Colombia Archive

Bogotá… a little more

This city has grown on me, when I first arrived I was pretty indifferent however given a few days to get under it’s skin and my perception has changed greatly.. it is a city of hidden treats…. beautiful 17th colonial mansions with gardens and courtyards hiding behind plain facades, rich in culture and history (many museums worth a visit) and full of colour and life…. and a heck of a lot of little yellow taxi …

some info for the cyclist visiting Bogotá

My return to the UK is nigh so I have been occupied with packing my bike… as a result of this morning’s ‘search’ I have some useful tips for you should you find yourself in Bogotá either needing to pack a bike, buy a bike or buy parts and cycling gear… 1. On the west side of Carrera 14, a couple of blocks north of Avenida Jimenez (Calle 13) there are a bunch of shops …

more from Villa de Leyva

Check this old truck out (it’s a Ford F350, vintage ?… I have no idea!). I came across it at the market this morning… It is in use as a daily workhorse but the owner is justifiably proud of it, we chatted briefly and I have his portrait with the truck on film, but I had to show you these snaps first…! (nice…) The market here is pretty low key compared to some , actually …

Villa de Leyva… the end of the line

It’s the end of the line for me… I’m worn out, I think it was that intense week in the heat and killer final day to Bogotá that did it… but no matter, Villa de Leyva is the perfect place to rest tired legs before I fly home and start working to get the speed back into my legs for the race season. My flight is on Thursday next week so I have 4 nights …

Bogotá Impressions…

OK, so what is Bogotá like then…. umm, it’s OK. Feels very European in fact, not particularly attractive apart from the Candelaria district which is the old colonial (and colourful) heart of the city, and is also where I’m staying. It is an interesting warren of narrow cobbled streets and some of the old colonial buildings really are beautiful. I guess if you really want to understand the place then you’ll have to visit, or …

Bogota…

Hey, I arrived in Bogotá last night after a day of suffering to climb the two and half vertical kilometers up from the Valle de Rio Magdalena… in reality it was more like 3 kilometers of vertical to get over the mountains before descending into Bogota. Although only 98km it really hurt… 80km were uphill and my legs were really feeling the preceding 5 days on the bike. My last update was from Neiva but …

Sweating in Saldaña…

Saldaña was the hottest place I have experienced I think outside of the Australian outback… I arrived from Villavieja, after 90km, around 1pm and unable to cycle any further in the debilitating heat. A cruise through town revealed it to be pretty much deserted apart from the few residents visible in the bars, huddled under lazily spinning fans with cold beers… I found a place to stay without too much problem but for some odd …

Villavieja and the Tatacoa Desert

It’s only 40km or so from Neiva to Villavieja so I didn’t leave Neiva’till 8am after a leisurely breakfast of bread, coffee and a jug of strwberry juice mixed with milk (yum). Finding the right road out of the city was easy, I mentioned to a truck driver at a stop light where I was headed and he yelled directions at me across the highway as the traffic slowly moved out of the city! The 40km …

San Agustin to Neiva…

Hey, with reference to my last post… it’s the same day and I already found cooler climes… a cafe with air-con :o) The last couple of days have been pretty good going, but bloody hot – especially today. I arrived in Neiva having lost my voice from the stress of the ride. Back to the beginning… I finally dragged myself away from San Agustin yesterday at 9am after a particularly leisurely breakfast… it was the …

Sunday ride….

Sunday today, last day in this area so I did what any self respecting cyclist would do on a Sunday… go for a ride (enjoying the freedom my bike gives me), stop at a cafe for a brew (in this case a “tinto” – strong black coffee) and finish off with a big lunch. I wanted to go back to Isnos 25km back up the mountain to have a look around as it looked a …

more around San Agustin..

The network of dirt roads around San Agustin is fantastic for exploring on a bike… so that is exactly what I have been doing this last couple of days. There are a number of archeological sites scattered around the hills… some of the statues are supposed to be 4000-6000 yrs old which is just amazing. You can read more here. Some of the ones that have been buried for all that time still have paint …

the “road” to San Agustin… ouch!

Ooops, I trashed my trailer… the ride from Popayan was somewhat ‘intense’… If you are reading this and planning on coming down this way on a bike then the road from Popyan (or rather Coconuco) to San Agustin is something maybe you should really only attempt if you are really up for some punishment and are sure of the strength of your bicycle… it’s mountain bike territory really, and there is no real option for …

“Colombia Soy Yo…”

Quite funny really, I put it down to Popayan being such a nice town (and possibly one too many beers with friends last night…)…. I suffered a catastrophic failure of motivation this morning and decided to stay another day. The town is transformed from Sunday’s sleepy state into a bustling hive of activity, kind of like the streets of New York with empanadas rather than hot dogs (though you can have a Perro Calientes if you …

Popayan….

So I took the bloody bus and I wish I hadn’t. Buses make me miserable, a day on a bus is a ‘nothing day’ and as it happened the information I was given in Pasto wasn’t correct, I saw enough places to stay to have made the journey in 3 days…the last day would still have been a bugger though…. that was a long climb with no supplies at all along the way that I …

Canine reverse-Darwinism.

You know about Darwinism, survival of the fittest and all that… well I have a theory here in Colombia that something similar is going on among the canine population, except here it’s survival of the laziest…. You see unlike in Ecuador I have had no trouble at all with the local pooches… the only real factor in that difference I can see is the number of cyclists on the road here, aside from the “work …