Posts Tagged With: Rooster

Day 57/164: Bermejo Beach to Lomas de Lachay – 126km

Climbing 1,715 meters and down 1,415

There was a dog barking most of the night – protecting his territory from the invaders – so I only slept in patches. There is dust over and in everything. I shook out the tent and sleeping bed as best as I could. I am not keen on beach camping again. No doubt we will though at sometime in this tour.

Another 3 kilometre dirt track back to the highway, then deserts, dust, heat, headwind (Groundhog Day! Again!). This time to add a bit of interest, and to miss another crazy town, we did a two kilometre off road stretch on dirt, through where the locals dump their rubbish.

Making my way through the rubbish on the backroad from Bermejo Beach to Lomas de Lachay

Making my way through the rubbish on the back road from Bermejo Beach to Lomas de Lachay

Every day it starts off overcast and the cloud suddenly lifts at about 11:30am, then the temperature suddenly can shoot up over 10 degrees. It is also when the wind really picks up.

The Pan American Highway (Photo and caption credit: Sue's blog)

The Pan American Highway (Photo and caption credit: Sue’s blog)

Not much to say about the riding today as it was pretty similar to the last few days. There was one uphill that went on and on, every time I thought I was getting to the top I wasn’t. When I finally got to the top I was hoping for a nice downhill, but we had another few kilometres of a slightly up gradient, then finally a couple of kilometres down.

Tonight we are staying at a national park. While riding I was trying to remind myself that while the images this is invoking are images of national parks in NZ, this may very well be a national park of sand!

We get to the turn off, according to our notes it is meant to be about 3 kilometres up a dirt road to camp!
It’s not – it is 6.5 kilometres and a lot of it not rideable due to the streams of cars coming down, and the soft sand. The final kilometre is down a steep track into the valley we are staying.

I arrive feeling grumpy – no showers; toilets have no running water, just a hole in ground with a seat; the whiteboard says watch out for snakes and scorpions, don’t leave your tent or bag open! Eeeekkkk! And no beer!

About 11 riders are going into Lima a day early to get an additional rest day (and miss the 50 plus kilometre convoy tomorrow morning). Once I put up my tent, wiped the tent, my sleeping bag and mat, and everything else, with wet wipes, and had a wet wipe wash I was feeling a lot better.

The national park is not forest, but it has grass and shrubs and trees further up the hills. It gets cold quite quickly once the sun goes. It is 4:30pm, and I already have a thick jacket and a hat on. I am trying not to get paranoid about snakes. I had an email from Shellbe who is currently volunteering in Sri Lanka – they have snakes slithering around the streets!

Lomas de Lachay Reserve (Photo and caption credit: Sue's blog)

Lomas de Lachay Reserve (Photo and caption credit: Sue’s blog)

Lomas de Lachay Reserve (Photo and caption credit: Sue's blog)

Lomas de Lachay Reserve (Photo and caption credit: Sue’s blog)

At the riders meeting we get an update on Phil – yay he has been discharged from hospital and is staying in Lima for a few days. However the family have asked that we don’t visit as he is still a bit confused due to the head injury. We are sorry we won’t get to see him but a number of us have already decided to visit him in New Zealand in a few months, and hopefully organize a short bike ride with him.

Tomorrow we have a 50 to 60 kilometre convoy – the distance is not finalized yet.

Lima has 9 million people and is no more cyclist friendly that anywhere else in Peru. We are asked if any of us want to go in the lunch truck, and are told there is a cut off to be at the convoy  point. Given that there is only 1,160 meters to climb in the whole day, I am confident I can make it to the convey start before the cut off.

The camp is really quiet because of riders who have left the tour, and those who have gone into Lima early.

Thinking about Peru, I have been a bit harsh, there are some places I would come back to: Pacasmayo where we had the two rest days, and the town the next day Huanchaco.

Looking down at our camp (Photo and caption credit: Sue's blog)

Looking down at our camp (Photo and caption credit: Sue’s blog)

Categories: Peru, South American Epic | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Day 44/164: Catacocha to Macara – 86km

Up 1,530 meters; down 2,440 meters.

