I woke up about 5am, but I did not want to wake up Sue after her hard ride yesterday, so I happily dozed. Sue woke up about 6:30. While Sue was sorting out her charging stuff I tried out various ways of packing my daily bag to make everything fit better. It has been a struggle each day to get it shut. I have hit on a system that seems to work better.
We went to the hotel for breakfast which was pretty minimal – 3 spoonfuls of scrambled egg and 3 pieces of white bread – luckily it’s not a riding day, that would only get us about 10 kilometres.
After breakfast, Brett, Sue and I had a look around the town. First we went to the lake which was not swimmable, but was interesting to see what was the main dock for the area. It was pretty small, about the size of a small car park. There was a longboat with an outboard motor getting filled up with stores, which it must then deliver to the outlying villages.
The city was filled with motor bikes and bikes again but also a few really old cars. One of first things we saw was a man with 5 chickens handing upside down, it was not until later that I realized they were still alive.
The butcher and the fish sellers are on the side of the road. The fish seller had ice under the fish but the meat sellers did not seem to. We stopped and had a puréed watermelon drink with crushed ice which was very refreshing.
The locals were very friendly and most were happy to have their photo taken, and often also coming up just to say hello. There were numerous stores selling everything from phones to live chicks.
We had lunch in town. We had seen a dog standing hopefully by one of the butchers both times we passed, it was quite thin and Sue – who is a retired Vet – thought it looked like it had eyesight issues. Well, the same dog turned up at our table and stood there hopefully with its head hanging, not begging intrusively. I gave it a scrap and it swallowed it up so quickly that I ended up buying it some food, after which it happily curled up to sleep.
We then back to the supermarket for more water and some snacks to carry on the bike, after that back to the hotel to update the blog and download photos.
I spent the afternoon downloading photos and generally being lazy, it’s too hot to do anything else. A bit daunting to think tomorrow we will be riding in it again.
Tonight a group of us went out to a local grill place, it was great, outside with a breeze. I had the ribs with salad, and something that tasted like solid banana – I gave that away. I am about to go upstairs to pack and get ready for 5 gruelling riding days.
The next 5 days riding look pretty challenging:
Stage 4: San Marcos to Caucasia
Biggest climb is only 105 metres, but 65 kilometres on an off-road dirt track, with the same temperature expected as today. Hopefully there will be better cover.
Stage 5: Caucasia to Alto Ventanas
Climb 2,000 metres taking us to 2,432 metres.
138 kilometres but should be a lot cooler as the day goes on as we climb.
Stage 6: Alto Ventanas to Barbosa
We climb 2,800 metres, but some down as well, overall gain in elevation for the day is 1,800.
119 kilometre ride.
Stage 7: Barbosa to Parque Avir
We climb 2,350, total gain in elevation for the day 2,400.
81 kilometres, 43 off road.
Stage 8: Parque Avi to Medeslin
Climb 2,620 metres, gain 600 metres.
Ride is 49 kilometres, then thankfully a rest day.