23 Jan

HAYWAY Podcast 32 – Quito, Ecuador

We have climbed to the second highest capital city in the world. Somehow by arriving in Quito we have acclimatised to become human mountain goats with some strange ability to breathe at 4000 metres.

Quito took a while to capture our hearts but a walk around the city’s historic centre and a visit to the home of Oswaldo Guayasamin, one of Ecuador’s most celebrated artists, did the trick.

As always we have met some interesting characters on the way here and the transition back to using U.S. dollars in Ecuador has increased our need to become scavengers.

Hear all about it in this the 32nd edition of the How Are You? Where Are You? podcast.

First Days in Ecuador

Cycle touring in Ecuador

Clockwise from top left: Baden on the Equator; river views; Shelley climbs; Edwin and family in Lumbaqui; Hosts Jose and Mercedes in Lago Agrio.

The Road to Quito

Cycle touring in Ecuador

Clockwise from top left: Baden in Papallacta thermal pools; Shelley descends to Quito; San Rafael waterfalls; 4000m summit; volcano view.

Hanging in Quito

Cycle touring in Ecuador

Clockwise from top left: Shoe shiners in Plaza Grande; Baden and Shelley on the gondola; Plaza San Francisco; mountain view from Pinchincha Volcano; view of Quito on gondola descent.

Guayasamin Museum Visit

Cycle touring in Ecuador

Clockwise from top: Inside Chapel of Man; painting in Guayasamin’s studio; artist’s house; back garden

Our Grind to Quito

19 Jan

HAYWAY Episode 31- Baeza, Ecuador

It felt like Colombia didn’t want to let go of us and we certainly didn’t want to let go of it.

We arrived in Pasto on New Year’s Day, only 100km from the border with Ecuador. We thought we would maybe rest a couple of days and go on our merry way but Colombia had more kindness and adventure in store for us yet.

We ended up staying a week in Pasto (a long time off the bike for us) to immerse ourselves in their Carnaval de los Blancos y Negros. The carnival of the whites and the blacks sounds a bit racist and it’s heritage is on the back of slavery but in modern times it has evolved into a colourful and musical display of Patuso pride in its traditions and indigeneity. It was an honour to witness.

In another effort to delay the awakening from our Colombian dream, we decided to take the long way to Ecuador by cycling into the Putumayo province and riding El Trampolin de la Muerte, The Road of Death. Although we didn’t tell our Mums it was called that until we reached the other side.

Carnaval de los Blancos y Negros in Pasto

Cycle touring in Colombia

Riding El Trampolin de la Muerte – The Road of Death

Cycle touring in Colombia

Now you can ride The Road of Death

03 Jan

HAYWAY Episode 30 – Pasto, Colombia #Festive500

Welcome to our special edition #Festive500 podcast.

The Festive500 is the brainchild of the cycle clothing designer Rapha and is designed to get people riding their bikes between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve at a time when most of us are keen to get on the turps and stuff ourselves full of mince pies.

The challenge is to ride 500 kilometres in eight days and we thought we might as well take up the task here in Colombia since we were planning on riding south anyway, although perhaps not this quickly.

This podcast is a summary of our week on the bike with stories from the road between Sevilla and Pasto in Southern Colombia, an area of stunning scenery in the Northern Andes mountain range.

Cycle turing in Colombia

Clockwise from top left: A wonderful Christmas with Mauro and his family in Sevilla; we set off as a trio from Sevilla on day 1; sugar cane fields in the Cauca Valley; Shelley gets some friendly advice from a local; Buñuelo is a crucial ingredient in a Colombian breakfast.

Cycle touring in Colombia

Clockwise from top left: Buga’s Basilica; Baden with the friendly nightwatchman at Buga’s sports complex; we meet some kind bikers in Piendamo; Shelley riding to Popayan; Shelley with our host Lilia in Santander de Quilichao

Cycle touring in Colombia

Clockwise from bottom left: The white city of Popayan, festive for the Festive500 in Popayan; around Blanca’s breakfast table in Popayan; New Year’s Eve dummy; Baden riding with fellow cycle tourist Gunnar.

Cycle touring in Colombia

Clockwise from top left: Shelley shares a Lulo juice with new friend Ever in El Bordo; “The most beautiful pool in the world” in El Tablon; the odometer passes 10,000km for our journey since London; time for a celebratory boiled egg on the road in the Patía Valley; hot but rewarding riding in the Patía Valley.

