Just another day in the travel life.
“The travel life? What the heck does that
Ok, in the life of a traveler. Is that better?
Picky, picky, picky.
Can I get on with this story, now?
Last night I met with Hale, the Turkish cyclist
and her boyfriend for a drink and a talk. Their life is going
though a big change. First, they are getting married. Then
she is leaving for Cuba to undertake a month cycle trip and he
for Turkey to start a hang gliding business. He is an
internationally licensed pilot and they see an opportunity for
both her touring business and his jumping of cliffs business
They were discussing the problems of young couples today. Her mother wants, guess what? They want to begin a life of working toward their goals. Today? Was my question. Life in that way has not changed very much. Mothers want to be grandmothers and children want to live their lives in their way.
They did invite me to join them on a 5 day tour of the eastern mountain chain to help their bike touring business friends scout out a new addition to their offerings. It just did not interest me. They will ride the down hills and truck the bikes up the hills. Also there will be a lot retraceing and mapping. The logistics seem just too much for me right now. It is nice to receive such an offer, however.
I wanted to make a change to my bicycle set up that required the manufacture of some parts. One of the nice things about a country that is trying to help everyone with any problem they have, is just that. Whatever you need, if you can describe it the people will do everything possible to make it happen. When you are traveling in such countries remember that things are differentin many good ways. If you have a problem that at home would take a lot of time and money, share it with a local. You most likely will be surprised at the answer.
The hotel owner’s son took me out to find a place to solve the problem. We went first to a window manufacturer. Jorge thought that since they use a lot of aluminum they would have the stock to make the parts I needed. No.
On the way to another such place we saw a motorcycle dealer and repair shop. I drew out the part and asked did they have such a part. No, but they could make it for me. Ok, I need 4. Sure, no problem. Did I want them painted and what color?! Black would be good. Should I come back tomorrow. No, we can get it done in about a half hour. Wow, how much will it cost? We need to buy some nuts and bolts, so with the labor, our parts, all together about $1.75.
I got a chair and sat down to wait, Jorge returned off to his work. The mechanic asked me to help a little and we talked about the motorcycle business and just chatted while he and I worked. A couple of changes to the idea, a trip to the hardware store and shortly the change was made. I offered another $2.00 but he said no, even giving me the change.
I always wondered how some travelers met so many locals. I know, this is coming from a guy who seems to meet everyone. To me that is not true. I feel that I am traveling alone without meeting many people. But I am always open to the opportunity. One just never knows what is coming their way. Walking my bike down the streets of San Gil, a big adventure town, a cute young woman stopped me and asked where I was going. A very common question. Donde va, is heard a lot. After that de donde eres. Where are you from, is most often the next question. I told her I was going to Colombia. That stopped her. Here we were in the middle of the country a long way from any major city and I tell her I am going to visit the country. Hale is a touring cyclist. She has been out since 2015. Soon we were talking about travel. No, not cycling. The bicycle is a transportation device, not the journey. After a while we exchanged WhatsApp info and I went off to find a hotel and she to work. We had arranged to meet later. At about 4, I texted her and we arranged to meet at a panaderia. She suggested the bakery and it was a good place. We talked for 2 hours over a piece of raisin cake and a glass of manarina juice. Can you imagine how many tangerines it takes to get a full glass of juice? It is very good and I am hooked on it. Hale has some wonderful stories of the road. She now is settling down with a Colombiano boyfriend, but not completely ready to quit traveling. She is running tours for Turkish tourists in Peru, Chile and Colombia. A Turkish TV statio was publishing stories about her tours so they became more popular. She is getting too busy for her tastes I think. We have plans to meet for lunch, tomorrow. She is going to talk to a friend running a bicycle day tour company about me joining some tours as a helper. That would be fun, but it is only talk now. I have found jobs on the road a couple of times. When canoeing the Missouri River I was hired to help a campground owner improve the business in his store. I was offered a job helping a cab company increase their touring business in Peru, but declined. It was just the wrong timing. As with meeting people I am not sure how these things happen. Some of it is that I am alone and more open to encounters. Also I have learned to pay attention to my environment. I watch people and listen to them. I look at their moment to moment lives. It adds so much interest to my life and travels. The ride here yesterday was, wait for this, EASY. “No, that is not possible. How could any ride you do, be easy?” Yea, I know, all I ever talk about is how hard and big the hills are. Well, yesterday began with a small, easy climb that took me quickly out of the city into the mountains. As I was already above San Gil it was generally a fall from there. Oh, there were climbs, but short ones. Climbs I could work on my standing with. “Why, does he want to work on standing?” Standing gives me the opportunity to strengthen body parts that need the action of standing to make them stronger and therefor improve my over all riding, making it easier and more fun. Yes, riding in big mountains can be fun. I complain but why would I do this if I were not fun? Once I got a gold rose from the Tudor guild. They were given for something beyond the normal that someone did. I got mine because while talking with the then president I said, in response to her question about enjoyment of my work with the Guild. Why would one volunteer if they were not enjoying the job? Is it not the same with life and all things in it. If we are not enjoying what we are doing, then why do it? Of course, there are some things that we must do that are not as fun, but we cannot let them be our life’s guide. So, when I complain about the hills, wind, traffic or whatever, know that underneath there is always enjoyment of the moment. I so enjoy the feel of my tires as they travel the roads of the world. Wow, what a way to live! My tires are so lucky!
