Everybody waves for candy and shouts ‘Viva Pasto carajo!!!’ to the people dancing above the expressive and exaggerated faces and figures carved on every surface.
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
Riding El Trampolin de la Muerte – The Road of Death
Now you can ride The Road of Death
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.
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.
We come to you this week from Boggers, a.k.a Bogota, the capital of Colombia and the third-highest capital city on this green earth. (If you don’t count Bhutan’s capital Thimphu, which we deliberately chose to ignore in this podcast)
It was a long but beautiful slog to haul ourselves up here and what a huge and disorganised city we found at the top of the climb. However, the people have been fantastically friendly and this place has a rich history to explore.
On the way here, we stayed in some strange and wonderful places and stopped off at Guatepe, a picture postcard town with an unusual style ethic.
What’s in the pot is back again and we continue to lift the lid on our breaking story regarding feijoas.
Hey, and thanks for listening to the How Are You? Where Are You? podcast.
Unexpected sleeping quarters
Pictures From The Road
Fun Times in Bogota.
Seriously, if you are planning to come to Colombia with the sole aim of snorting cheap crap up your nose, you are massively missing out. It’s a cycle touring paradise and in this week’s How Are You? Where Are You? podcast we team up with our new buddies Shaggy and Lenin to discover all the joys of the beautiful Antioquian countryside.
After eight months on the road, a new style of touring has dawned on us and we’re bloody excited. We share all about that. We discover a perhaps little known link between Colombia and New Zealand and go cattle shopping in downtown Medellin.
Ok, 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!
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