Cycle touring in Colombia

Clockwise from top left: the parade ends in Chachagüi’s plaza; the park where we slept through New Year’s Eve celebrations; Chachagüi’s mayor immortalised in paper mache; Venezuelan President Maduro is vilified; woman power in Chachagüi’s parade.

23 Dec

HAYWAY Podcast 29 – Salento, Colombia

It’s all about Climbing, Coffee and Christmas in the latest Colombian instalment of the How Are You? Where Are You? podcast.

We’ve scaled some pretty tough hills during our time here but they were all made to look like midgets next to the giant Alto de Letras. We bring you the story of how we inched up the world’s longest road climb.

Alto de Letras sits at the northern end of Colombia’s coffee axis. They’re the third biggest producer of the stuff in the world so we’ve seen acres and acres of trees and cute little farms dotting the countryside in this region. Normally, we don’t drink a lot of coffee but for some reason during our time here we’ve been guzzling it down. We also really enjoy the unpretentiousness of Colombian coffee culture. To find out more, we went to an organic farm for a tour with a passionate guy called Mateo.

Tis’ the season and Colombians fall for Christmas big time. We’ve noticed lots of differences in how they celebrate the festive season and as a result we are probably going to have to create some sort of nativity scene on our bikes.

Cycle touring in Colombia

Clockwise from top left: pausing alongside some banana trees; all in a day’s work for Shelley; enveloped by cloud above 3000m; bleak and miserable at the summit; resting and catching breath.

Cycle touring in Colombia

Clockwise from top left: Colombian coffee beans; Mateo shells the beans; old school coffee roasting; roasted beans; Mateo shows us his grandfather Don Elias’s plants.

Cycle touring in Colombia

Clockwise from left: Leaving Bogota on its excellent cycle network; Armero abandoned; the town’s missing children; buildings buried.

Cycle touring in Colombia

Clockwise from top left: Chinchina’s church lit up; Miss Universe shocker; a family’s nativity scene in Sevilla; Manizales Christmas bling; nativity scene in Mariquita

30 Nov

How to podcast on the road

Podcast fueled by Don Simon SangriaOk, we are not experts at this by any means but we have found our rhythm and I thought it might be interesting to explain our methods and equipment. Some episodes are easier than others and it can depend on the amount of audio you have recorded, facilities (camping is not the best place for editing a podcast) and of course how tired we are and whether we can play nicely!

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25 Nov

HAYWAY Episode 26 – Uramita, Colombia

We’ve just gone and cycled across Central America! How about that? We look back on the best of times in this week’s How Are You? Where Are You? podcast.

We talk about how to cross the Darien Gap between Central and South America (costs below) and why we opted to sail in a yacht through the San Blas Islands captained by a maniacal Italian instead of transforming our steeds into pedalos in an attempt to cross these supposedly smuggler-infested waters.

Colombia is freaking awesome by the way but hang on for episode 27 for more on that.

Listen to Callum Campbell’s EP called Pb here: Pb by Run Time

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Clockwise from top left: crossing the Bridge of the Americas; view towards the ritzy part of Panama City; view toward Panama Canal and the Bridge of the Americas crossing it; Panama City at night; ciclovia in Panama City.

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Clockwise from top left: Sarah, Landis, Maika and Shelley; Simon, Captain Rudy, Paddy and Baden; moody looking Rolf; Captain Rudy at the helm; view from the boat.

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Clockwise from top left: African Queen 2; Sara, a fellow kiwi; bikes about to board the boat; Sarah, Landis and Sayaka play Settler’s of Catan; Chris and 1st mate Yamila.

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03 Nov

Now I love sloths

IMG_20151101_113448325_HDRI’ve been afraid of sloths since I discovered them. They had qualities that I didn’t like and this turned into an irrational fear.

The first thing people say is; “But sloths always move so slowly, they’ll never catch you!” On my recent trip to the Sloth Sanctuary in Costa Rica I learned that this is not necessarily true along with loads of other interesting facts. Read More

27 Oct

Innocent voices

FInVoices_Quad.qxdound this shocking story on the Guardian website a few days ago and was outraged. A hard drive holding testimony from survivors of the civil war in El Salvador was stolen from the Washington office of a human rights organisation. The CIA are in the frame for this despicable act as survivors continue to search for justice more than 20 years after the war.

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