The road is an amazing place. It goes never goes where it points. Three days ago, I woke up thinking I was going to be riding for about 4 or 5 days. I was looking forward to it. When it began with a hard climb, I welcomed the challenge. It was what I wanted to do. There nothing like cycling into the unknown. Such a good feeling. As I went up a hill I had climbed 2 days before, I noted this curve, that piece of rope imbedded in the pavement. The place where I stopped to recover as I faced an extreme angle, passed, where a dapper man rode past on his wonderful horse, appeared. The long hot houses where tomatoes grow all over this valley, where their angle indicated the steepness of this climb, went by. Many places that reminded me of truing around to return to Villa de Leyva for the solution to a problem. The road is so full of surprises that, after all these years of trying to follow it I no longer see difficulty in its demands. Returning to a place used to bring stress. What, I have to do this again. I very much dislike U turns. In fact I do not allow my gps to ask for one. As I rolled back into Leyva I went to a bike shop I had stopped when I first entered the town. They did not have what I needed and sent me to another. There I met Henry. Ok, those who read my stories know where this is going. We engaged each other at once. He is an ex professional racer, a shop owner and a good guy. We talked about the problem. He had all I needed and would get right to work. Well, after we had a cup of tinto. No, not red wine, but black coffee. Colombia has so many expressions that do not exist in other Spanish speaking countries.
After talking for some time, a very attractive female employee came forward and joined the conversation. At least I thought she was just an employee. Ok, time for Henry to get to work and me to go for lunch. The bike would be ready tomorrow morning.
Lunch was good. Near where I am staying, the tourist area, lunch costs between 25,000 to 30,000. Where I ate cost 6,000, for a bowl of soup, a main plate of meat, salad, potato, yucca, rice and a lemonade. At about 3,300 per dollar, that is a big difference for the same meal. After, I walked around, this now familiar town. I ventured further into the neighboring hills and residential areas, learning more as I went. I have noticed that there is a lot of property for sale in Colombia. That can a few things, people with financial problems, a seller’s market, a booming economy or a failing one. Here I think it is the fast-expanding expat market. More and more expats from the US, Canada Europe and other parts of the world are discovering that Colombia is a safe country with a great climate, good economy, yet very inexpensive. As darkness fell, I found my way home and settled in to think about this journey and enjoy the bicycle race on tv. A small note. Days are 12 hours long as are the nights, year round. In fact, ex pats tell me it sometimes bothers them that sunset comes at the same time every day. After breakfast I walked over the Henry’s store to pick up my bike. As before, it was not that simple. First a cup of tinto, a conversation with Henry, then the female employee and then an older woman. Now we were standing around the shop discussing the world and our lives. After an hour or maybe 2 Henry and I settled on the cost. He wanted the parts. OK, how much are they worth to you, I asked. We talked and came to an agreement of a discount if I let him keep the parts. I was not going to take them anyway. I did not want to carry the extra weight. It came time for me to leave, it was lunch time again. I suggested that Henry and I could meet for a beer after he closed. Yes, that is a great idea, he responded as the female employee nodded her head vigorously. Wait, I did not invite her, but I got no choice.
At 7 I went to the plaza, the time and place for
us to meet. At 7’30 I sent Henry a text saying I was sorry we
had missed each other. Just as I finished the female employee
came up and hugged me. OK, what is going on? She said her
father was parking the car. Then I noticed the older woman
from the shop. This is my mother Andrea said. OK, another
surprise. Soon, I saw Henry round the corner. Here comes my
father, Andrea says. Now, I get it! They are a family. Boy
am I slow.
