CENTRAL COLOMBIA

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Day 542 SAN ANTIONO – SANTA BARBARA

START 8:30 FINISH 16:00

DISTANCE 51KM RIDE TIME 5H03

It was raining so much last night I really didn’t think I would be leaving today. When I got up at 6am it was clearing, so I decided to go for it. Good thing about first to leave is that you get a good send off. After two weeks it was sad to say good bye.

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There was a steep climb back to San Antonio. I called in to the bike shop to say good bye. Then it was a easy downhill run back to the High Way. After that it was a good long climb to get out of Medellin. Got up above the outer suburbs of Medellin.

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 After 3 hours and 32km the rain came with the usual thunder storm. I was extremely lucky there was a house close by and I made a b line for the safety of there porch. I knocked on the door to let the owners know I was there. No one came to the door. I could smell lunch cooking. So I knew someone was home. Hen a young guy turned up. Said hello and he went inside. He then returned with a nice hot chocolate which was much needed as I was feeling wet and cold. As soon as the rain cleared I was on

my way again. Good news I was only a few km from the top. It still took me a hour.

Large stretch of the road was closed for road works. 100’s of cars and trucks were backed up. I was lucky I was able to pass, I was having lunch at the top when traffic started to come through. Was some really awesome views from the top. The sun came out and it was hot again. The ride down was cool. Parts were along the ridge line. Passing through the middle of towns built right on the edge.

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When I reached Santa Barbara I asked if there was Boimberos and was told no. So I cycled into the centre of town and found a cheep hotel. I had to barging it down from 20 to 15 000 Paso. Later when I was out for dinner found I could have got a room for 10 000.

I went out to explore the town. There was a wedding in the church and a dozen bomberos turned up. So I was a little annoyed when I realised they were in town. The young guy had set me wrong.

I got stranded in town for a while because durian dinner a big thunder storm hit the town, Pieces of iron were blowing around. The rain was to heavy to go any where. Ended up waiting it out with a cup of coffee on the second attempt. A bag of cold milk turned up first.

DAY 543 SANTA BARBARA – IRRA

START 9:00 FINISH 16:00 (28/08/16)

DISTANCE 91KM RIDE TIME 5H22

I went back to the café this morning for breakfast. Before I sat down I was invited to join a small group from Medellin, who had been visiting for the night. Valerie, Carlos and the other lady who I have forgotten her name. Who spoke very good English. Were all very interested in my trip.

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They offered me a ride. Luck I declined because when I got back on the main road. The traffic was backed up because the road was closed for road works. Again I was able to pass. I had a free run till I came across a tow truck in the middle of the road and a group of people standing around. As I got closer I could see what had happened. It was sickening. A motorcyclist was lying dead and uncovered on the road. His bike in pieces up against the bank. It was a fresh accident as no police, Ambulance or Bomberos had arrived. It looked as though he was coming down and had a head on with the tow truck. I slowly passed. Stopped and talked to a local and then kept on going. It was a very nice 28km down hill to Pintada. Having reached the river I then followed it gradually up for the rest of the day. It was very beautiful and picturess.

 On the other side of the valley was signs of the old railway line with old bridges and old water towers .

Having come down such a lot in the morning. It got pretty hot in the afternoon.

When I got to Irra I didn’t even have to ask if they had Bomberos because as soon as I arrived in town I saw the station. I called in and straight away got the yip no problem. Sorted with a nice cold shower. For dinner I only had to walk across the road and from my table I cold see my tent.

Worked hard today……..feeling tired and looking forward to a early night. Its only 6:30pm. Also feels a bit dehydrated…………craving cold water.

It was a busy little town for a Sunday night.

 

DAY 544 IRRA – CERCA

START 9:30 FINISH 16:00 (29/08/16)

DISTANCE 34KM RIDE TIME 4H03

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Your day can change so easily. I cycled out of town and over the bridge that crossed the river and the old railway line. I looked down and saw a group of people preparing to travel up the valley on make shift carts using the old tracks and were powered by motor bikes bolted to the side. I decided to go down and take a closer look. Very soon after I was going along for the ride. I left my bike on the porch of a local for safe keeping.

