Colombia 101

With heavy hearts, we finally let ourselves loose of the tight Medellin grip. But it wouldn’t let us go without swinging. Before we knew it we’re having our first taste of the Colombian hills. Or mountain? Right out of the gate of Medellin, we were greeted with a good ‘ol mountain spanking courtesy of a 17km climb that left me with spaghetti legs. A kind reminder that my Central American panache ain’t gonna be enough to crest over these Andean mountains. Of course it was not a surprise. Our extended stay in Medellin gave us enough time to size up all the routes realizing there’s no way out of Medellin but up. All roads out of this city go up no matter which direction.

Even more impressive than the climb was the hospitality we got on our first couple of days of real riding. Free dinner, then breakfast and then lunch, all courtesy of different individuals trying to get us to sit down and regale them with our lousy adventures. Each invitation made us more and more ansty to hit the open road or dirt and just get our rhythm on our bikes. Eventually, we slowly got going and  started to feel that yeah we’re really on our way to discover the rest of Colombia.

Our first night at the back of the Regional Police station courtesy of “El Jefe” Hernadez. Thre chief as he is called.

Looking for a replacement nut for my Rohloff axle, we were directed to a taller de tuercas. A round of tinto set the bill straight.


Girlie talk in our camp in Narices while I do the cooking.


Ants marching. Reminds me of riding more before the rainy season in the mountains
Motomesa. A wrong turn on a deadend dirt heading to Puerto Berrio, we decided to take the chosen mode of travel by locals instead of backtracking. Plenty of dirt roads ahead, but this one is rare.


Cacao fincas lined-up the road to San Vicente Chucuri so we helped ourselves
One less car. Chic bike in quaint little Zapatoca with conservative leanings.


But this one begs to be driven. Car courtesy of our Warmshowers host, Armando
Armando along with her wife Sonya, an artist, with a vibrant personality
She paints the electrical meters around town for fun
Back to on the road diving down to Rio Suarez and Chicamocha Canyon with only cattles to impede onward progress. Motivation is at an all-time high and were both excited to explore a new continent
Out of the canyon and into San Gil we go. We stopped briefly in Barichara, a town outside San Gil, for a mid-day siesta before heading to San Gil
San Gil – Adventure capital of Colombia

Our route: Medellin – Rio Negro – Guatapé – San Rafael – Narices – Estación Manela – Puerto Berrio – Puerto Araujo – Tarima – San Vicente Chuccuri – Zapatoca – Galan -Barichara – San Gil

You can view the gpx track here.



2 Comments Add yours

  1. After reading this, I’m adding a spare Rohloff axle bolt to my repair kit.


  2. Luckily it wasn’t the axle that was stripped. Anyway, the guy gave me two choices, either rethread the axle to make it smaller so I can fit a bolt that I can easily find from any hardware store in Colombia or he’ll rethread a nut. I choose the later for fear of voiding the warranty of the Rohloff hub.


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