Garmin data and maps
|Sincelejo main plaza|
|The hospitality staff see me off|
|Cows under a giant tree|
After I finished riding in the mountains, I decided to keep this schedule of staying at each hotel for 2 nights. It was at this point that I also decided to make this tour solely in Colombia. Another reason for staying in Colombia had to do with learning Spanish. One of my big reasons for starting my ride in Colombia is the Spanish is said to be clearer and easier to understand. I'm hoping by the time I get to Peru, I'll have a good grasp of the language. You can probably see how having another day has been very valuable. Giving myself time to explore each town has had the added benefit of feeling like I now have a relationship with each place I've stayed. I've met many people and had lots of simple conversations. For me, it's always the people I meet that make a place memorable. Each town truly is unique and I've had the time to discover it's character. This has made the tour so much richer, more relaxed and a lot more fun. I'm considering adopting this slower pace for all my future tours as well. Especially now that I'm doing video, I really need extra time.
After a relaxing stay in Sincelejo, I got packed up taking my gear back down to the parking garage. While I was loading up the trike, the hospitality employees all came over and wanted pictures with me. The garage is underground and the driveway to the street level is very steep. One of the guys, Eliese, helped push me up the steep drive while I pedaled. Wow was that nice! When I got out to the street I saw that it was blocked to motor traffic. I quickly understood that there was a Ciclovia happening where the streets are free of car traffic and open to anyone for biking, walking, skating or running. Ciclovias are a special event that happen in many big cities all over Colombia every Sunday. Street are blocked to motor traffic for a few hours so the locals can cycle, walk and jog, often with pets and kids. What great timing. I decided to ride it and enjoy the traffic free streets. This turned out to be the shortest Ciclovia ever. It was only on one street and only a few blocks long. If my hotel hadn't been on this street, I would have never known it was going on. From here I made my way to the historic area where I wanted to fly my drone around the main cathedral.
While I was setting up the drone, a walking club came through Santander Square. The procession was lead by 3 ladies in very colorful skirts. This club was mostly older women, some very old. One woman stopped and chatted with me for a bit. She gave me a kiss on the cheek before rejoining her group.
Whenever I fly the drone in cities, there is an audience. Today I had a huge group of people surrounding me. I really need to concentrate when I fly and it's hard when so many people want to see the screen and have questions and I'm trying to get a particular video shot. I didn't fly as much as I wanted but I got some decent shots and wasn't totally disappointed. The group of people were very animated. It was a group of young and old and everyone wanted to know my story and who I was. When I told them where I was riding to, Tolú, they all started arguing about the best way to get out of Sincelejo. Fingers were pointing in all directions - this was very comical.
Video of ride from Sincelejo to Tolú
Eventually, I said goodbye and started out of town. For all the directions the crowd of locals gave me, I ended up doing what I always do, pulling out my phone and following the route Googlemaps plots. Since it was Sunday, there wasn't much traffic. It's possible the locals gave me better directions. Google always plots the shortest route, not necessarily the easiest. Soon I was climbing a fairly substantial hill closing in a guy who was pushing a giant cart filled with plastic containers. When he saw me gaining on him, he stepped up the pace. Next thing I knew we were in a race to the top. He was determined to get there first - and he did. We both had a good laugh while cresting and then I quickly passed him on the way down.
Video of ride from Tolú to Santa Cruz de Lorica
I stayed for 3 nights and really enjoyed Tolú. This is a touristic town that only Colombians visit. Every time I walked around everyone kind of stared at me. This town doesn't see a lot of gringas. I, of course, tried to act like it was normal.
|Bicycle fish vendor|
Looking ahead, I needed to be mindful of the time I had left in Colombia. My visa expires
on April 23rd and I want to spend 2 weeks in Medellin before flying out. With less than a month to go, I decided to buy a plane ticket. I found a good flight to Los Angeles for less than $500 with only one lay over. Unfortunately, there are no direct flights from Medellin to the US. When flying in or out of LAX timing can be critical. The crazy LA traffic can make a trip to the airport a nightmare. The flight I found arrives on Saturday the 20th at about noon. Unfortunately, this meant I'll need to be at the airport in Medellin around 3 am. I think the sacrifice will be worth it. It's also easier to ask friends to pick me up if the timing is better and my friend Mary accepted my request, woohoo!!
|Lots of fishing in Tolú|
|Fishing boats on the beach|
|Santa Cruz de Lorica|
|Main church in Santa Cruz de Lorica|
The next morning I headed out of Santa Cruz de Lorica to Montería. Today's ride would
|Getting a ride|
Video of my ride from Santa Cruz de Lorica to Montería
|Welcome to Montería|