The carts were taking workers and equipment up the valley to the Nickel mines scatted along the valley. The 5km trip cost 30 cents. It was a beautiful valley. Very pretty. Lots of farms along the way. Old cattle yards, where the animals would wait before been loaded on to trains in the old days. It was good fun and I could see this been turned into an ideal tourist venture. We had to pass through one tunnel along the way.

when we got to the end. They had a great way of turning around.

The railway line use to run between Medellin and Manazalies. When I got back I asked if it would be possible to ride my bicycle further 15km then the 5km to where the line re-joined the highway as there was a small dirt track beside the line.

I was told it would be possible and thought this would be a awesome d tour.

I went back into town and loaded up with food and water and just after 9:30am I set off. The first 5km was very easy. After that it was a bit more difficult. I got the adventure I wanted. I had to push my bike through mud and I was cycling through tall grass. At one point it was so thick I had to get off and push.

It was slow going. But I persevered. Eventually I came out to a road. The line ahead was completely over grown and I would have needed a machete to continue. Wasn’t sure if I should go left and head back to the High Way or right and try and continue up the valley. I waited till someone came along. His advice was to go left and take the dirt road back to the high way. He said to continue was dangerous………at one point the railway line would have to cross a big river.

He was very kind. He told me to go down the road and go up to the first house on the hill and his wife would fix me up a cold drink. He was also very knowledgeable and knew a lot about the world. He had satellite and watched discovery channel. I must have been on a farm road as a herd of cattle came pass. I found the house and pushed my bike up to the house. His family were very welcoming and the cold drink was awesome. It was very basic house. With dirt flours.

After my little rest. It took a while to get back to the high way. I had cycled 20km and I was only 17km from Irra. From where I had started the day.

I cycled on for another two hours till I found somewhere I could stay for the night.

I asked if I could camp behind a café. They also had rooms but these were full as all the workers for the new Highway were staying here. They were very friendly. One of them spoke very good English and New a lot about New Zealand and Rugby. It surprised me when he told me he was a prop and had played.

DAY 545 CERCA – MANAZALIES

START 9:00 FINISH 16:00 (30/08/16)

DISTANCE 35KM RIDE TIME 2H59

I had a terrible night. I woke up at 1am with stomach cramps and soon after I was visiting the toilet and regular intervals. I was concerned I wouldn’t be able to continue today. In fact I wasn’t really that keen on moving to far. I packed up and over the next 2 hours tried to eat and drink to at least get something in my stomach. I was told there was a gas station with rooms about 10km away. So I thought I would at least try and get to here. Its not easy because it is all up hill. I was doing it with little steeps. Stopping regular. When I got to the gas station the rooms looked more terrible then me. So I pushed on. By this time I was feeling better.

Soon after a guy stopped for me and offered me a ride for the last 15km to Manazalis and I said yes.

Manazalies is a city built on top of a mountain. It is fairly large with a population of 345000. It is very hilly. They have gondoliers that transport people up and down the mountain. Very cheep at 50 cents a trip. It is a lot colder up here. I went to the Bomberos. They then directed me to the Bomberos volenterio down the bottom of the hill. When I got there they told me I would have to come back in 2 ½ hours when the commandant would be there and I would have to ask him. I wasn’t even allow to leave my bike and I wasn’t going to push my bike back up the hill. So I just leaned my bike up against the fence and walked away. Having two hours to kill I walked up into the next suburb trying to find something to eat. It proved difficult with only fatty fried snacks on offer.

I got back to the bomberos and was given a spot to camp well out the way and out in the open. Normally the bomberos will find you a spot under cover. After not the most warmest of welcomes……..they did come around and one of the bomberos brought me out a glass of milk and some bread. In the morning I was brought a cop of hot chocolate.

By 6:30pm it was dark and cold and I was in my tent rugged up and ready to sleep.

