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medellin and san antonio de prado

I get spoiled in Medellin. A comfy bed and my own bath room. Stylish home cooked meals. Argentinian red wine. Interesting conversation. Can’t beat that. I don’t really feel any urge to leave the apartment.

And so I don’t.

Just once I venture out to buy some maps at the Instituto Geografico Agustin Codazzi. Oh, and I try to unravel the complexities of the Colombian postal service with the idea of sending some stuff ‘home’. But I give up.

Medellin by night from the 18th floor. That's enough night life for me.

But before I get too comfortably ensconced in my city agoraphobia I head off to check out the Casa de Ciclistas in San Antonio de Prado, a village just south west of Medellin, in the encircling mountians.

San Antonio de Prado's steep streets.

First I find my way to Ciclo Campeon.

Manuel, of Ciclo Campeon.

People in Colombia are truly passionate about cycling. Ciclo Campeon is decorated with some pretty cool bike themed stickers...

... and I really really wanted this one.

The shop is busy out front...

... and busy out the back.

Outside, too. It almost seems like the place might be the centre of this community with a constant stream of people, of all ages and types, flowing through.

After watching the world stream through the bike shop for a couple of hours I finally make my way another three kilometres up the hill to the Casa de Ciclistas, which is, in fact, Manuel, Marta and Manuela’s home that – quite astonishingly – they seem willing to open to a constant stream of visitors, so long as they arrive by bike.

When I arrive there are already three cyclists there, the Germans – Karina and Jan, have been there almost a month, waiting for a new hard drive for their computer to arrive. There is a young Chilean cyclist staying, too. He has been around for a week or so.

Manuel, of Casa de Ciclistas, in San Antonio de Prado, Medellin. Manuel is a keen cycle tourist himself and very knowledgeable about interesting routes in Colombia and beyond.

...Marta (I've never seen anyone work so hard)....

... and Manuela, their daughter.

The Germans, Karina (hmmm, actually Karina is Austrian) and Jan.

A bottle of Aguardiente on a Sunday afternoon. Manuel and Marta work 10 - 12 hour days, six days a week, on Sunday's they only work a half day. I am exhausted just watching.

Cheers! (The other arm belongs to Dave, my host in Medellin and also a biker, who came to check out the scene.)

Biciliquidador - constructed by some passing cyclists who had obviously done a stint at Pedal Maya, in Guatemala.

Manuel has big plans to renovate a two story garage out the back of the house into self-contained accommodation for itinerant cyclists but in the meantime he and Marta and Manuela share their own house with a constant stream of international visitors. I find their hospitality, generosity and openness truly inspiring.

I have decided that it’s time to get my front wheel relaced and Ciclo Campeon seems like the place to get it done. They also refit my bottom bracket, removing a few superfluous spacers, in order to improve the alignment of my gears.

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  1. Municipality Blog | August 21, 2016 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    San Antonio De Prado

    […] e and Marta and Manuela share their own house with a constant stream of internat […]

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