobar. He used to have a lot of exotic animals that he brought from Africa. Now it’s like a public safari park with different swimming pools and all kinds of entertainment. I don’t wanna go there.

I started to look for accomodation.

The prices of the hotels were expensive and overpriced. In the end I paid 30$ for a small room with a fan. It was hot and inside the room it felt like a sauna. Thanks god I was tired enough to take a nap. Then I did some work on the blog.

After that I took another shower with cold water – there was no hot -and went to eat. The food was ok but nothing special. On my way back I tried to get me some stuff to take with me tomorrow and I found a supermarket. It was very big but the shelves were more or less empty…..

I was back to my room and when I opened the door the temperature had climbed up to almost 31°C…..I took the third shower and I went to sleep.

I know the mountains are starting again tomorrow…..

Ready to go
Ready to go
Crossing the bridge again
Crossing the bridge again
Sunrise
Sunrise
Always straight
Always straight
Still straight
Still straight
Helping the motorbike
Helping the motorbike
He was so happy ...
He was so happy …
Just two lines road
Just two lines road
Having a break
Having a break
Nice road
Nice road
Crossing the Magddalena river
Crossing the Magddalena river
Magdalena river
Magdalena river
Arriving at Doradal
Arriving at Doradal
My guesthouse reception ,no foreigners allow
My guesthouse reception ,no foreigners allowed
My dinner, chicken breast
My dinner, chicken breast
Temperature in my room ,it is like sauna
Temperature in my room ,it is like sauna

Villeta – La Dorada : Climbs, heat and humidity

View of the river

Saturday 28, December 2019 110,4 km – Total so far: 223,4 km

I had set up my alarm at 5:30am but I already was awake at 5 o’clock. I closed my panniers and was ready to leave at 6 o’clock. 

When I wanted to get out everybody was still sleeping and the gate of the hotel was locked with a chain. Hmm. What to do? I looked around and I found a second one that I could open. Lucky me.

I started pedaling and like Fernando said the road started to climb immediately. There was a lot of traffic and some time it seemed to be the rush hour. It was not very nice to cycle although the landscape was really very epic and beautiful with the mountains hiding in the clouds.

The road climbed for about 20km. I was happy to finally start with the downhill but it was a little bit spoiled due to still heavy traffic and the vehicles moved only very, very slow. Trucks, buses, cars, motorbikes – everything. I always could find my way to move between them and was passing almost all of them…. Still I needed to be careful because the road only had 2 lanes. I was fast and after another 17km I was already in Guaduas.

I was happy then because Fernando had told me that from here it would be just flat roads,  no more hills. My dear friend Fernando, that’s not what it was, unfotunately!! Could be the columbian flatness of course, for columbian cyclists like you my friend !?! What I found was that the road kept going steadily up and down in small hills. Exhausting but at least the landscape was amazing. Awesome.

Kind of a problem turned out to be that after Guaduas there were no more shops or gas stations where you could provide yourself with water or food. Nothing.

Like always due to the weight I didn’t carry too much water with me. 20km before my destination “La Dorada” I was more than lucky to find a restaurant where I could get something to drink because I already started to feel shitty.

So I did a break, drank cold coke and  bought some sugar cane – Panela. The guy there told me this is the best thing ever for cyclists and  from this all the colombian cyclists gain their energy. Well I’ve got nothing against it, I guess. 

The thing seemed to work…. I was speeding up towards my destination. Cycling was easy, I listened to some music and I was very motivated again.

After 8 hours riding and climbing almost 1600m of altitude I reached the city of La Dorada. I looked for a hotel and finally checked in at the Hotel Bella.

I had a shower and then went downtown to get myself some cash. Man I really was hungry!  I ordered some chicken. To my  surprise it was fried which is not exactly my favourite but I was so hungry I would have eaten anything.

Back in my room I did the blog and at 21:30 I went to bed. Seems to be my sleeping hour…We will see where I’m gonna go  tomorrow

Leaving the guesthouse
Leaving the guesthouse
A lot of trucks
A lot of trucks
No shoulder
No shoulder
Really a lot of traffic
Really a lot of traffic
Amazing landscape
Amazing landscape
Still a lot of traffic
Still a lot of traffic
Guaduas
Guaduas
Highway Ruta del Sol
Highway Ruta del Sol
Funny road signal
Funny road signal
Maybe you can see the road
Maybe you can see the road
The short tunnel
The short tunnel
More mountains
More mountains
Getting close to my destination
Getting close to my destination
Bridge to La Dorada
Bridge to La Dorada
Magdalena river
Magdalena river
Main street in  La Dorada
Main street in La Dorada
My dinner
My dinner