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{ Monthly Archives } February 2013


The road from Rio Magdalena to Bogota is largely uninspiring – or I, at least, am uninspired, which might say more about me than the road.The closer I get to Bogota the harder it is to avoid, if not major highways, then heavily trafficked paved roads. Mauricio in Villa Maria had told me that people […]

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back to the rio magdalena

I can leave Murillo with the promise of a straight downhill run into the next town, Libano, and, if I want it, all the way down to the Magdalena Valley. A easy way to cover a lot of ground but it will shoot me out onto the central highway. Another option, sticking to the high […]



I drop out of the clouds into Murillo, a tiny, charming town that sits at almost 3000 metres in the shadow of Los Nevados. A hiker I met on the road told me that there is a place – called Casa Murillo – in Murillo that offers accommodation free of charge. It seems like such […]

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los nevados

Despite already climbing to over 4000 metres out of Santa Rosa, I have managed to end up – due to the road forbidden to me in Los Nevados – still on the wrong the side of the Cordillera Central. To arrive in Bogota from Villa Maria, I have no choice but to cross the mountain […]

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villa maria

I arrive in Villa Maria sodden, freezing, filthy. I am exiting a hotel that is so dire even I won’t consider staying there. The rooms are raw brick windowless stalls that fit a bed and nothing more. No room to unpack. Everything is wet. There is no place to hang clothes, tent, sleeping bag, to […]

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la tierra fria*

Rain on the roof throughout the night, a constant drip, water pooling near my head. Wind howling, rattling loose roofing, chilly gusts scuttling under the door and creeping into my sleeping bag with me. I am sleeping in a bare concrete cell of a room at the desolate finca, ironically named Campo Alegre**. I wake […]

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up, up, up

By the time my washing is dry, the blog updated and route information gathered two nights have gone by in Santa Rosa de Cabal. After a day and half of climbing, in the rain, I reach the edge of the park. It occurs to me somewhere towards the end of this period of time that […]

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santa rosa de cabal

There’s no doubt I’ve been riding hills – the descent into Santa Rosa was hair-raising at times – but in Los Nevados National Park, where I want to head next, I am going to encounter real mountains. Los Nevados National Park encompasses the highest area of the Central Cordillera in Colombia with a number of […]



You come across the strangest things in the strangest places, sometimes.

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bird nerds in the cloud forest

Leaving Jardin, I’m tailed by a bashful teenage boy. Eventually, he gains enough courage to greet me and then we ride side by side. His bike is borrowed: no gears, but here single speed isn’t hip – it’s just what there is. Never mind the mountains. The boy is shy but he has a number […]

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