We got a beer each and sat on church steps at
the head of the plaza, talking, meeting various friends,
enjoying the warm evening. Henry and l walked around the
classic cars parked for a small show and generally did what
they do on a Saturday night. Very pleasant evening and a
great reward for not getting excited about a problem. So many
times, what seems to be a disaster becomes one of the best
experiences of a journey.
As I said in the beginning. The road has its
own ideas of what a day will be. I just to make sure I
This tour is difficult. Not in the hard climbing. For sure it is the hardest I have ever done. But it is not difficult, just have to keep pedaling. It is not difficult in the logistics. There are very inexpensive hotels and restaurants everywhere. You would love it. No planning just stop when you want.
It is hard because I don’t see the purpose. This land is fantastic. Everywhere I look my eyes are amazed. I am meeting the people as always. How many find a new grandmother who is younger than them.
I am learning about the history and the culture. Bolivar was one amazing traveler and general. During his campaign to free South America from Spain he rode a horse 123,000 km. My Spanish is getting better. I can almost hear the intent of the sentence. Surprise has come in staying in the homes of Ashlanders living in this country. Dave and Steve were wonderful hosts taching much about their lives as expats. But something is missing. It is the purpose. I just cannot identify it.
Always my journeys find a purpose. Not often when I begin but they do find their own way. This one is lost. Where am I going? I do not mean a physical location, but rather a place in memory. What will I remember about here beyond the obvious?
This morning I wanted to ride. I knew it was going to be a very hard climb that would not seem to have an end. I knew that this was the beginning of a 6 or so day ride to a city in the north. From the maps and profile it will not be an easy ride. I will climb many thousands of feet, most of it very steep and duro, as they say here. Hard is something I want to do. I always want to be stronger in mind than body. It takes more mind than body to keep moving forward under very hard effort. But that is not enough. It is not a real purpose, for no matter strength will fade with age.
I sit here in my very nice hotel room telling you this and still wonder why I am here. I know that travel is what I do. I know I do not do it to see the world, but of course i do. I do not do it to gain knowledge, again that happens, it is impossible to ignore. I do not do it to move, moving is easy anywhere. All this travel life has been because I could do no other. It has always found a purpose beyond travel and that is what I seek. But this one has not, yet.
I will keep hoping.
Time for a stainless steel cup of Portuguese wine.
A note in my last email i said 2 days short of a
month. I do lose track of time, so forgive me.
I was kidnapped this morning. A couple from
Medellin asked me to join them for breakfast and it turned
into an entire day with a trip out of town.
Negra and Elena are traveling around for a week or so learning more about their adopted country. They were born in Ecuador and moved to Colombia 30 years ago when they married. Now they are retired, she from her medical practice and he also from the same. Very nice couple to put up with my Spanish all day. They speak no English so it was Spanish all day. That was one of the reasons I accepted their offer of a walk after breakfast. To have the opportunity to invest time speaking the language one on one, was too good to pass up. Shortly after we left the hotel Negra suggested that we visit Racquira. We walked over the bus station and negotiated the best price, had a cup of tinto. No, not red wine, but a cup of black coffee. Theirs with sugar and mine sin. It is as difficult to get coffee without sugar here as it is to get tea without it in the south. In fact, this morning at breakfast I asked for tinto sin azucar and got it with sugar. They prepare it that way as normal. In order for me to get it without they have to make it special, which they did.
Soon we boarded the bus for the half hour
ride. Racquira is an amazing little village. It looks
something out of a Mexican movie. I think it is a border
town transported to Colombia. Really fun place with lots of
tourist stuff for sale and yet a unique town with pretty
little rivers, a small church and a plaza with many statues
of saints and working people.
Everywhere we went Negra negotiated the
prices. It did not matter that he had no intention of
buying anything, he argued the price. He spoke with a tout
about the price of lunch for about 10 mins., even though he
planned to return to Leyva for lunch. Later in the
afternoon he asked if we wanted ice cream. Sure, that
sounded good in the hot afternoon. He went into the
supermarket and began to ask the price of the packaged ice
cream! Interesting hobby.
They would not let me leave as we walked
around Leyva, them taking lots of pictures, I pity their
kids, and me enjoying their company. I said kidnapped when
it was really more like adopted. As I helped her up and
down the high curbs and steps, she began calling herself my
abuela. Interesting as am older than both of them by about
10 years. Difficult for her to be my grandmother.