DAY 546 & 547 MANIZALES REST DAYS

Wednesday

This morning I went back up the hill to explore the city. In the late 1800’s they brought the Rail Way to Manizales. The grand station still remains and is now been used by the university. The cathedral also looks very grand. I don’t think it is that old. Its concrete construction hints at a more recent construction. Manizales has a Gondola as a form of public transport for getting people up and down the mountain. For 1700 Paso (60 cents ) I went on a round trip. It’s pretty cool as you pass over the tops of all the houses. I spent most of the day in a Panaderia doing Internet stuff. Apart from the food been cheep in Colombia. I like the way your food is always served on a proper China plate and not plastic, or like in Mexico where you get a plastic plate wrapped in a plastic bag to save washing the plate. It was after dark when I returned to the Bomberos. They have warmed to me. Once there Commandant has gone home, they are a lot more relax We sat and chatted while drinking hot chocolate. Because it was raining they offered for me to camp inside. My tent was already wet so I said I was fine

Thursday

I should have slept inside.

It rained a lot in the night. When I woke up I discovered that where I had put my tent up on a concrete slab, the water had ponded. It had then gone all through my tent. So I ended up taking my tent around the back of the fire station to hang it all up to dry. It was still a damp morning. So I decided I would stay another night. I went back into the town to do some shopping. My Sneakers are about to fall to bits. So I I brought a new pair for 45000 Paso ($15) I wonder how long they will last. Could have waited till Ecodour. Its a lot more expensive there. I was also in the market for some zip lock bags to put my cloths in. Because of all he rain and the fact my current ones are getting a bit old and hollie.

Before returning to the Fire station I went for another trip on the Gondola as I had purchased two tickets yesterday thinking I would need one to go and one to return Not knowing one ticket was enough for a round trip. I meet a family from California who have come down to live in Colombia for a year. They plan to learn Spanish, travel a bit while at the same time home schooling their daughter.

DAY 548 MANIZALES – NEVADO DEL RUIZ

START 06:10 FINISH 14:00 (02/09/16)

DISTANCE 31KM RIDE TIME 5H08

After 3 nights the Bomberos must have started to wonder when I was going to be leaving. I asked last night if I could sleep inside. It wasn’t a problem. I could, but had to be on the road by 6:30am before there Commandant arrived. It made for a much smother departure. Not having to worry about the tent. It was a much nicer morning today then yesterday for cycling.

It was a steep climb out of Manizales on the main road for Bogota. the valley was very industrial with a lot of pollution. I stopped to get fruit. 4 Bananas for 1000 Paso (35 cents) and a small bag of Mandarins also for a 1000 Paso. Once I left the industrial area the traffic was light. I was passed by a lot of friendly cyclists

Unfortunately by late morning the rain arrived and as I climbed higher it got a whole lot colder.

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When I stopped for lunch. I arrived wet and cold. Before I had finished I asked if I could camp and was offered a spot under a tree out the back. I later asked if I could camp out the front under the porch. But before not to long I was given a upgrade to sleep inside the restaurant.

DAY 549 NEVADO DEL RUIZ – ARBOLITO

START 08:00 FINISH 11:00 (03/09/16)

DISTANCE 9KM RIDE TIME 1H38

It was so nice to see the sun out this morning. It was still a cold morning. I left the high way to take a smaller road. It passes through a national park. I passed a few small farms and a school as I continued to climb. I came across a small lake and stopped in at small restaurant for a hot drink and something to eat. I only went on another couple of km and I came across a hostel and restaurant. I stopped and talked to a guy out side who spoke good English. He told me you could normally see the Volcano from here. It was currently hiding in the cloud. He invited me in for a hot drink. His girl friend Angelica runs the hostel and he visits in the weekends. They said if I wanted to I could stay for free. It was only 11am. I was thinking I might struggle to get the further 25km to the Abandoned house I had planed to camp in this night. So I decided to take them up on their offer.

