two days back to Giron

I’m keen to get back to Medellin as soon as possible, complete the 2000 mile northern loop, and concentrate on the mountains for the next few weeks. I also need to get to Cali and get local information on the best dirt rides in southern Colombia. And finally, I’m really tired of the heat. It’s been months now.

The day one track
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From Aguachica to Bucaramanga we ride fast across the plains and pass through working towns. This one was fairly colourful
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Some cater to the truckers that are making the haul from Santa Marta to Bogota and park in vast dirt parking lots
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The landscape changes and we start to pass through low valleys
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This would be a good spot to mention my favourite road lunch. It’s fast because it sits in a heated glass box along with other stuff, sausages, rapas, etc. It’s called papa rellena and is an egg surrounded by meat and rice in a thick maize crust and is delicious. And this is my first pear in months. Fresh fruit is rare on the road so I pick my lunch spot based on whether I can see fruit as I ride by if I can. Greens are impossible to find at the road spots so always have to wait until later, if they can be found then even.
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We pass a purple house with two big ponds, stuffed with goldfish. Thousands. A goldfish farm. We patiently hover around but no-one comes out, a shame
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We climb into the mountains. They’re far less green than on the Medellin side of the huge, two hundred miles across, valley
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At some point we follow a river
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Spanish moss trees, er
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Another 40 miles of this and we come to Bucaramanga, a city of no discernible character, and we spend an hour navigating through it
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Eventually arriving at Barichara for the night. It’s almost deserted. The church on the park. Pics taken this morning – too tired last night
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Typical street, beautiful
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It’s a struggle finding a place to park Lucinda in these towns and I’m dead tired and frustrated that everythings closed, but eventually I find a place that the caretaker and his wife let me into. I pay cash this morning – he has no idea how much to charge me, we settle on the equivalent of $30, about average for a colonial trap

This is the standard police uniform, except these guys are particularly shiny. They’re always two-up and pretty friendly. Kindof the opposite of Nicaragua. My incidents there turns out to be more the norm the more I read from others. The neon yellow has ruined this blog page
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This morning we race off to the canyon. A river
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Where hotel-lobby plants live alongside cactuses
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Into the Chicamocha
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Very hot, very dry. Cacti. No regrets coming through here twice, it’s nice to be back
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There are small dirt roads here also. I stop at a lunch stall and ask for a nice road diversion. This guy grabs his receipt book and starts drawing
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Then another guy gets involved
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The end result is not very helpful. But it was fun. At the end he signs it with a flourish and adds some additional words I don’t understand. A nice souvenir
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And so off I go because the one thing I understand, other than the fact that there’s a bridge at the bottom, which I never find, is the start point. Fantastic
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Some of it was pretty exposed (by myself I can go as slow as I like, haha)

The first time I’ve used the video camera in 2 weeks (it’s sometimes way too much work to upload at these crap internet speeds) but I’ll put it up here at some point. (edit – done)

Then completely wasted, into Giron, my favourite town so far. Zero tourists, just about 3,000 happy Colombians in a pretty colonial village. See the previous Giron post for details.

Saludos
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