We all had a very disturbed sleep with roosters crowing and dogs barking most of the night, and a generator that kept turning on and off. Riders who had camped on the grass area also had problems with the wind trying to lift their tents up.

Just out of camp I had a run in with the very same dog as yesterday! But I picked up a rock and he took off.
A number of riders throw rocks at dogs, but I always worry that it will make them more angry, but with this dog I had already seen that it worked.

Leaving camp today (Photo and caption credit: Sue's blog)

Leaving camp today (Photo and caption credit: Sue’s blog)

Out of camp it was up for about 2 kilometres and then mostly down with a few ups until lunch at 60 kilometres.

Wonderful sky this morning (Photo and caption credit: Sue's blog)

Wonderful sky this morning (Photo and caption credit: Sue’s blog)

After lunch we rode down for about 10 kilometres, then 12 kilometres of up – some hills felt really steep – then rolling, and then down. Once again with great views and lots of brightly colored birds – bright orange, blue and green.

What views today (Photo and caption credit: Sue's blog)

What views today (Photo and caption credit: Sue’s blog)

There were some unusual looking trees too, we think called Baob trees? There are trees that look like these in Australia called Baob trees.

Fabulous tree (Photo and caption credit: Sue's blog) (Editors note: I'm not sure if these are the trees Kaye is talking about)

Fabulous tree (Photo and caption credit: Sue’s blog)
(Editors note: I’m not sure if these are the trees Kaye is talking about)

The views once again were magnificent and the riding was great. I can see a big difference in my riding in getting up hills and generally feeling fitter. In saying that, I still had to stop a couple of times on the 12 kilometres uphill, but managed to ride most of it.

On the road today (Photo and caption credit: Sue's blog)

On the road today (Photo and caption credit: Sue’s blog)

At 72 kilometres I checked my notes and was delighted to find we were riding 85 kilometres, for some reason in my head it was 95 kilometres (Editor’s note: According to Sue’s blog it was 94km . . . ). I had another run in with a dog near the top of the hill and once again I had to get off my bike. I hope the dogs in Peru are bit less aggressive. A number of the riders had problems with this dog.

I got to camp at midday, so plenty of time to rest do washing etc. Some of the riders went into the town but it’s Sunday and most things are shut. No alcohol is served on a Sunday in town, although they are selling beer at the camp. No wifi and no phone service again (hopefully Kelly won’t worry that we have been delayed by protesters again, on our last day in Ecuador).

Lower tent city (Photo and caption credit: Sue's blog)

Lower tent city (Photo and caption credit: Sue’s blog)

Tomorrow we cross into Peru. Quite a short day and only 600 climbing.

Later in the evening my phone got service so I was able to send a txt to Kelly. Dinner was grilled chicken with quite a nice sauce, rice and stir fry, plus rock melon and pineapple for dessert.

Banana trees growing right by the tents (Photo and caption credit: Sue's blog)

Banana trees growing right by the tents (Photo and caption credit: Sue’s blog)

Categories: Peru, South American Epic | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Day 34/164: Papallacta to Archidona – 113km

(Editors note: apologies for the delay/mix up with posting this blog, I had some technical difficulties!)

2,746km down: 10,895km to go. 1113 metres up – 3,517 metres down 😀

Tonight we will be staying at Bromelias Amazon Lodge, which is 500 meters above sea level, and they have rooms for $20 with air con and an ensuite. From a bleak, cold camp, to the Amazon Jungle! Instead of being cold we will be hot.

The white board today warned:

  • Landslides
  • Gravel
  • Broken roads
  • Potholes
  • Construction
  • Narrow shoulders

They did not mention trucks, rain, and cold. However I was in the truck again!! Clearly I did not cross my fingers hard enough, I was up in the middle of the night with stomach spasms. Of course my anti spasmodic medication is in my permanent bag (note to self: put all medication in my daily bag).