Santiago needed to go to the shop 14km away. I went along for the ride. It’s out in the middle of nowhere in a tiny town. When we got there. There was a women cyclist with whom everyone was wanting a picture. Turned out she was Marie Louise who was a Colombian track cyclist who won a Sliver medal at the 2004 Athens Olympics.

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So I also asked for a photo.

It is pretty cold up here at 4000 meters. All day the cloud was coming and going. In the late afternoon the sun came back and enough cloud lifted to get a look at the snow capped volcano Los Nevados which is active and has a constant stream of bellowing steam.

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DAY 550 ARBOLITO – PPOPEYE

START 9:30 FINISH 10:00 (04/09/16)

DISTANCE 4KM RIDE TIME 0H24

It rained all night and when I woke up it was all misty outside, so I just stayed in bed.

At 7:30am I looked out and I could see the volcano. So I went out side to take some photos. I had to be patient as the cloud kept coming and going. It was worth the wait because I ended up seeing a nice big eruption.

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A group of about 15 climbers turned up at the hostel. I got talking to them about my trip. They wanted to interview me for there YouTube channel. Afterwards they invited me to come join them. Only climbing 4km away. They gave me directions. Today turned out to be the shortest cycling day ever with a mare 4km.

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I ended up spending the whole day with them and we had a bbq afterwards. I was going to cycle on…………just ran out of day. I asked to camp with the local family whos land they were climbing on. They said I could for 5000 paso ( $1.60) I said ok. I gave them 10000 paso. They claimed they had no change. Which was rubbish becouse the climbing group had just given them a whole lot. Some of the climbers told me they were a very poor family. In the end they gave me a bed in the house to sleep in.

Family had never seen a sleeping bag before.

DAY 551 POPEYE – MURILLO

START 8:30 FINISH 15:00 (05/09/16)

DISTANCE 24KM RIDE TIME 4H07

I was ready to go at 7:30am. But I got called back for breakfast. A bowel of rice and a tiny piece of steak wasn’t really worth the hours wait. I really wanted to get going into the heart of the National park.

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I spent the whole day cycling up at 3900 – 4200 meters on a very bad stoney and rockey road with 4 stream crossings. 3 of them I managed ok. One of them I hit a rock on the way out and I dropped one foot in the water and the bike fell on its side and I dipped the back pannier as well.

It was a pretty cloudy day. When the cloud did clear there were some great views. The alpine and volcanic landscape was stunning. Alpine lake and forna to Volcanic areas full of colour. Many waterfalls as well.

I was told about an abandoned house along route and I reached it just in time, before the rain came. It was pretty run down inside. I set my tent up in the garage. Which still had half a roof. Camping at 4032 meters I thought it would have been a lot colder.

DAY 552 MURILLO – MURILLO TOWN

START 6:30 FINISH 9:00 (06/09/16)

DISTANCE 23KM RIDE TIME 2H04

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There was a large storm over night. Heavy rain with the usual thunder and lighting and the wind got up as well. I listened to it all night trying to lift the roof as well as debris getting blown around outside. Things eased just before sunrise. I jumped up to have a look and the sky was clear. Behind me I could see snow on top of the mountain close by. It was pretty chilli morning. I got going asap.

 

For 20km I shudder as I cycled down the mountain on what I can only call a goats track. It was full of large rocks and some parts it was like a stream. The last 3 km into Murillo was a treat as it was paved. Murillo is a quiet mountain town…slightly touristy sitting up at 3000 meters. I asked at the hostel for a room. Fully booked. After 4 days of no internet I couldn’t resist. So I jumped on the hostel internet for two hours. Just as I was leaving I asked again about a room. No……what about a camping option………..yes, yes there camping and was shown a very nice grassy lawn out the back.

DAY 552 MURILLO – MURILLO TOWN

START 6:30 FINISH 9:00 (06/09/16)

DISTANCE 23KM RIDE TIME 2H04

There was a large storm over night. Heavy rain with the usuall thunder and lighting and the wind got up as well. I listened to it all night trying to lift the roof as well as debri getting blowen around outside. Things eased just before sunrise. I jumped up to have a look and the sky was clear. Behind me I could see snow on top of the mountian close by. It was pretty chilli morning. I got going asap.

