The Colombian Coffee Zone Cycling Tour entered its fifth day of riding with a quick trip to the local bike shop to insure that Wilma’s rack would stay in place for the rest of our journeys. You see, her rack had a stripped thread on the one side, and we needed to have a more secure screw in order to insure that the rack wouldn’t come off. None of us wanted all of her luggage to be spread over the road in the middle of a crazy descent. More importantly, neither Etienne or myself wanted to carry her luggage if her rack broke.
All of us much happier after our 3000COP ($1.60) fix.
After visiting the Salento bike shop we were off to tackle the fun hill that dipped into the valley below Salento, before a fun curvy ascent. Our final destination on the day being the town of Santa Rosa de Cabal in order to rest our tired legs in the famous natural hot springs located near the town.
One of Colombia’s best highways, with Pereira in the background.
The day was not a long one, since it included over 1000m of descending after our curvy climb. It was a great day of riding however, with some challenging climbs, and some fast descents. The climb out of Pereira to the lookout over Santa Rosa and Pereira was a challenging and fun 600m elevation gain on some extremely well kept roads. While we were riding this particular highway, the crews were busy re-painting the guardrails. I’ve never seen a highway in Canada as well kept as the highway between Manizales and Armenia. Colombians love to complain about their roads, but there truly is nothing to complain about in this case.
We arrived at our destination, Santa Rosa de Cabal in time for lunch. Pulled into a great little restaurant before finding a place to stay. The woman who owned the restaurant, also owned a hotel. It looked nice, was close, and was reasonably priced, so off we went for Casa Colonial.
Funky shot of my bike in Salento.
What luck we had, however, when the DAS agents (immigration agents) showed up right after we arrived. I had left my passport in Medellin during this trip. The DAS agents did not like this little fact. They threatened to take me into the next city to write me up, and said they could have made me go back to Medellin with a DAS escort, paid for by yours truly. Thankfully they let me off with just a stern lecture.
A night of drinking and BS’ing with Etienne followed. All in all, a great day on day five of the Colombian Coffee Zone Cycling Tour.
Totals for Day 5 of the Colombian Coffee Zone Cycling Tour
-850 vertical metres of climbing
-1000 vertical metres of descending