I did not sleep that well as the police came in to camp during the night with their sirens going, three times. The polica here seem to drive with their sirens and lights flashing as a matter of course. Yesterday at camp, during the day, two policia turned up a couple of times with the siren and light flashing. The first time we were like “Oh no, something has happened to one of the riders!”. But they were just here for coffee! (last night they must have just been on their usual circuit, as the coffee place was shut). Plus dogs barking and of course the roosters! (my very favourite critters). Plus I was up during the night with gastro. This morning my stomach cramps were really bad, and it was difficult to get my bag and tent packed. I managed and got everything over to the truck.

I got a cup of tea and sat in the corner. All of a sudden it just got too much for me, and my tear ducts got flushed again! I decided enough is enough, and I am now on medication. Jodi the medic went past and she got me some antispasmodic medication. So another day in the truck. First of all the lunch truck, and hopefully I can then get picked up by the dinner truck when it goes past, as at the camp tonight there are rooms and it will be warm.

Looking back up into the mist and pouring rain (Photo and caption credit: Sue's blog)

Looking back up into the mist and pouring rain (Photo and caption credit: Sue’s blog)

We parked up at the summit for lunch. The rain and mist cleared and the sun came out and it was warm.

View from the top of today's hill (Photo and caption credit: Sue's blog)

View from the top of today’s hill (Photo and caption credit: Sue’s blog)

What a view (Photo and caption credit: Sue's blog)

What a view (Photo and caption credit: Sue’s blog)

I did get to change to the dinner truck and got to camp at 11:30 am 😀 😀

As we came down the 3,517 meters it got warmer and warmer. I saw one of the locals re-thatching the roof, if I had not been in the bus I would have liked to have stopped and watched.

Down and down we go in to the Amazon (Photo and caption credit: Sue's blog)

Down and down we go in to the Amazon (Photo and caption credit: Sue’s blog)

At the summit we saw a sign “Welcome to the Amazon” and half way down the hill we saw a sign “Beware of crocodiles”.

We are now in “el oriente” which translates into Ecuador’s strip of the Amazon basin. At the camp site there is a picture of all the types of birds we may see here. They are so colourful and include Toucan parrots (the type that were at the hotel in Cartagena).

Editor's note: I don't really have to say who took this photo do I?

Editor’s note: I don’t really have to say who took this photo do I?

When we got to camp it was about 25 degrees, there is a pool, and rooms with ensuites and air con, and laundry – $2 for 12 items 😀

Writing up my blog at camp (Photo credit: Sue's blog)

Writing up my blog at camp (Photo credit: Sue’s blog)

It is lucky that we left Quito when we did. There has been done protester action today with a general strike. Thousands of people marched to Quito and roads were closed by protesters putting trees across the road and burning tyres. The action has closed stretches of the Pan American highway and shut down transport in the city.  The main issue is the president Rafael Correa wants to bring in legislation that the presidential term can be indefinite. Currently it is 10 years and his term is due to expire in 2017.

I am feeling a lot better, hopefully bye bye gastro and I can ride tomorrow.

Last night for dinner we had Spag Bol and stewed apples with a crunchy oatmeal topping, tonight was chicken and vegetable skewers, and rice.

One of my favourite critters (Photo credit: Sue's blog)

One of my favourite critters (Photo credit: Sue’s blog)

Categories: Ecuador, South American Epic | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Day 22/164: Tatacoa to Hobo – 105km

1,702 km down: 11,939km to go. Up 1,230 metres, down 1,010

I was feeling very weary after being kept awake by roosters and being itchy, so decided to have an easy day and go in the lunch truck to lunch.

The white lunch bus setting off in the morning (Photo credit: Sue's blog)

The white lunch bus setting off in the morning (Photo credit: Sue’s blog)

There was great scenery going through the desert. We then went through a couple of small villages and a large town, before heading back to the country side.

Scenery this morning (Sue's blog)

Scenery this morning (Photo credit: Sue’s blog)

We stopped and set up lunch by a Tepel petrol station. We started to set up and were asked to move further back. We had been setting up (includes getting out the table, chopping up stuff for lunch, organizing water etc) for about 45 min when the petrol station attendant said to Luiz that his boss wanted to talk to him. We all thought “What now, do we have to move again!?”. Turned out the boss was just interested in what we were up to, and wanted a chat.