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For 20km I shudded as I cycled down the mountian on what I can only call a goats track. It was full of large rocks and some parts it was like a stream. The last 3 km into Murillo was a treat as it was paved. Murillo is a quiet mountian town…slightly touristy sitting up at 3000 meters. I asked at the the hostel for a room. Fully booked.After 4 days of no internet I couldn’t resist. So I jumped on the hostel internet for two hours. Just as I was leaving I asked again about a room. No……what about a camping option………..yes, yes there camping and was showen a very nice grassy lawn out the back.

DAY 553 MURILLO TOWN – TERMALES DE LA YUCA

START 9:00 FINISH 16:30 (07/09/16)

DISTANCE 42KM RIDE TIME 5H37

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I didn’t get quite as easier day as I thought I was going to get. I started by taking it easy. Not leavng till 9am. The road from Murillo to Santa Isabel started out ok, rolling around the mountians, passing small farms and it was all nice. Then in a few parts the road was in a apallingly bad condition. Then there was a big pass to go over. After thinking it was going to be all down hill and easy. I had some friends who have already come through on this road and told me about some hot pools to stop at km 34.

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There were apserlutly no signs and I stopped at the closest house and asked. The lady directed me to a hole in a fence

and it was then a 500 meter walk down a track. I could see some concrete structures in ruins. I continued down and crossed over a small wooden bridge. There was one thermal pool that was waste deep . Tucked under some trees. The water was warm. Which was a good sign……..the other pool 200 meters away was empty. It looks like the spring is running dry. The concrete struture in the middle looked like old changimg rooms. I went back up to the road. Then tried to find a road down to the Themals. I ended up taking a farm road after asking some locals.

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They helped lift my fully loadsed bike over the locked gate. I then cycled down to the farm house I asked about camping at the hot pools and they helped me carry all my stuff along the trail and over the skinny wooden bridge. I was able to put my tent up just 10 meters from the pool. Its a nice little area and after all the effort. I am deffintly staying tomorrow.

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After dinner I went for a nice dip. No one around so I didn’t bother with a swim suit.

DAY 554 TERMALES DE LA YUCA REST DAY

Today was really based around the hot pool. As soon as I got up I had a dip. It was nice and warm and I watched as the sun slowly rose while listening to the birds awake. Then again after breakfest I had another dip. I then spent the rest of the morning sitting in the shade next to the hot pool relaxing, watching the dragon flys and the butterflys. In the afternoon I went for a little walk around before coming back for another dip. I got dinner out the way early……….and then waited for it to get dark before having a night time dip.

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DAY 555 TERMALES DE LA YUCA – VENADILLO

START 6:50 FINISH 15:00 (09/09/16)

DISTANCE 63KM RIDE TIME 5H10

It took me a hour thismorning to get the 1km back to the main road. I had to shuttle all my gear back up the hill. First herdile was getting everthing over the skiny wooden bridge. The last hurdle was getting my bike and everything else back over the farm gate. Then it was a slow couple of hours making my way through the mountians to santa Isabel. It was relitively clear and mountians were looking beautiful. The road to Santa Isabel was again pretty bad. Santa Isabel is a real mountian town perched up on top with fantastic views down into a wide open valley.

 

I found a resturant for lunch.It had 4 or 5 tables set up in someones front living room. It was just in some ones house. It was so cheep 6000 Paso ($2) I got a jug of fresh fruit juice. A really nice bowel of soup. The main was Chicken, rice, salad, beans and half a giant avacardo which I was told to put in my soup. After lunch I had a real treat. The road down to the main High Way is mostly paved and all down hill for 40 km to Venadillo with lots of switch backs and tight turns. Great view. As I came down it started to get really hot & humid. My prgress was slightly holted. Hitting the a srech of dirt road I got puncher number 28. Fixed it and less then a km down the road the tube poped. Slightly frustrating. I took it very courtiously into Venadilo.