So, I hope they have lots of money to leave
me. Wait, I think they may survive me by a long time. Oh,
well I guess I should pay my credit card after all.
Wow, the last couple of days have been about climbing up to Villa Tuscana to visit Dave and Maria Luz. He is a retired postman from Medford and Ashland she is a Columbian accountant. Mostly uphill from Zipaquiera, this deep valley is spectacular. Wait a minute, up hill to a deep valley, No. Yes! After the flat ride to Zipaquiera, I found, good word, a road to take me back to the Autopista and north. The road had a small, 524 meters high hill, in just under 3 km. Then a down on a dirt road, with lots of sharp curves, deep holes and big rocks. At the autopista, the highway opened up to 4 lanes and a nice shoulder of smooth pavement. But of course it had to have some challenge or why would I do it? It began a climb that would continue for the next 2 days. As you know I like to climb as I like the rewards of great views and ever changing landscape. In Columbia that is very true. This country is right out of a fantastic novel. It is just not possible for the landscape to be real. I do not have the capability to share with you in words what I am seeing. As you know my eyes have witnessed many countries on this world. Every continent has felt my tires and Columbia stands out as spectacular!
Dave had told me to go to Terra Negara and turn right at the sign for Villa Tuscana, well there was no sign but only one right turn so I took it. I did ask and was told it did go to Janesano which I knew was close to David’s place. Ok, he said there was a climb and a rough road I had to negotiate. Ha! Yes, a climb of about 5 km with short grades in excess of 20%! Rough road, yes. But not too bad. Much better than the dirt road of yesterday. But what awaited me was harder. A big downhill. A crazy stretch of 12 km of extremely steep down with no pavement in places, speed bumps, trucks on my side of the road, and all of this awaiting around very sharp curves. Do not know how steep, but my nose was sore from rubbing on the road as I fell of the mountain. The down was harder than the up. Am now staying in Jenasano for a few days to get some dental work done. Just think about travel to such a great place and dental work done for a great price. A cleaning and 3 caps for $140. Lida, the dentist has been in practice since 1999. Lots of good experience and very busy. She cleaned my teeth today and will finish the rest on Sunday and Monday. I had heard that prices here were low, but wow.
Dave and Maria Luz have been great hosts. They live in a small closed village with tennis courts, a large pool, several weekend restaurants, a bowling alley and a movie theater. All tucked into this beautiful valley. Moved into town for a couple of days as Dave and Maria Luz left for Bogota. Sunday Lida finished my work and I left for parts unknown Monday. I have some towns in mind but overall do not know where this trip will take me. You may notice this story is a little out of order, but then again so I am. I am writing this from the Altiplano where it is raining hard in the desert. I guess the rain falls hard here because we are so close to the sky it does not have far to fall. e. You may notice this story is a little out of order, but then again so I am. I am writing this from the Altiplano where it is raining hard in the desert. I guess the rain falls hard here because we are so close to the sky it does not have far to fall.
It is hard when you cannot remember the name of the place you are staying. I had to stop for a while to remember. Maybe I can blame it on the Spanish. Yea, that’s it, couldn’t be old age… Today was interesting? Took David, my host to the cell store to help him with changing phones and upgrading his sim card. His iPhone would not let him download any apps until he updated the operating system. But it would not let update the system. Great! He had an older Android and we changed the sim card….do you really care about all this? I know I don’t care about discussing it. We got that done and then he had to go to get his shoulder worked on. While that was happening, I walked around, went to the bank to get efectivo because the dentist would not accept credit cards, only cash. I had a beer and an arepa. They are lightly fried corn cake with cheese in them sometimes. Very good. The ATM did not work. More on that later. “Really, now he is going to go on about a ATM , why? Think I will just delete this story.” Sometimes traveling is just day to day activities. I found a dentist yesterday who would see me right away. Lida examined my teeth and told me what problems I had and asked what I wanted to do. We agreed on a cleaning and 3 caps. Then we negotiated the cost. The price came to be 3,400,000 COP. COP is Columbian Pesos. In American that is $140.00! So, she cleaned them and I have go back on SUNDAY, imagine and Monday to complete the work. Now I must add in the extra cost of my hotel room. For 4 days that comes to $40.00. Very nice, lots of windows, clean room with on-suite in the center of town. Better than going to a dentist locally and just a little cheaper. With more day to day stuff we finished the day by going to another town and bank to get the cash. See I got the arm discussion in before you deleted the story. Returning to our casa Maria Luz called and asked us to join her at a friend’s apartment for hot chocolate and dulce pan. The sweet rolls and cheese were good, but not as good as the Mexican detective comedy we watched with the family of older adults. We had so much fun with the 1950’s slapstick movie. I have been losing weight. Not so much from cycling but from Columbian eating habits. In the morning breakfast, sometimes with a good hot soup, sometimes a normal American breakfast. Lunch is the main meal. A starter, soup, main plate with rice, a couple of small potatoes, a 3 bite salad, a drink and whatever main you choose. I took my host to lunch and the total was around $5 for both of us. Lunch can last 2 or 3 hours. It the time the to share with others. Eating local not only provides the local food, a learning experience, but is most enjoyable. Then in the evening the dinner is maybe an arepa or some fruit and a beverage. BTW very fresh fruits are severed with almost every meal and for snacks. Very nice. Even day to day can be fun and interesting. Question. What picture should I have used for this story? Maybe one of me in the dentist chair with an open…never mind, No pic with this story. And no hills!
