Oh my goodness this is crazy!!!!

Trip Start Oct 16, 2012
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Trip End Apr 20, 2013


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Flag of Colombia  , Antioquia,
Wednesday, November 7, 2012

We woke up to a beautiful view of the mountains above, with low clouds sitting in the valley below. It was also much cooler than the mornings have been at sea level, which was a refreshing change.  When we were just about to leave the hotel lady offered us some coffees; of course we couldn't resist, especially when she asked us if we wanted milk with it, which is a real treat!  When it arrived it was actually hot milk, with a faint brown colour, which was really disappointing. 

As we set off, we were immediately met by a hill and unfortunately it barely let up all day.  We plodded up the first 15kms, which took 3 hours, with a couple of short breaks.  It was steep going but thankfully there weren’t too many trucks and they gave us loads of room when they were overtaking us, which was the opposite of our time in India.  The road was also paved, which helped but it was a long, hard slog none the less.  We stopped at the ridge that we had been aiming for all morning, to enjoy the views and to take some photos back down the valley.  Some children were playing with their "horses" which were actually just sticks with a piece of string tied on to it, to make it into reins.  They seemed happy and were having fun with such a simple “toy”.  The lifestyles and houses of the people living on the mountainside seemed so basic and simple; many of them were living in one room houses, with galvanised steel rooftops or just tarpaulins.  They seemed to have very little possessions, have very little in terms of entertainment and i'm sure very sure challenges financially but they seemed happy and healthy looking.

As we carried on we were delighted to see that the steep hill was continuing and looking like it was going to keep climbing for a lot longer!!  Unfortunately there was one steep downhill, which was even worse because you could see the long, winding road snaking its way back up the other side of the valley again.  It was so depressing to descend so far and to know that we had to plod all the way back up the other side again.  As we slowly gained ground on the other side, we realised that we had drunk our 5 litres of water and needed to get some more.  As the hill was still steep and there were no cafes/restaurants in sight, we pulled in by a little waterfall by the road and started to filter the water into our bottles.  Whilst I did this, Kory heated up some rice on the camp stove and we stirred in some tuna, garlic and herbs.  It wasn’t the most delicious lunch I have ever had but it is what we carry with us to eat in the event of us being hungry and having no means to buy food.  As we were crouched by the side of the road, starving, with the prospect of a long, steep hill climb ahead of us, it started to rain, which was just the icing on the cake!  I sat eating my rice and tuna, in the rain, whilst trucks drove past us splashing water over us, thinking about all the people who have said “oh you are going to South America, I’m so jealous”.
 

The rest of the afternoon continued in the same fashion, with us slowly continuing up the never ending hill.  Over the day we only managed to cycle 38km, of which at least 30km of it was up a steep hill, over the cloud level.  Even with the downhill included our average speed was a staggering 8kms per hour.  All in all, it was an exhausting and frustrating day, especially as the road markings and maps had drastic variations of how far our destination was and we spent the whole day wondering if we had another 10 or 60km to go.

Of course, as soon as we arrived into the town, had a drink, a warm shower and a lie down on the bed for half an hour, we were happy again.   The town was really pleasant, with a cathedral with an open square in front of it, which had lots of people sitting on benches enjoying the surroundings.  We got some supplies and joined them to eat lots of food to replenish our bodies, to enjoy the sun and to try to convince ourselves that tomorrow can’t be as difficult as today was.    

In the days to come I learnt that we had climbed 2000 meters over the course of the one day, which explained why it took us some time and why we noticed it in our calves!
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Comments

Grandma on

Rembrance Day here!!!! We were watching services on our T.V. I was thinking of you Kory when you were gone to Afghastan. Alot of prayers were said for all of you's over there. And you came back safe. I'm sure you are thinking of your experiences over there too.
I enjoyed the pictures you posted,I can imagine the energy it takes to climb those mountains. You's will both be in very good shape. Keep the blogs coming, I really enjoy reading them.

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