On the road today (Photo credit: Sue's blog)

On the road today (Photo credit: Sue’s blog)

There was a small dog lurking around who was most happy to eat the scraps. He had a mangled ear which was a bit raw, and a raw spot on the top of his head. I thought about getting a bowl and some salty water but was not sure if that would do more harm than good to only do it once. My list of dogs I would have adopted is growing!

On the road today (Photo credit: Sue's blog)

On the road today (Photo credit: Sue’s blog)

After everything was done I set off on my bike with only 40 kilometres to ride and no dirt roads. I had a great ride. When I went through the town of Hobo I decided to stop at a Terpel petrol station for a drink, but I didn’t see the gaps in the concrete about the size of railway tracks until it was too late – over I went. Luckily the pannier saved me from too much damage, just some minor bruising and discomfort.  I got back onto the bike and rode out the other side of the town to where we were staying.

On the road today (Photo credit: Sue's blog)

On the road today (Photo credit: Sue’s blog)

We stayed at a place called Restaurant el Aeropurto. I got there at mid day, almost like winning a rest day 🙂

The place was only a month old. There were grounds out the back where we could out up tents, plus they have a complex of rooms with ensuites and air con for 25 pesos for the room. So far I have tented every night except rest nights, but this was too good to pass up, and I was in like a rat up a drain pipe.

New buildings at camp (Photo credit: Sue's blog)

New buildings at camp (Photo credit: Sue’s blog)

There were two beds in my room and my plan was to tell Sue that I had a room and she was welcome to the other bed.  I had not had lunch at the lunch truck as it was too early. I had a plate of fish soup and then a shower, and then I fell asleep until nearly 6pm, by which time Sue had already put her tent up.

One of the staff at the place was a young girl who had a wee one month old baby. She worked all day whilst the baby slept under the counter, getting breastfed as required. She was still there at work with the baby when I went to bed at 8pm. Long day for a young mum.

Dinner was beef stew, mashed potato, and really crunchy green beans. I am feeling really refreshed and am planning to ride the whole day tomorrow.

On the road today (Photo credit: Sue's blog)

On the road today (Photo credit: Sue’s blog)

Categories: Columbia, South American Epic | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Day 21/164: Prado to Tatacoa – 95km

1,597km down, 12,044km to go – 1,000 meters up, 850 meters down.

We were woken early by the usual resident early rising roosters.

Today we had to first ride a 30 kilometre dirt road, then catch a ferry over the river – where have we heard that before? Thankfully it did not rain during the night, so the dirt road was not a quagmire! It was steep in places, and rocky and slippery though.


On the road today (Photo and caption credit: Sue’s blog)


On the road today (Photo and caption credit: Sue’s blog)

I thought I was the last along the road, and got to the ferry just as it was about to go across. Ray, who was on the ferry, said he had just missed it and had to wait about half an hour for it to return.

The river Magdalena was quite fast flowing, and the ferry used a series of cables strung across the water to get across. When we spoke to the TDA staff on the lunch truck they said when they took the truck across there was a tiny little lady who got to the other side and stood there looking lost. Luiz can speak Spanish so he asked her what she was doing, and it turned out she had to get 15 kilometres up the road so they gave her a lift. She was so tiny they had to lift her up into the truck, as she could not manage the steps.

The ferry (Photo credit: Sue's blog)

The ferry (Photo credit: Sue’s blog)

Over the other side I stopped for more water and then rode off. It was a bit disconcerting as I had not heard when lunch was. It was really hot riding, the heat was reflecting off the tarmac – 44 degrees, and rolling hills, with barely any shade. It just seem to go on and on, with a bit of a head wind.

I got to 48 kilometres, I had stopped a couple of times in the shade and had stopped again and realised I was almost out of water. It was too hot to go on, and I had no idea where the sweep was, as I still thought I was the last rider. I sat there “thinking I can’t do this”. I had a wee sob and then thought “Well, no water, 44 degrees, best thing is just sit in the shade and wait, eventually the lunch truck will come back”.