Had my first bad interpersonal encounter in all
my years of travel. I mean where my life could have been in
danger. Such a contrast to all my Columbian travels.
I was climbing very slowly up as I had been
yesterday and most of the day today. I was very tired. When
out of a side road came a man, moving fast. He was dressed as
a field worker and very dirty. I have learned that Columbians
take a shower every day no matter their economic status. It
is very important to them.
The man ran up alongside of me and began yelling
in a Spanish that I had not heard. Running very close as I
weaved up the hill, making me nervous about colliding with
him. He kept yelling and yelling. I have learned that it is
best to pretend not to speak the language in such
circumstances. In my case that was very easy.
As he continued to run close by and yell, I told
him to go away in English, several times. He did not and the
more he yelled the more difficult it was for me to continue to
maintain on this difficult climb. Finally, I stopped and
looked directly at him and told him to go away in Spanish. He
then took out his machete and waved it in the air while making
OK, I am standing over my bike, holding it from
moving back downhill. No way to defend myself. I was tired
from climbing for 2 days and not in the mood for this action.
By now he was very irritated and telling me to give him money
for food. I again looked directly at him and said I was not
giving him anything, that I did not have money enough for him
and he should go away. He pointed at my bike saying how much
it costs and I could give him some money. He was still
I had had enough! I told him I was an old man
and did not care what he did to me. What I had was mine and
he was getting none of it. Then I told him to go away again,
in a command Spanish. He brought his machete a little closer,
then put it away. Finally, he waved to me and walked up the
hill, stopping a couple of times to see what I was doing.
After a little while I rode on up and saw him turn off on
another dirt road.
As I thought about this, I realized the man was
most likely Venezuelan. The dirty clothes and body, the
strange Spanish and the aggressive nature, none of which I
have seen since arriving in Columbia.
Please know that is a refugee experience and not
Columbian. I have learned to like Columbianos and to some
degree understand them and their history. I understand why
some many Americans and Ashlanders have brought their lives
here. That is except for all the big hills that one has to
climb on a bicycle.
The ride from Irra to Manizales was up a lot,
hard and not very fun. Heavy traffic, dusty and hot. It took
until after dark to arrive.
I do like this city. It is worth the effort.
Not sure why, it just feels comfortable. The people are
giving, smile a lot and offer a closeness. It is cooler here,
just enough to ask you to go out and enjoy the air.
It is Feria. Fireworks, street booths, dancing,
bands and lots of people. I stopped a taxi and asked him to
take me to El Centro and la feria. He told me to take the
cable, it was much cheaper. Think about a taxi driver telling
Following the taxi drivers advice, I took the
cable car to the main part of town, which is much higher than
my motel. It seems that many cities in Columbia have cable
car systems as part of their metro. With all of the large
hills and mountains, It is how people get around.
On that subject of honesty of the taxi driver,
honesty is a real thing in Columbia. The other day, while
standing on a corner, fishing around in my pockets I dropped
my credit card. I man tapped me on the shoulder and pointed
to it, asking if it was mine. Wow, can you imagine that
happening in any city? When I shared this story with my
friend in Bogota he had a similar one! Not the image that we
have of Columbia via our media.
