After a wash and an oil I hoped the bike would work better. I decided that I would keep riding with my old shoes and tape them at lunch time when they had dried a bit, to give my new shoes a few more days to break in.
My panniers are now tied on with cable ties and my speedo has lost its magnet. However it was basically a straight road today, so rolling hills until 102 kilometres, and then 36 kilometres with a 2,000 meter climb.
I set off with my legs feeling a bit weary from the day before, but once I got going it was ok. I got to about 35 kilometres and a bunch of riders came back and said we had to go back to the town 9 kilometres away, as there was a skirmish between the military and the rebels up the road and no one could go through.
We went back to the town and waited at a roadside truck stop cafe for an update. It turned out the rebels had blown up a sewer line under the main road. This is the main road from Cartagena to Medelin. There is no railway, so this caused chaos with trucks backed up for miles.
We were not sure how long the road would take to open, plus Christisano and Henry (the company owner) had been advised not to go through the smaller roads as we could run into rebel groups. So it was back to the previous night’s camp in Caucasia. At the place we were going to stay tonight, the guy had built 4 toilets especially for us!
We will get an update at the rider’s meeting tonight about the plan for tomorrow – whether we are riding or bussing to the next stage. At one point there was talk of riding back to Cartagena and flying to Medelin.
Henry and Christiano are very confident that we are in no danger as the issue is between FARC (the rebels) and the military. There has just recently been a break down in the peace talks and the feeling is this was the rebels telling the government you had better get back to the table. Even so, Henry has recommended we stay together in a group. Henry and Christano will reassess the situation tomorrow morning and make a final decision then.
Tonight we had a whole bunch of locals show up with a floral float and the priest and a lot of villagers on motor bikes. They blessed the hotel and sung some songs. I think they were doing this at all the hotels.
Tonight one of the tour leaders started Spanish lesions for the riders. I went along for 30 minutes, after which my general level of tiredness caught up with me and I went to bed.