About 5 minutes later I saw a riding coming and it was one of the younger guys, John, who gave me some water. John encouraged me to get moving. John was also nearly out of water. We rode about another kilometres and stopped at a house. John, who speaks some Spanish, asked for Aqua, which the family happily gave us from their boiled supply. We offered money but they would not take it. We decided to drink it if we needed to before we came to a drink shop.

About another kilometre later we came to really nice drink stop, with a lovely thatched roof to sit under. Just as we pulled up so did Aussie Jackie. Between us we drank about 10 drinks, plus bought water to refill our bottles. It turns out one of the other riders Rolf had had a tyre problem which took an hour to sort. A couple minutes later Rolf and then Erin the sweep rolled in. We sat under the shade not wanting to leave. A group of locals were there drinking whiskey and were encouraging John to have some.

Erin thought the lunch truck was about another 10 kilometres away. Off we went on one kilometre of asphalt, then off the main road and back onto a rocky, slippery, gravel road. Some school children yelled out cheerfully “Muchio loco” (very mad) – if I had the Spanish to I would have said “Yes I agree!”.

Local school children (Photo credit: Sue's blog)

Local school children (Photo credit: Sue’s blog)

Jackie and I got to lunch to the relief of the crew, who had just packed up the truck to come back to find us (they were in a cell phone dead spot). Then Rolf arrive, but no Erin and John.  Time passed and we started to get concerned then we heard them starting to cross the metal bridge (it had metal plates onto top of each other and when you ride over it makes a noise when you go from plate to plate). It turned out that as Erin got onto the asphalt her seat snapped off its pole, and she had had to ride the last 7 kilometres seatless!

By this time it was 1:30 pm, 44 degrees with 35 kilometres of gravel rocky slippery road, and 550 meters of climbing. I decided to catch the lunch truck to camp. I am pleased I did, as the riders who rode the whole day said the section from lunch was very tough.

The desert was stark but beautiful. There were really large cactus plants, trees and dirt. There were hills with dirt in patterns, and a few cows here and there.

Becoming more desert like (Photo credit: Sue's blog)

Becoming more desert like (Photo credit: Sue’s blog)

Fantastic views in the desert (Photo credit: Sue's blog)

Fantastic views in the desert (Photo credit: Sue’s blog)

Giant cacti (Photo credit: Sue's blog)

Giant cacti (Photo credit: Sue’s blog)

We are staying at Saturno in the desert. I got to camp and had the usual stuff to do: set up my tent, do some washing, cold shower. I was feeling really itchy so at least the cold shower helped with that. I went to bed quite early and woke up really itchy and feeling dehydrated, so had a rehydration drink and some antihistamine.

The finish flag at camp (Photo credit: Sue's blog)

The finish flag at camp (Photo credit: Sue’s blog)

They say that you should love all of God’s creatures, but I think roosters could be an exception. If I was making a list for the ark there would be no roosters. One starts, and then another, and then they have competition for who can go the longest at 2am!

Dinner was chicken, boiled beetroot and rice, and fruit salad.

A tunnel on today's ride (Photo credit: Sue's blog)

A tunnel on today’s ride (Photo credit: Sue’s blog)

Categories: Columbia, South American Epic | Tags: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Day 19/164: Bogota to Anapoima – 85km

1,356km down: 12,285km to go

Three new riders have joined the group:
Franzwar (not how you spell his name but that’s how it sounds, he’s from France) he has done sections of other rides and is doing a couple of sections of this one (Editor’s note: I’m assuming Mum means “François”)
Mario – a young German guym this is his first TDA ride doing the whole ride
Rosa – from the Netherlands here for 3 weeks has done the South African ride before.

Rosa at the market lunch stop (Photo and caption credit: Sue's blog)

Rosa at the market lunch stop (Photo and caption credit: Sue’s blog)

We are staying at El Molino camp in Anapoima tonight.

We left in a convoy of course, as we were coming out of a large city. It was threatening to rain, and would you believe there is a public transport strike happening.

