Cycling The Globe

A Cycle Touring Expedition Around The World

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Day 1558, Pasto – Tamarindo: Impossibly Green

Posted by Thomas Andersen Posted on Jan - 15 - 2015

Distance: 141.33 km
Ride time: 8.20.17
Average: 17.40 km/h
Max speed: 57.75 km/h
Total: 32756 km

The day started with a nice breakfast at the central square in Pasto before heading into the unknown. My map didn’t show any towns for the next couple of hundred kilometers but I was hoping to find a little civilization out there; in this part of Colombia I would prefer not to camp.

I didn’t know what to expect in terms of the landscape apart from the fact that the ride would be hilly. It was indeed straight up and straight down right from the beginning of the day. The mountains then turned more green than I have seen anywhere else in the world. The colors almost didn’t seem possible!

I was now cycling on a spectacular road dug into the side of the mountain. To my right the drop off into the valley below was as beautiful as it was scary.

Perhaps I was looking tired at this point. As the road started to climb once again, a friendly truck driver slowed down and yelled “hang on” out of the window as he was passing. That was an offer I couldn’t reject. For the next 15 km I was flying up a steep climb, trying to hang on to the truck. Half way up the mountain I started to wish my arm muscles were in as good shape as my legs. We were then driving through a dark tunnel where I could see absolutely nothing – I couldn’t even take my sunglasses off as I would have instantly lost the truck then. Luckily the tunnel was not too long, and I made it out the other side in one piece.

At the top of the climb I let go of the truck and waved goodbye to the driver – once again, such a friendly bunch the Colombians!

After a long descend I was passing a village with a few hotels. However, it was only 2 o’clock and I would prefer to make further progress. I figured that since the road now looked more flat I might encounter more villages in this part of the region. That turned out not really to be the case. In fact I didn’t even see a house for the next several hours. Furthermore dark clouds were closing in, and I could see thunder in the horizon.

I then saw a sign for another village some 15 km ahead. I knew it would probably be dark before I got there, but I decided to give it a go. I was now cycling straight into the thunder storm with the last daylight disappearing – at least the frequent lightning made it possible to see bits of the road now and then.

I was completely drenched as I made it to the only hotel in town. Luckily there were plenty of free rooms – I seemed to be the only guest. It had been a much longer and much harder day than anticipated. I was so tired that even finding the charger for my phone and MP3 player seemed like too big a task. I just collapsed into bed and fell asleep to the sound of thunderstorm still raging outside.

Categories: Colombia
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