Thursday, November 23, 2017

Colombia day 14: not a turkey trot

A short day, but not a totally easy day. We're heading south along a secondary road towards Manizales for a few days, which means variable quality road paving and an awful lot of sheers drops and climbs. But the views are Spectacular Spectacular.
We rolled out of Aguadas about the same time as Stefan, the German cycle tourist we'd met yesterday afternoon. We rode together for a while but had slightly different speeds and stop cadence on the climbs so leapfrogged most of the way. The ride was basically a small down, small up, big down, big up.
We were barely out of town and about to start the first down when I saw a nice hairy tarantula crossing the road. She was particularly slow moving, perhaps because she'd lost a leg (or two), poor thing.

As we'd seen many days, several houses had large hauls of beans laid out on the tarmac (at least, where the road was blessed with it) to dry in the sun. It's so humid here that it's tricky to air dry products, but with the help of the blacktop they seem to manage it. A few places the beans looked less like eating beans and more like coffee beans. A couple times yesterday we'd caught the distinct smell of coffee gently toasting on the vine, so we're definitely getting into that region.

The long climb to Salamina was punctuated by frequent stretches of washed away rocky / gravelly road. Happily they didn't extend for long - unlike the prior 15km desent which was almost all on dirt and so very slow. The roads remained quiet. I've got the hang of realising when a climb is going to be very sustained and long as many of the mopeds/motorbikes coming the other way will have cut out the engine and just coast down past us. Gasoline is not cheap here, maybe 3 times USA prices? So guess it all helps.

We got to town soon after midday so got a good coffee and fruit salad snack then looked around for a hospedaje. Stafan decided to push on 23km to the next small town, but we're definitely in holiday mode so decided to just stay here in the larger places.  I doubt we'll find any turkey for dinner, but we will look! Happy Thanksgiving to everyone celebrating it today, and all the best to you and your family.

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