Monthly archive August, 2014
Mind the gap

Mind the gap

The sole land border between Colombia and Panama is occupied by the Darién Gap, a 160km-long, 50km-wide area of largely unexplored forest and swamp. The name is easily explained: ‘Darién’ after the Panamanian province in which it sits; ‘Gap’ for the break in the Panamerican Highway, an otherwise continuous 48,000km road between Alaska and Patagonia,...
South America redux

South America redux

click here for a larger version of the map Continents 1 Countries 9 Nights 408 Days of cycling 186 Distance 15,297.62km Climb 148,577m 100km days 49 Punctures 23 Broken spokes 4 Chains 5 Touring cyclists encountered 66 Passport stamps accumulated 56 Bottles of sunscreen used 8 Socks lost 3 Headphones broken 5 Hospitals & medical...
Four exports

Four exports

Much of Colombia’s contribution to the world’s second largest single-product marketplace is cultivated in a sizeable chunk of land in the centre of the country. Hilly paisaje located at a suitable altitude (between 1,000m and 1,800m above sea level) and blessed with a temperate climate (sunny, regular rainfall, highs around 18-23°C), the region has long...
The opposite of dancing

The opposite of dancing

Like most people who pass through, I took some dance classes in the Colombian city of Cali (tourist tagline: World Capital of Salsa). They were held at sunset in the attic studio of the pool house at our hostel, orange light flickering through mango leaves to finger the towers of downtown below. (Somehow, I fancied...
Parish notices, August 2014

Parish notices, August 2014

As we’ve mentioned here before, fellow cicloturistas Paddy and Laura Mottram were kind enough to meet with us in London before we set out on this trip, patiently answering our questions about their own 14-month tour around South America. Laura has now written a book about their journey: ‘Ipanema Turtles’, which we’ve just started reading,...
Month 13

Month 13

10 July – 9 August 2014 Countries Colombia (total 9) Distance 964.51km (total 14,556.30km) Climb 16,422m (total 142,585m) Longest day 136.57km, Popayán to Cali in Colombia (longest so far: 160.11km) Top speed 65.3kmh (fastest so far: 67.4kmh) Punctures 1 (total 23; Will leads 16-7) Touring cyclists encountered 1 (total 65) Planes 2 (total 6) Most...
It's only faster if it moves

It’s only faster if it moves

After 391 days and 14,556km on our beloved bicycles, we’ve been delayed mechanically by nothing more complicated or time-consuming than a puncture. After six hours and 140km in a borrowed Volkswagen Polo, the only time on this trip we’ve been behind a steering wheel rather than handlebars, this happened: A broken clutch, a truck-assisted U-turn...
Snaps - July 2014

Snaps – July 2014

Welcome to this month’s edition of Amateur Photographers. As ever, past months in this ‘Snaps’ series can be reached by clicking here; and you can see plenty more on our Flickr page.     Five minutes after Colombia’s exit from the World Cup, the bottom had completely fallen out of the local vuvuzela market. Mocoa,...