Colombia 2013. Day 4: Paletará – San Agustín


paletara - san agustin

Click on image to see map

Another great day. I don’t know if forthcoming days will improve this, but it’s going to be hard!

Another early start, back into unpaved roads. The paved roads wouldn’t come back for next 45 kms or so (and then they’ll dissappear after less than 10 kms), but it’s not like you miss them. And unpaved road fits perfectly for this part of the paramo.

Oh! And it doesn’t look as if it’s going to be paved anytime soon…

The truth is the paramo looks more like the jungle here; anyway, it’s just pretty. The trees, the jungle, the birds (not as noisy as closer to Cali, surprisingly)… The road goes up in the beginning but it’s quite an easy ride. Then, down all the way.

WARNING: there’s nothing here. No bars, no houses, no farmers. Only the buses, motorbikes, trucks and cars. Not even the army is here (and that’s saying a lot!!). The jungle is so dense, it’s impossible to camp. So if you’re to stay overnight, do it before Paretalá or once you pass the paramo (which means riding 45 kms).

Rain caught me here. There’s nowhere to cover, so I kept going (some trees did the trick for a while, but I rather keep on cycling). But be careful with that too. It’s quite likely the weather will be worse past Paretalá, so keep an eye on that.

Once you hit the road houses start again. And that means restaurants, police checks and everything. The views are still nice, but it’s hard to compite with what you just went through.

And after a long while, you arrive to Isnos. I found it full of cars, smoke, people and noise, so I decided to keep going to San Agustin. The road keeps going down and it’s mostly paved.

Once you reach a crossroad, you start to wonder if going to San Agustín is a good idea. 5 kilometers upwards. And they are some hard kilometers. At least they were for me, after the rain and the cold in the morning.

I really enjoyed my hot shower. Also, all the congratulations by some motorbike riders who had passed me in the paramo and happened to arrive at the same time. They looked half impressed and half looking at me as if I was from Mars!!

By the way: there are millions of options to sleep in San Agustin. I really liked the one I chose: la posada del chino. Great views, still close to town (even if you must walk up the hill for 5 minutes). Clean and charming. Books, maps etc. And cheap (5 euros). No, they don’t pay me for this publicity!


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