( In English to follow)
1 192 km parcourus en Colombie et 5 230km pour l’ensemble du voyage
La Colombie en photos commentées sur Picassa:
|Repos après la traversée|
|Forces armées ultra présentes sur les routes|
|Une des nombreuses familles qui nous offrent l'hospitalité|
|Santa Fe: ville coloniale|
|Accueil à la Casa de ciclistas de Medellin|
|La mort d'Escobar vu par Botero|
|Centre de yoga Ishka de Cali.|
|Bain thermal avec les amis de Piendamo et Popayan|
|Site archéologique de San Augustin|
|El fin del mundo: chute de 100m près de Mocoa|
|Route vers le Mirador:|
El Trempolin de la muerte prend la vie
de plusieurs à chaque semaine...
|Route qui mène à Pasto...on y voit Katja au loin.|
|Katja et le luthier de Pasto devant sa demeure|
|Hébergement chez les pompiers de Pasto|
Rendus à Pasto, notre dernier ange gardien nous reconduit jusqu’à notre destination: la station de pompiers (los bomberos). Nous y passerons la nuit. Les pompiers de la Colombie ont l’habitude d’héberger les voyageurs. Nous l’avons appris par d’autres cyclistes. C’est la première fois que nous l’essayons et ce fut une agréable soirée et une nuit où nous dormirons dans notre tente à l’intérieur de la caserne.
Après Pasto, nous amorçons une montée qui nous emmène à plus de trois mille mètres. Ici il fait froid et il y a encore de la pluie, presque de la neige. Pas facile...heureusement, la descente de 25km, nous emmène à 1800m là où le climat est plus agréable. Cette journée là, la route sera longue. Katja ne se sent pas très bien et la progression dans les côtes est lente. Katja a l’habitude d’être en avant dans les côtes et je la dépasse sur le plat ou dans les descentes. Mais depuis les deux derniers jours, elle traîne de la patte. On dirait qu’elle a perdue la moitié de sa puissance. Faudrait-il trouver un meilleur carburant ? Nous nous rendons à un petit village où nous dormons et le lendemain nous voilà rendus à la frontière de l’Équateur. Nous visitons la fameuse basilique de La vierge de La Lajas, un lieu miraculé. L’architecture et le lieu où est construite l’église est tout à fait splendide. Ce sera notre dernière journée en Colombie. Demain: l’Équateur, le dixième pays que nous visiterons lors de ce voyage.
|La cathédrale de La Virgen de las Lajas...lieu culte de la Colombie|
February 16 to March 30, 2011
1 192 km in Colombia and 5 230km for the whole trip
Colombia pics at:
I would like to dedicate this month to the memory of my lovely friend Dorothy Dickinson.
|We cross Panama to Colombia in this boat... I would not|
do this a second time !
|Bananas for exportation...|
|Behind me, indeginous houses|
|Botero Park in Medellin|
We were welcomed with open arms to the new Casa de ciclistas in San Antonio de Prado,high up in the mountains,outside of Medellin. Manual and Marta are the proud owners of a bicycle shop (Ciclo Campeon) and received Parys (polish cyclist) who gave us their address. Manual is an avid cyclist as well, especially in Colombia. His parents were murdered in the 70’s by the Escobar gang and Martha’s family was hurt as well only 10 years ago, which seems totally crazy but this was and maybe still is a gruesome reality for some Colombians. It’s also possible to view the consequences of the guerrilleros violence going through the mountains in the south where you see abandonned houses and when asked why?...the answer comes as a result of vengeance and extortion by killing the whole family.
|At the Casa de ciclistas de Medellin|
We are headed for Cali, the town of salsa dancing. It will take us 5 days before we can shake our buddies. We went up and down and up again and down again, a real russian roller coaster. The one day, we went up for 30km and met a lot of avid cyclists who were amazed of our cycling abilities and carrying 50kg of luggage! Archimede was so happy to meet us that he decided to go up with us for 10km.What a great day getting at the top and being able to drink a pony (malta drink) with our new friend! A few more pedal strokes and we get to Anselma’s colonial hotel. The last day, we are on a mission to reach Cali by performing 153km in 7h35! That’s where you really enjoy your beer with a grin on your face.
|La casa de ciclistas de Cali|
Thank you Herman and family for opening your door to us.
