Archive | Colombia RSS feed for this section
02. Jul, 2012

20,000km the stats

20,000km the stats

We reached 20,000km just south of Salvador on the Brazilian coast. Idyllic sounding, it was actually the rainiest day of our cycle trip around South America so far, and we only stopped for a few minutes to celebrate before getting back in the saddle for a day thinking about moments from the road.

It seems a long time since we marked 10,000km in the Sechuara Desert, Peru. Since then we’ve climbed many a long, steep road through the Andes in Ecuador and Colombia; explored the lost world of the Gran Sabana in Venezuela; traversed the oft-forgotten Guyanas, three countries unique and removed from the continent they sit in; and, now, we find ourselves back in Brazil, crossing this huge country where our journey started and, very shortly, will finish too. (more…)

05. Feb, 2012

Farewell to the Andes – moving memories

Farewell to the Andes – moving memories

After months of climbing up and down the Andes we have finally left the mammoth mountain range to head east across Venezuela’s plains. As way say farewell, we also look back on special moments and some incredible riding.

It has been an amazing experience from the first time we saw them as we cycled towards Mendoza in Argentina. We were so in awe we stopped to take countless photographs of the snow-topped peaks, only to end up a few days later snowed-in when the road to Santiago was closed. (more…)

04. Feb, 2012

No rest for tired legs: cycling from Bogota to Cucuta

No rest for tired legs: cycling from Bogota to Cucuta

By the time we reached Bogota we’d been on the road for eight months and our legs needed a real rest. Unfortunately, we were on a tight schedule to make it to Caracas by mid-February so we needed to push on towards Venezuela. We were hoping for an easy ride, but Colombia’s mountains still had challenges in store. Luckily friendly people and jaw-dropping scenery helped make it a memorable section of the trip for the right reasons.

We’d been looking forward to visiting Bogota and had read about the up-and-coming cultural scene in the old colonial district of La Candelabria. The area had some pretty streets, good daytime eating spots and felt safe to walk around, which couldn’t be said for other areas we wandered into. It was a nice place to be based, but there wasn’t so much to do and with the heavy afternoon downpours we could justify to ourselves blissfully long afternoon naps. (more…)

20. Jan, 2012

Tour de France gradients and hot cycling on the road from Cali to Bogota

Tour de France gradients and hot cycling on the road from Cali to Bogota

Katy Perry sings a song about Colombia. You know the one that goes ‘you’re up then you’re down… you’re hot then you’re cold’. It sums up our cycle ride across the country perfectly and the stretch from Cali to Bogota was no exception, with some blissfully flat cycling and a Tour de France gradient climb which put us to the test.

We’d had a fantastic break in the modern city of Cali staying with Paddy’s distant cousin and his family. It had been a much needed rest after weeks of climbing and we made the most of the well-stocked supermarkets to refuel and had our bikes serviced in a local shop, as well-equipped as anywhere back home with cycling being Colombia’s national sport. (more…)

19. Jan, 2012

Foam, flour and water: cycling Ipiales to Cali

Foam, flour and water: cycling Ipiales to Cali

Colombia had been the one country which everyone had warned us about.  Drugs, violence and kidnaps: it has received its fair share of negative press in recent history. But instead we arrived excited, having heard great stories about the generosity and friendliness of Colombians from cyclists we’d met on the road.

Crossing the busy main border from Ecuador with a military helicopter buzzing overhead, we were absorbed by the Colombian preparations for the New Year’s Eve celebrations.  Ipiales hosted an incredible carnival where men dressed up in women’s clothes to prance along the street performing skits before impressive cardboard effigies were paraded, later to be burnt in the streets.  A few fireworks were thrown inside to keep the crowds firmly on their toes. (more…)