People in Colombia are so friendly and it’s a great place so far. On the way to Yopal we had to take the main road which is busy with trucks. They give us as much space as they can but the challenge was the roadwork. Worst was a stretch of single lane alternating traffic, over 5 kms with uphill, 31° and humid. It was a real push because we knew the traffic at the other end was waiting for us to come through before they got the go ahead so we were very relieved to finally see the flag person. Needless to say we are getting in shape quickly.
We rode into Yopal and pulled over to ask how to get to the town center. Two fellows were pointing the way when an enthusiastic cyclist came up to chat and ended up leading the way, showing us through town and finding a nice spot in the shade for drinks while the sweat of evaporated off us. Apparently the hot humid weather is actually cooler than usual thank goodness for us. Heiner ended up showing us around over the next few days for some music, swimming, ultimate frisbee, riding around town with friends, early morning hike for sunrise... he and his friends Jesús and Daniel spoke a bit more English than our limited Spanish so we resorted to Google translate when needed but I think we all improved quite a bit.
Jerome manage to arrange a one-day Safari - really appreciate Andres and Julia at Adventur Eco-tours squeezing us in. Saw lots of birds, reptiles and capybaras which look like a cross between a guinea pig and a hippo and they have teeth similar to beavers. Also saw anteater, couple of fox, cayman like an alligator, and lots of cows! Columbians like their meat. On the way to the reserve we drove through lots of rice fields and learned the pesticides and fertilizers are killing many animals in the summer as the water sources dry up and chemical residues become more concentrated. Take-home point: buy organic rice if you can.
We are now in a very small town called El Morro. Planning to take a small, rough road to Labranzagrande on our way towards Sogamosa while trying avoid the main truck route. Its going to be a long day up hill tomorrow and we’re hoping we don’t actually have to push the bikes too much.
El Morro has a bunch of very friendly dogs and our neighbour Juan has befriended us and follows us around the village. He’s a big suck for attention and very playful but I’m not so sure he’s as popular with the cats and chickens. We had a huge thunder and lightning storm with a big downpour last night and it’s just starting again so I will finish this off before the power goes out. Remember to check out the photo section too. Cheers.