Thursday, November 30, 2017

Colombia day 21: The last leg

Today was our final day cycling in Colombia. It's been a truly amazing experience, everything we'd hoped for and more. 
The day started unsurprisingly with some climbing to get us up and over the ridge into the Bogotá plain. We had originally thought that we might finish our tour in Honda and get a taxi to transport us and Dobbin back to Bogatá, as we'd heard that the climbs back up were heavily trafficked and uninspiring. In the end it was easier for us to cycle back, and with the help of Strava heatmap chose to climb up most of the way on a secondary road. This worked perfectly, the climbing yesterday was on one of the least trafficked roads we've had here, and the views were, of course spectacular. Being slightly off the main tourist and trucking routes also takes to smaller towns with a more authentic feel. The first hour today continued on the same road, where we had a couple of different cyclists ride with us and attempt to chat. Our Spanish is improving, but general conversation is still not really possible. We've got quite good at guessing the questions people ask about us and our trip and giving an appropriate response. Most of the time we have no idea if we've just answered the question asked though.



The last part of today's ride was on the busy autopista, and on a mixture of large roads and cycle paths into Bogotá. Standard fare for cycling into a major city, and while it seemed chaotic in places it's not that dangerous as everyone is moving along at around the same low speed. The segregated bike lanes (also segregated from the pedestrian paths), made a nice change from the chaos on the road.
We had a little change of plan when we turned up at the airport hotel we'd booked. They really were not happy about allowing bicycles inside, and insisted that it needed to be left outside. Given we were planning on leaving the bike at the hotel while we go and see the Amazon for a few days, this didn't seem like a sensible plan. Instead we made use of the free cancellation policy and rode in towards the centre, to stay at the hotel we stayed at when we first arrived in Colombia. About 10 minutes away from the hotel it started raining. Really, really heavily raining. Apparently it's been quite wet in Bogotá over the last few weeks, so it makes us feel good that we've been lucky with the weather. We pulled up at the hotel soaked through, but still received a really warm "welcome home" from the staff who quickly checked us in and found Dobbin a safe a dry place to sleep. 
We'll be resting tomorrow then fly to Leticia Saturday for 4 nights staying with an indigenous village in the jungle! This will likely be the last blog post of the trip, we'll aim to put a few photos and things on Facebook: http://fb.me/TandemThings