Found the Bomberos and was told I would have to get permission from the Mayors office to stay. A local guy who was there putting in a aplacation to become a Bomberio kindly took me down to the Mayors office was told everthing would be ok and to come back in two hours between 5&6 pm when the Mayor would sign it off. So I took my bike off to the bike shop for some work. Wanted my gears sorted out and noticed the back wheal wasn’t sitting straight. So I ended up putting in a new rear hub and getting the back wheal rebuilt. Cost 20 000 Paso less then $7.

When I went back to the mayors office I waited a hour and then it was a mad pannic becouse nothing had been done and I suspect the mayor had gone home. So they were russing around for somewhere for me to stay. They came up with te local stadium on the outskirts of town. Wasn’t that happy having to cycle down there in the dark.

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I got there the gate was open. It was all very dark except for the lights over the basketball court. No lights in the toilts. Tolit was blocked and it was a bucket shower.

The caretaker did eventualy turn up to lock the gate.

DAY 556 VENADILLO – IBAGUE

START 06:30 FINISH 14:30 (10/09/16)

DISTANCE 55KM RIDE TIME 4H41

The back tyre was getting pretty worn. So I got it changed to the front. Got 20km down the road and I got another puncher. Found some shade and repaired it. Discovered the tyre had a big hole in the side and figured this might have something to do with the recent punchers. Got only another few km down the road and yet another puncher. So I put my spare tyre on. Ibague is a big city and I was going to by pass it. I thought I better divert and try and find a new tyre. It was a long gradual climb all morning rising nearly 1000 meters.

When I reached Ibague it took 10km just to get close to the centre. I was getting hot and tired. No sign of any bike shops I was getting worried. I stopped and talked to Daniele a young guy at the bus stop. He kindly invited back to his house for the night.

He lives with his Mother & sister. They were very welcoming when I arrived. I had a shower and they gave me some lunch. Then Daniele took me off to find a bike shop.

I found a relativly cheep Swchible tyre for $30 and stocked up on oil and patchers.

DAY 557-562 IBAGUE REST DAY

 

This morning I asked if I could stay another night as I wanted to repair my punchers and change my tyres and do a few other small jobs. Got a nasty shock when I went to put the new tyre on and dicovered was 27 inch and two big. I have to go back to the bike shop. Hope they are open today been a sunday

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Monday

The bike shop was closed yesterday. So I had to go back this afternoon to change the tyre. I couldn’t get what I wanted. I have ended up putting a Conternaental 1.90 on the front……..I will trial that for a little while and see how it goes. In the morning we got up at 5:30 am to go on a outing to a near by National Park with Daniele, his mum and 3 of the nabours from up stairs. We caught a local bus which then took us up in to the mountians.

 

It must have been a real tourist riute becouse there were lots of resturants along the way. From where the bus stopped we had a 30 minute walk up to the viewing platform. We got a good view down the valley and on a clear day you could see the Volcano. Afterwards we walked down into the small town and indulged in Coffees and for 30 cents Straberry’s and cream. It was a nice morning out.

Tuesday morning I was already to go. Bike was packed and was just having some breakfest. Soon afterwards terintial rain arrived. That was all I needed as an excuse to pospon my departure till tomorrow. That evening the rain and wind returned. The power went out for a hour. One of the girls in the upstairs apartment came down asking for help. The roof had sprung a leak and water was pouring into her bedroom.

Adriana and I went up to help. They thought it might be the water tank leaking. I put my head up through the manhole and shine my torch. I was looking at the sky. Two sheats of the roof had clear gone. We did our best to get everything out of the room and the water we just sweaped down the corridor into the bathroom and down the drain.