We had a police escort. I decided to ride in the the lunch truck until lunch, which was meant to be at 29 kilometres, and then ride the rest of the way – about another 90k. The convoy took over 2 hours through the crazy traffic.

The police escort then dropped us off at the Terpel petrol station as planned and the instructions for riders, regarding distance and turning etc started from there. Well, you know what they say about the best laid plans! The problem was it was the wrong Terpel station and the person who had mapped out the route was not with the convoy. So chaos ensued as the directions and the road were not matching!

Trying to figure out which way to go (Photo credit: Sue's blog)

Trying to figure out which way to go (Photo credit: Sue’s blog)

Luckily the riders realized pretty quickly and re grouped and contacted Christiano, and they were redirected and it only added another 10k to their ride. The truck however went really wrong, and by the time the TDA staff realized and back tracked, the riders had already passed the 29k mark.

The lunch truck was following the riders, and trying to overtake riders going down a narrow steep dirt road. It was not till we got to 52 kilometres that we had passed enough riders to make it worthwhile stopping for lunch.

I decided to still ride as there was approximately another 40 kilometres so I hopped on my bike. The first 15 kilometres was down and up the same terrain as before lunch – windy, narrow, dirt and occasionally rocky. This certainly was part of the 15% of the time I knew I would wish I had bought a mountain bike.

After this was about 10 kilometres of uphill, reasonably steep gradient. It was boiling hot and I was huffing and puffing. I am still not coping with altitude, and generally not being fit enough. I finally got to the open road with a reasonable down, and then some rolling hills.

Just before camp I came across Paul, one of the other riders, walking his bike down the hill. Paul’s brakes had failed quite a while before but luckily he was not harmed. Paul commented that it was a peculiar brand of torture having a bike you could only ride up the hills.

I got to camp and set up my tent, but did not realize I had put it on too steep a slope. I didn’t realise until I went to bed, and then I did not want to try and move it in the dark, which as it turns out would have been a better option. I kept waking up uncomfortably hunched at the bottom on the tent. Between the roosters that started at 2 am, the heat, and the trucks, I did not get a lot of sleep.

We had Spaghetti Bolognese for tea.

Tonight's campsite (Photo credit: Sue's blog)

Tonight’s camp-site (Photo credit: Sue’s blog)

Categories: Columbia, South American Epic | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Day 15/164: Viani to La Vega – 72 km

1,211 km down: 12,430 km to go – 1,800 metres up, 1,300 metres down

My tyre was still up in the morning, so I crossed my fingers that the problem was solved. I decided to ride the lunch truck to lunch, as I was fed up with getting into camp late with only just enough time to put up my tent, eat, and crash into bed. Plus I was very weary as I had been kept awake quite a bit of the night by the local pub across the road where they partied on until about 2:30 in the morning, then the roosters and the dogs took over. There were a few grumpy riders in the morning. I figured “Hey, it was Friday night and the locals have the right to do as they usually do”. But added to the last few days, I decided to listen to my body.

Off we went in the truck. We went up and up and had the most spectacular views of the mountains covered in snow. Colombia is a very hilly country, without much flat land so far. We went past a petrol station and there was a horse just sitting and chilling in the forecourt. Ray, one of the truck regulars, commented that the horse was there so that if there was no gas you can continue on horseback.

Certainly the animals here are very road wise and I have only seen two dead domestic animals at the roadside so far. You see locals heading off to work with their horses following them along a main road, not bring led or held at all. There are lots of cows grazing untethered on the roadside as well. Endless dogs happily trotting along the road, and crossing at will, happily preoccupied with their doggy business. There does not seem to be any regulations or a pound truck cruising around. The dogs seem in reasonable health and happy. So far I have not seen a dog fight. If I come back in the next life as a dog, I would like to be a dog in Colombia.

The roads are variable, you get a well paved bit then for no reason it becomes rocky gravel, and then paved road again. There are a lot of areas where there have been landslides and there is only one lane. This becomes a challenge with trucks, mostly the drivers are excellent but there is always the occasional few bad ones, then when both don’t give way, a line of trucks backing is no easy feat!

