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"To see a world in a grain of sand, And a heaven in a wild flower; Hold infinity in the palm of your hand, And eternity in an hour." William Blake


Fiesta with Friends

July 5th, 2009 by sunflowers

In San Gil I stayed with Andres and his daughter Ainara. Andres is a teacher at a university. Apparently teaching in Colombia doesn’t pay too well and Andres’ family would like him to live in Bogota and get a job with a big company but he gets satisfaction from helping people learn.

But it has it’s advantages as while I was there Andres’ students showed up in a truck with a portable bbq, beer and this yummy slightly alcoholic drink. It was a lovely Sunday afternoon.

San GilSan GilSan GilSan Gil

Posted in Colombia | 2 Comments »


Bored in Barichara

July 4th, 2009 by sunflowers

Near Barichara is San Gil which has rafting, caving, horse back riding, paragliding etc and I realised that I didn’t really fancy doing any of them as I have already done them in other places. For a moment I actually considered going home and getting a job. But I know I need to make the most of this opportunity as it takes a lot to quit work and leave everything. The two things that I want to do are learn Spanish and get fit.

I am struggling with Spanish because I find the studying hard but my sister is coming out to visit me and I want to be able to speak better so that I can impress her. And we are climbing the Inca trail so I need to get my fitness level up as riding a bike all the time is causing it to drop.

So in the mornings I am going to go for a walk and listen to my Spanish lessons. Starting with my morning in Barichara.

BaricharaBaricharaBaricharaBarichara

Posted in Colombia | 2 Comments »


Big Bottom Bugs

July 3rd, 2009 by sunflowers

In this region they eat large bottomed queen ants. I wasn’t that fussed. But I am making the most of getting fresh fruit juices and tropical fruit.

BaricharaBaricharaBaricharaBarichara

Posted in Colombia | No Comments »


Riding in the Rain

July 2nd, 2009 by sunflowers

BaricharaI didn’t want to leave my new friends in Bucaramanga but a friend had told a hotel in Barichara had been booked for me so I ended up riding through really heavy rain to arrive at this hotel just before sundown. It turned out it was five times more expensive than what I ended up paying and my tank bags aren’t as waterproof as I thought they were so I wreaked my ipod. I was quite miffed but I calmed down by walking around taking photos of this historical town.

BaricharaBaricharaBaricharaBarichara

BaricharaBaricharaBaricharaBarichara

Posted in Colombia | No Comments »


New 7 Wonders of the World

July 1st, 2009 by sunflowers

It turns out that my trust in strangers was rewarded as they told me about Chicamocha Canyon one of the nominee for the natural seven wonders of the world www.new7wonders.com.

Jonathan (the bloke that asked me to stay at the service station) rode my bike so that I could take some videos. It turns out that he is an ex-motorcycle racer. My bike has never been so well ridden and I have never been so scared on it.

BucaramangaBucaramangaBucaramangaBucaramanga

BucaramangaBucaramangaBucaramangaBucaramanga

Posted in Colombia | No Comments »


Kindness of Strangers

June 30th, 2009 by sunflowers

Twice already I have had people come up and ask to have their photos taken with me. And when I was stopped for petrol someone came up and said if I was passing through their town I was welcome to stay the night. At first I thought I wouldn’t as that it might be a bit dangerous. But as it turned out that the town was two hours into my ride the next day I thought I would phone him and see if he wanted to meet for lunch. I find his place all right due to Bucaramanga having a lovely grid system of Calles (streets) and Carreras (avenues). When I arrived he said that his brother had just gone to get a mattress for me. So it looked like I was staying!

BucaramangaBucaramangaBucaramangaBucaramanga

BucaramangaBucaramangaBucaramangaBucaramanga

BucaramangaBucaramangaBucaramangaBucaramanga

Posted in Colombia | No Comments »


Back on my Bike

June 29th, 2009 by sunflowers

CartagenaIt was time to leave my sheltered nest and head out on my own. Many thanks to my host Fernando, his son Phillipe and his girlfriend Isabella for letting me store my bike, making me feel at home, providing me with a route and contacts throughout Colombia and giving me a great welcome to Colombia!

I had a lovely first day ride. 340 miles, 8 hours of riding, $15-$20 worth of petrol, 1 juice stop, 1 train stop, 1 police stop and $10 for a roadside hotel.

CartagenaCartagenaCartagenaCartagena

Posted in Colombia | No Comments »


Mud Bath in a Volcano

June 29th, 2009 by sunflowers

CartagenaThe second day of my bike recovery program I rode without luggage to a mud volcano, Volcán de Lodo El Totumo, where you can climb into mud that is so thick that the furthest I could sink into it was my chest. I only got stopped by the police once and this time I had my documentation on me and I was a bit nervous riding in the mud.

I also repacked the bike for the first time since the fall. Due to having too many books I have had to leave behind my Mexico and Central American guide book, 2 fiction books, the joy of photography, woven bag, bear spray, tinted helmet visor, binoculars, compression bag and bicycle shorts.

CartagenaCartagenaCartagenaCartagena

Posted in Colombia | 3 Comments »


Colombian Cops

June 27th, 2009 by sunflowers

I must admit that I am quite nervous about riding the bike again (even though after spending 60 hours straight on public transport getting back from Trinidad I am also glad I am riding). I am always a little bit apprehensive riding in a new country before you know what the other drivers are like on the roads and how the officials will act when they stop you and also when I haven’t ridden for a while. So for my first day I decided to take it easy and just bike around the little town I am staying at just outside of Cartagena. I rode into town and was stopped twice by the police. The first time I think they were telling me to go onto the main road. And the second time they stopped me they asked for my bike documentation which I had left at the house. So I thought they were going to follow me back to the house after motioning me to ride in front of them but then they passed me before my turn off so I just turned off and lost them and am now a fugitive from the law.

CartagenaCartagenaCartagenaCartagena

Posted in Colombia | No Comments »


Trinidad to Venezuela

June 26th, 2009 by sunflowers

On the ferry I befriended a young American girl who is going to Venezuela to do her thesis on oil and it’s effects on Venezuelan politics. As it was her first time in Venezuela I showed her the ropes. Where to buy her bus ticket (someone’s house), where to change money (bookshop), where to have a beer and use the toilet (hotel restaurant).

Then on the bus I was befriended by a Colombian Hari Christianer missionary. Which made me think that if I was a missionary I would probably go to the UK as it seems to me to be the least religious country I have been to. These are just some more photos of Trinidad and Tobago.

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TrinidadTrinidadTrinidadTrinidad

TrinidadTrinidadTrinidadTrinidad

Posted in Trinidad and Tobago | 1 Comment »


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