|Distance||64.82 kms||40.39 miles|
|Climbed||1,516 meters||4,974 feet|
|Ride time (hours)||4.48||-|
|Avg speed||14.4 kph||-|
|Distance||12,780.34 kms||7,941.12 miles|
|Climbed||151,925 meters||498,442 feet|
|Ride time (hours)||1,028.77||-|
Thursday, July 18th, 2013
We left the bikes with the guard at the parking lot and went down to the sanctuary in the morning to check it out, very impressive structure. Back at the parking lot I started talking to Manuel from Cali in one of the restaurants. He invited us for coffee and sweet corn cakes while he told us about the state of Colombia. He is a physics professor at the university in Cali and he had studied for a year at the autónoma in Barcelona. I got to use a few words of Catalan for the first time since I left Spain. Super nice guy, so far we are enjoying the contact we are having with Colombians.
From Las Lajas there was a stiff 200-odd meter climb to get back up to the highway. My back tire kept going flat again... finally had to bite the bullet and change the tube when we got to the junction with the Panamericana, but it turned out the tube wasn't punctured. I don't know what's going on with this back tire, maybe the tubes are just too small, they are 27 x 1 3/8. I took the puncture protection tape out of the tire to see if that would help. From there we climbed up to 2,700 meters in the rain before starting a 40 kilometer descent down a river canyon. Great scenery. We stopped for an excellent lunch at a restaurant where the owner and a table of guys debated the best way for us to get to Panama. They had lots of questions about our trip and thought we were crazy for biking this far... well yes!
At the bottom of the descent we ran into a whole slew of cycle tourists: 5 Americans from Alaska traveling with 2 South Africans who had started in Cartagena. The rest of the day consisted of a 20 kilometer climb on 5 to 6 percent grades. We stopped for the night at a gas station which had a good setup: flat ground with cover from the road, a bathroom, and a sink with water.