I wanted to do a longer day today, and I did, just that what turned out wasn’t quite what I had in mind. Initially, the road was rolling out of La Pintada up until the town of Marmato.
A 4000 peso breakfast along the way helped fuel me up, and although some clouds lingered over the mountains, the views were still amazing. I was expecting to go through a tunnel just after the town of La Felisa, but it never appeared. I didn’t think much of it, as the elevation charts weren’t entirely accurate, and so it didn’t really surprise me that the tunnel didn’t exist.
I continued cycling upwards, sweat pouring from the exertion of having to use the grinding gear as I towed all my gear up 10% inclines as I headed towards the town of Irra. Two hours later I passed a sign saying Supia as I cycled into a town. Supia ? Supia ! Shit, bugger, fuck, I must have taken the wrong road ! How the buggery bollocks did I manage that? A quick consult of the map, and I deduced that this road must have been the original route over the mountains before the other road with the tunnel was built. I must have missed a signpost somewhere. Arse.
Although in terms of kilometres I wasn’t that far from the main road if I decided to return and go back down, the two hours of grinding up hill and the height gained was something I didn’t want to give up, especially as once on the correct road I would need to cycle uphill again. Consulting the map again, it looked like I could take a series of minor roads, and theoretically at least, cut the corner of the route I had originally in mind. If I did this, I would have the positive aspect of being able to see some views and villages little visited by other cyclists whilst cycling on much quieter roads. The downside being that I had zero knowledge of the road conditions or mountains ahead. Ah, what the hell, a quick blast into the unknown might do me some good.
So, pushing on, I continued cycling uphill to the town of Riosucio, where I called it a day. They definitely don’t get many tourists up this way, especially big, sweaty English ones on a bicycle towing a trailer. Still, everyone was friendly, and it felt good to get off the beaten track. A hotel room on the main plaza was 14,000 and an almuerzo 5000. I spent the evening eating, as I had in mind to cycle somewhere around the 100 km mark the next day.