The Colombian Coffee Zone Cycling Tour just finished Day 2. It took us three crazy Canadians from La Pintada, a little resort town 75kms south of Medellin to Riosucio, an amazingly beautiful pueblo up in the mountainous coffee region.
We saw this beautiful dance in a pueblo called “Guamal”
One of the amazing things about cycle touring are the little things that you see along the way. No other form of travel allows you these tiny experiences. These surprises are not just the icing on the cake of a cycle trip, but a true part of the experience. We had stumbled across this amazing town square festival while climbing up a huge hill. I was more than happy to stop, partially because it looked beautiful, and partially because I was truly not on my best form this day.
I asked a guy in town what this dance was, and he had informed me that it was the Porro, an offshoot of the Cumbia, which I learned to dance at the Carnaval de Barranquilla. This version of the dance has African influence because of the slave influence in the region, and therefore a slightly different rhythm.
A little bike porn. Colombia’s Coffee Region in the background.
This day I took every opportunity I could for “bike porn pics.” My poor form made “enjoying the view” that much more important. Thankfully the views were spectacular, and not of Saskatchewan prairies in November.
We met this guy in a pueblo, and his dream was to do a tour like ours.
Another unique factor in cycle touring is that you are a non-intimidating entity. People are more than willing to come up to you, ask you what you’re doing, and converse about your trip. We met Manolo in a small town just outside of our destination of Riosucio. He told me that it was his dream to ride across Colombia, and he’d like a picture of himself with us. We were happy to oblige.
One of two beautiful churches in Riosucio.
This was the beautiful church that framed the square in front of our hotel in Riosucio. Riosucio is the only town in Colombia that has two churches in the town that face each other. The other church used to be part of a unique town, but when the two towns merged, it created this unique occurence within Colombia. This unique case has bred an amazing festival, recognized by UNESCO, called the Festival of the Devil or Fiesta del Diablo.
Every January the town has six days of spirit fighting, costume wearing, and general revelry. It is supposed to be one of the most interesting festivals in a country full of unique festivals. This festival would make an already enticing pueblo to return to, even more enticing. Riosucio was an amazing place to end day two of the Coffee Zone Cycling Tour.
Totals for Day 2 of the Colombian Coffee Zone Cycling Tour
-1200 vertical meters of climbing
-One sore butt at the end of the day.