|We even had time for yoga in Cali!|
|At Marcello et Lorena's farm|
|Natives from Piendamo region|
We have decided to take a bus to San Augustin (126km) as the road has a steep uphill in gravel and it’s quite isolated. We take the 8.30 bus and 1h later, we’re stranded with a transmission failure. The ride will take a good part of the day as we had to wait for the 11.00 bus to come and pick us up!
|Supper with friends in San Augustin|
We take our time visiting the archeological park with our friends Bart and Sara who has joined us at the Casa ( they cycled from Carthegena to Bogota to San Augustin). The park is riched with stone statues carved by the San Augustin (6000y B.C and later). Very little information is know about them. They think San Augustin was a sacred ceremonial center and a graveyard for the high archy. The park houses tumbs with dolmens, sarcophages, grave sites and statues carved in stones showing the creativity of a society that influenced other precolombiens cultures of the north Andes. There’s other sites that you can visit on farmers land by foot or by horses. (la Chaquira, El tablon, La Pelota and Purutal). We also rode down with our bikes to El Estrecho where the Magdalena river goes through a canyon (starts in the Paramo and finishes near Cartagena). We also had time to help Igel by washing bricks before building a washing basins for the coffee. Thanks Igel and Paola for your great hospitality and happy trails.
|Yves at a school presentation|
We’re joining Bart & Sara by riding to Mocoa. We start by taking a taxi for 25km and 63km later, we arrive in San Juan before the rain starts. We find a pension and hope that Bart & Sara will join us. We meet Jenny, a young teacher that works in another village in a one school-classroom. She sets us up for a slideshow at the college for the next morning. Yves will be the speaker showing 64 pictures of our trip to an 11th grade class. It was fun and rewarding to watch the students react and laugh at our trip.
|Nice bath at The End of the World Trail|
I didn’t have a great sleep so we let Bart & Sara get a day ahead and we take a hotel in the center of town.
We have decided to try to ride up the Trempolin de la muerte, a steep gravel road (up 2000m) with switch backs. The weather is humid, sometimes rainy but we’ll make it up to the Mirador in 4h42 (time on the bike). The views are spectacular and luckily the traffic wasn’t too heavy as there isn’t much space for 2 trucks and a bike. We’re welcome by a few policemen (there’s a base with 100men) and staff working at restaurants. We’ll pitch our tent under a roof of an abandoned house, luckily as it rained hard all night long. We had a nice evening, drinking and dancing with the staff. The next day, the rain is still on so we catch a truck (downhill on gravel road) until we have to wait. A big landslide has happened (mud, trees and rocks) and we have to wait for a digger to clean the road. We get drop off at San Francisco (asphalt) so we can ride 6km til Sibundoy! Then it’s the ride to Pasto, a mix of asphalt and gravel with big ups and downs. I’ll take a truck after lunch for 20km and let Yves ride alone over the Paramo. We meet at a restaurant on the other side and ride down together. It’s sunday and people are out and about when suddenly Yves has to stop behind a taxi and 2 guys come running towards him with a metal bar and knives. We don’t understand right away but Yves screams and pushes his bike on the road to avoid a hit, I scream as well. Luckily, cars are stopping and helping us to get away from the madness. We are shocked but realized that it could have happened anywhere. We find out after, that it’s a bad area (barrio popular) and the police isn’t doing much. We finish the day at the bomberos (firefighters) that are use to host cyclists. We get to use the showers and kitchen, the tent can be set up in the meeting room. At night, there,s only 4 bomberos on shift so the place is quiet.
|Yves trying the bomberos post|
Pasto to Ipiales will be the last ride in Colombia. We’re in the Andes with 2000 to 2900m and I can feel my lungs working a bit harder. We start with a 12km uphill and take a break at a bakery. It’s freezing cold and we find a stove to warm us up. The rain starts so we wait a bit. We go down for 30km and then 24km of almost flat. We would like to reach San Juan and take a ride for the last 15km. Our driver drops us off to a nice hotel near the center.
The next day, we visit Las Lejas, a beautiful basilica neogothique built above a river after a young campesino’s daughter (deaf and dumb) had a vision of the virgen and was able to speak. The architecture is quite stunning, made with rock and cement ornements. It started by a small chapel and little by little, it became this incredible monument of devotion.
We are 8km from the border so he got there early. We’re sad to leave Colombia but we know Ecuador will be another little paradise. It will be our 10th country!
|You better listen to the preacher and follow his rules!|