9/28/19 – 10/2/19 No visit from family and friends is complete without a laundry list of gear and parts. Soph’s family left behind a suitcase full of dry bags, gear cages, a maintenance kit for our stove, a cutting board, a rear derailleur, water filters, rechargeable batteries, chain rings, chain ring bolts, waterproof socks, mounting
9/17/19 – 9/24/19 Views of Cotopaxi from the plane. Ecuador topography like crumpled paper. Staring at ridge line roads, dreaming of what we might ride. Quick stopover in Guayaquil. Descending to the islands. Half-moon remnants of cinder cones covered in seagull shit ceaselessly deconstructed by whitecaps. Million year old Isabela in the center of it
9/14/19 – 9/16/19 I had to find a place to repair the drone. I took the bus and found a shop that seemed confident that it could be fixed. “Sensores” he told me. I gave it to him and he said a few things that I interpreted to mean it would be ready on Tuesday.
9/4/19 – 9/13/19 I woke up to terrible back pain that took thirty minutes of stretching to rectify. I said goodby to Álvarez and Dani. Their dog followed me to the edge of town and I turned back for fear that he would never return to them. Luck had been on my side on the
8/31/19 – 9/3/19 Early the morning of August thirty first Soph got on a bus to Popayan. I retraced our path to the east and then took highway forty five south. Riding in the early morning is a rare treat. The road has a different look and feel. The air tastes sweeter. I fly through
8/24/19 – 8/30/19 Feeling better. Downhill dirt road out of town. Perfection. Loud bugs and strong smells. Lunch in Alpujarra. Half a dozen women with the usual half dozen questions. Pictures with arms around us and thumbs up. We gave one a card and she left rubbing it between her thumbs, ear to ear smile.
Salento to Dolores 8/17/19 – 8/24/19 Salento was packed with tourists. We arrived late afternoon and spent two hours calling and knocking on hotel doors only to find them booked. We eventually found one that appeared to be under construction. It smelled of musty cigars and the boiler, we later found out, was prone to
8/11/19 – 8/17/19 From the Rio Cauca, the road climbs one thousand six hundred meters towards Jericó in just over twenty kilometers. It’s hot when you begin the ascent to Jericó. It’s cold when you reach Jericó. We’d only planned on one night there. It was just an intermediate point to get to a town
7/31/19 – 8/10/19 From the Gondola that takes you to Parque Arví one can glance into windows of homes just fifteen feet below. Women in bathrobes cooking breakfast, men getting drunk to start the day, children in uniforms skipping down the neglected streets of the hinterlands. Striking to me was the fact that Medellin was
7/20/19 – 7/29/119 I’d been building Colombia up in my mind for weeks. The chaos of densely populated Central American towns had left me yearning for a bit of desolation. In my head, I had painted it to be a place where we could slip away from civilization again. I had no basis for this