Called Steve in Bogota and arranged for him to meet me at the bus station when I arrived. An 8 hour bus ride is not something to look forward to but I wanted to spend a little time with Steve and Mary in Bogota before he went to Ashland for business. Walk to the bus station, compro me boleta for 8 AM tomorrow and back to my motel to write a little before dinner. Did I say I like this city? The motel staff has been super friendly, giving me a bigger room for my bicycle and stuff on the first floor. They tell me not to order this or that because it is too much or it is a local dish that might take getting used to. Just so giving. Show up at the bus station an hour early and again the people are great. A young man comes out from behind the glass enclosed counter to help me with the bicycle. No, I do not have to disarm my bicycle it can be put on the bus with the bags on it, he tells me. Disarm in this case means to disassmble. In a few minuets I am sitting at a table in the food court eating my breakfast and drinking coffee in complete comfort and peace.
The bus arrives and the driver loads my bike,
standing up in the basement of the bus. We are given a
headset for the music and movies shown on the seat back
screens. The seats are wide and comfortable. Off we go, in
The terrain of Columbia is wonderful. As the
bus climbs out of Manizales the mountains and valleys are
revealed. I almost wish I had ridden. Almost as the bus takes
over a half hour to crest the first climb. That would be over
half a day on the bike and we have a few more climbs to get
over this chain of the Andes. The wish goes away as I take a
sip of my cold orange juice and turn on a children’s movie. I
watch these to learn Spanish.
We go on and on as the scenery gets better and
better. Soon I realize that am watching a Disney movie out
the bus window, as this just cannot be the real Columbia. And
if it is, it not possible for the next lush green mountains to
be better than the last, but they are.
We stop for lunch in a town just on the other
side of a large river. I learn that the pedestrian bridge
that I see just down river was the original bridge and was
build in the US and emailed here. Well, maybe not emailed,
shipped here, maybe with Amazon Prime.
Back to the ever changing road. Now about 3 hrs
left. Bogota is about 8000 feet and Manizales about 7000, not
much difference except when you know how much you gain and
loose along the way. Up and down, up and down, up and down,
dizzy yet? No, up and down, up and down, up oh well you
Soon Steve is standing at the door of the bus welcoming me to Bogota and their hospitality.
Another Spanish school but this one is very different. The students are mostly in their 20’s and 30’s, European and travel extensively. They also like to party.
Met a very interesting family. I overheard a young man trying to explain the race to a younger girl. He really had no idea what was going on, so I asked if I could help. We talked and I shared what I knew. I asked where they were from. Tanzanian they answered. He was studying architecture and she was in high was in high school. What university, I inquired. Well, he said it was in China. They looked up and waved at a man and woman across the street and said that was their mother and father. Soon we were joined by them and the conversation continued. I learned so much from this wonderful family. Their hopes and dreams and about their lives.
Last night I was having dinner in a sidewalk
restaurant when a student came up and asked if I wanted to join
the rest of the group on the patio at the school. I had the
waitress put my meal in a box and headed the one block to the
school. There sat about 10 students drinking rum or wine. Quite
lively with singing, a little chair dancing, animated conversation
and texting. Yes, they text during everything. There’s an app
that I discovered is used almost everywhere in the world except
the US, What’s App. The school has an address and I am
constantly being updated on what the others are doing. Not sure
I am that interested but does show me a new way of being.
Last night a large guy from Balitome was teaching a
English man how move his hips without moving other parts of his
body. It was fun watching. A girl was holding Oscar’s hips
trying to help or maybe something else as she had her head very
close in. The non music continued along with the frolicking as I
bid ado and walked by to my apartment in the rain.
Spanish is very hard for me. I have studied it in
at least four countries and continue to study at home but have
not mastered it. In fact not even close. From the classes I
take I know that my vocabulary is more than sufficient and often
my grammar, at least in the present tense is acceptable, but
hearing Spanish eludes me. Not sure if I will take another week
here or move on to see the country. Will decide on Saturday.
Looking at the route from here to Tonya where I have
a contact from Ashland who has been emailing me with helpful
information, David. Then another friend from Ashland lives in
Bogota and has invited me to visit him. Steve says is leaving
for Ashland at the end of Jan so time is short as it will take at
least I weeks to pedal to Bogota. If possible, I will not pass
up an opportunity to stay with a local or at least, semi local.
It has rained every afternoon. Something I must
keep in mind when I begin my journey. It only rains for an hour
or so. That means I will be forced to take break from the
mountains for a time each day. Darn I hoping to beat myself up
with a non stop 8 hour climb every day. Please feel sorry for