Sue and I went for a swim at the beach before breakfast. Even at 7:30 in the morning a swarm of hawkers appeared as soon as we set foot on the sand.
The water was warm but not too warm, and a relatively safe beach.
After breakfast we had the first riders meeting, got to meet everyone and go over the outline of the trip, what was expected etc. It certainly sounds like it is going to be very challenging, from hot and sticky to cold and windy. Through the Andes the temp is expected to be minus 4 at night. The first three days are relatively flat which means we should not have to spend too much time in the lowest gear. Then a rest day and then we start to climb some pretty gruelling hills. I suspect there will be a fair amount of pushing my bike in the first month or so until I drop some weight and get fitter.
After the riders meeting Sue and I went into the walled city to have a last look around. We had lunch at the square in the middle. I had a very good friend whilst I was eating – a small pregnant dog who stayed until I had shared the last scraps, and then she was off. In the time we were at the table we had about 25 hawkers trying to sell us stuff. I have learnt not to smile or be too nice when saying no or they take that as encouragement.
We had to be back at 5pm as someone from the Colombian government (to do with tourism) wanted to come and wish us well. After that off to the bar for a cold beer then up the road for something to want. Than back to finish packing and sorting stuff into my bags – my daily bag and my rest day bag (we can’t access the stuff in that until the rest days).
The ride starts tomorrow!
5:50 am – bags to the truck
6:15 am – riders meeting
6:30 am – breakfast
7:00 am – leave hotel
We are doing a 90 kilometre ride, with the first 30 in a convoy.
Tomorrow night will be my first night in my new tent.
I am unsure what the internet coverage is going to be so there may well be gaps in the blogs, and then 3 days at once.
I have decided that I am going to be a racer – not because I am expecting to be fast – but if you identify yourself as a racer your time gets clocked in and out of camp each day, and I think it will be interesting to collate how many hours I spend on the bike.