DAY 563 IBAGUE – NATAGAIMA

START 8:00 FINISH 16:45 (17/09/16)

DISTANCE 117KM RIDE TIME 5H51

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This morning I finnaly dragged myself away from Ibague.I got away at a good time,8am I didn’t get far before I started having troubles with my back pannier. Every bump I would go over, The clips would undo and my pannier would be left half hanging off, I would have to stop, stop take everything off and then repack the bike. I did this 4 times before I finnaly got a cable tie to fix the panniers to the bike. Once I got that sorted I got the momentium going. It was all down hill the 50km to El Espinal. It opened up into a wide, pretty flat, dry open valley. There were lots of lush green fields. Thanks to the irragation canals. The tempture has jumped back up to a hot 32 degrees. Thats average for this area.

I passed through Guamo which was a nice town. When I got to Castila I discovered a shit hole of a town. I was planning to stay here. The only hostel was a dump and wanted 25 000 for a room. It was 3pm I decided to push on. I did well today pushing hard for a 117km. I was just 7km short of Natagaima when I stopped and asked at a new gas station if I could camp. No problem. They had drinking water and showers which after a hot sweatie day I took full advantage of.

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I was feling very tired after a hard day I was in bed by 7pm.

DAY 564 NATAGIMA – VILLAVIEJA

START 06:45 FINISH 17:00 (18/09/16)

DISTANCE 66KM RIDE TIME 5H31

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I cycled in to Natagima looking for breakfest.It was a quite Sunday morning. I saw a busy side street. Going down I discovered it was the market. They seamed to be selling a lot of Bannana’s. Also a number of food stalls.Which was good. After a little walk around. I sat down and had some Tomales. Stomach full I cycled on.

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It was a nice plesent morning. Not a lot of traffic on the road. 20Km down the road I came off the 45 highway to take the old 45a to Niva on relativly good dirt road. It was a good choice becouse it was very senic. Had to pass through two tunnels and cross a long bridge. Both use to be shared with the old railway line. Came across two nice towns. Not that well devolped. Potosi and La Victoria. Stopped at both for a cold drink. By now it was up to 39 degrees.

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The landscape changed a lot. Towards the end of the day. It became very barron. And the landscape had been shaped by the wind and water. On the way in to Villavieja I meet John A mountian biker from Niva. He took me for a drink and has invited me to to stay in his house when I arrive in Niva tomorrow.

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Tonight I just got a cheep hotel for 15000 paso.

 

 

DAY 565 VILLAVIEJA-NEIVA

START 8:30 FINISH 11:30 (19/09/16)

DISTANCE 42KM RIDE TIME 2H27

This morning I left the hotel and pushed my bike up to the square to see what was availible for breakfest. When I arrived I realised I had dropped one of my gloves. So I retraced my steps back to the hotel with no luck. What good is one glove to someone.I retraced my steps back to the square. Again no luck. Thougt I better go back to the Hotel and cheek the room, again no luck. On leaving the hotel, I only had to go a few meters and by chance I spotted my glove lying on the footpath. I think a dog had picked it up and moved it before losing intrest and dropping it.

I cycled a bit more through the desert before reaching Neiva. It surprised me it was so more up and down today. I got passed by 50 motorcycles with Finish flags who I had seen in the town the previous night. They all gave me a friendly toot.

9km from Neiva I stopped and asked a local to use a phone. I called john to say I was on my way into town. Diffacult trying to talk to someone with out been able to use gestures. I had no idea what he was saying. It always works it self out. I passed the phone to the local for help. Turned out keep cycling……….John came and met me on the road just as I was coming into town. He then took me back to his modern apartment. There was even a swimming pool in the complex. No lifts to the 3rd flour. No hot water ( which is the norm).

John has a beutful Huskey pup which has the run of the apartment. John insisted I do some washing……..so I put a load on. We then went out for lunch before going with motorbike to johns girlfriends fathers house 30km away to get some work done on his motorbike.

In the evening john took me for a tour of the city. We stopped off for Burgers and Beers along the way. I didn’t stay in the apartment. I got dropped off at a friends place to sleep the night with Natila and her family.

 

 

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