The one place where the roads are in pristine condition though is 50 meters before and after the toll booths. We go through an average of at least one toll booth a day (bikes don’t have to pay). The road can have numerous pot holes and gravel for a couple of kilometres before and after. At every toll booth there are people selling food and drinks. Often there is a person in a wheelchair or on crutches asking for donations. There is only one per toll booth, almost regularly. You have to wonder if they have to pay for the place!

Today was a very busy section for trucks, endless trucks going both ways, sometimes 10 in a row. I was pleased not to be riding this bit.

I had seen a few locals taking milk urns on their horses or motor bikes, today I saw one with the urns in a wheel barrow. It’s amazing what the locals transport on a motor bike – fridges, wood, whole families, pigs etc.

We had been going for about 40 kilometres when Luis the truck driver got a phone call telling him to stop before 40 kilometres for lunch, as after that there was nowhere to park. It would have been really difficult to turn around because of the traffic so they decided to keep going.

We went for about another kilometre and they saw a local’s house with quite a big front section, so asked the family if we could park there. The family kindly agreed. I don’t think they were quite so happy a couple of minutes later when one of the hydraulic pipes burst in the truck and sprayed fluid all over their concrete!  As Luis and Alejandro (bike mechanic) were busy with trying to sort this out, Ray, John (another truck regular) and I got the lunch ready before we rode off.

I had the job of cutting up left over chicken, helped by the family pets – two dogs and the cat – who happily took care of the chicken skin for me. Luis had managed by this time to get hold of a local truck mechanic who came and fixed the problem.


Dog and cat at lunch time (Photo credit: Sue’s blog)

Off I went for 35 kilometres, 900 meters of uphill. I managed to ride most of it but did have to get off a few times. I have discovered that one of my problems is that I try to ride up hills too fast. My experience of hills is hills that go for 3 kilometres, not 30, and I am starting to realize that you just can’t attack them the same.  There was mostly paved with some sections of rocky and gravel, sometimes two meters and sometimes a kilometre or so.

I hot to about 30 kilometres and I got another freaking flat tyre!!!! Same tyre! Bloody hell! Starting to lose my sense of humour! I had to find a safe space to change the tyre so had to walk for a bit. I spied a piece of flat lawn that looked possible, by what looked like a house. Joy of joy to find it was a shop and I could have a cold drink first. A couple of the other riders were there, once again we checked the tyre and rim. The consensus is that there is a small shaft of glass or wire that you can’t see or feel, that pushes out when the tyre is warm and it pops the tube. I will take the tyre to a bike shop in Bogota and if nothing can be found I will bin the tyre and replace it.

Off again, temperature rising up to 38 degrees again, but thankfully not far to go. I had to go through the town and then a kilometre out of town and turn right, and go about a kilometre up the road.  The kilometre up the road took for ever, it was so hot I was going from tree shade to the shade.

Putting up the tent was done in stages due to the heat. It was nice to be in camp by 2pm and I spent the afternoon sitting by the pool, chatting to other riders, and catching up with the blog. No internet again for the 5th day in a row, even though there was meant to be I could not log on, but at least I caught up a few days and saved in draft.


Relaxing by the pool

Relaxing by the pool (Photo credit: Sue’s blog)


The pool where we stayed (Photo credit: Sue’s blog)

I went to lock up my bike and found I had yet another flat. I decided I was not going to ride the next day in the convey into Bogota – it’s bad enough being a slower rider holding the convoy up, without getting flat tyres as well.

Rider's meeting

Rider’s meeting (Photo credit: Sue’s blog)

I went to bed about 7:30 but had trouble getting to sleep. There was a youth/ church/sports or something group making lots of noise. This music went on until 4:30 in the morning. They were shouting, laughing, drumming, playing music etc. It was harder to cope with than the night before, which had been a constant beat. I did have my earplugs in but it did not shut out the noise completely. We had  to get up at 4:30 so we could be in Bogota by 2pm.

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