Monday, November 20, 2017

Colombia day 11: Back in the saddle

We woke up this morning with the awareness that once again, we'd failed to get ready for an early departure. By the time we'd repacked our bags, worked out a route through the centre of town and eaten breakfast it was almost 9am. I had also had to do some emergency stitching as I'd managed to tear a two inch hole in the front of my icebreaker jersey when I went to zip it up. At least our late departure meant we missed the worst of the morning traffic. The first few miles were interesting cycling as we needed to take a couple of major roads to cross the river, but within a couple of miles we were out of the worst of the traffic and on the long climb out of the city. There is a motorway which runs towards our destination Santa Fe de Antioquia, but it is not cycling friendly and so we were on the old road over the mountain instead of through the new tunnel. This did mean that we had some wonderful views of the city.

We are getting good at judging when there will be roadside shops and restaurants on a road - on the top of the hill is almost a certainty. So with just over 1000m of climb in 25km, we stopped for a snack lunch at one of the roadside shacks on the top of the hill. The views on the descent were stunning, and at almost 2000m is our longest descent on the trip.

Santa Fe de Antioquia is a lovely old colonial town. From the last few kms coming into town it seems to have also turned itself into a bit of a resort town. It's off season, so all the posh resorts were closed or had only one or two people in the acres of deck chairs surrounding the pool. Compared to other places we've stayed the town is pretty expensive too. It's been good to wander around and get a feel for some of the country's history. 
Tomorrow it's going to be a long day in the heat and humidity again, although as flat as it gets in these parts. So it's time for a early night and hopefully an early start. 

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