Cycling above the Clouds

Riding the Andes by Bicycle

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The tallest palm trees you ever did see

Next stop out of Salento was to visit the stunning Valle de Cocora which stretches away from the town and runs right up into the mountains.

Time for another ride, this time on the back of a Willys Jeep from the main plaza in Salento, to get to the start of the hike. I rather enjoyed myself, although I do still get strangely nervous travelling in vehicles now as I’ve got so accustomed to the slower pace of a bicycle.

The Valle de Cocora is famous for the dizzyingly tall palmas de cera (wax palm trees) – Colombia’s national tree and the largest of the world’s palm trees, growing up to 60m tall.

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In the Zona Cafetera

The stunning view out across the coffee zone from the small town of Filandia

After relaxing all the way to my core in Santa Rosa de Cabal, I was ready for the next bit of climbing to take me up (yep, more hills!) to my first night proper in the coffee zone, staying on a family ‘finca’ (a farm, or smallholding). Stopping just at the top of the turn off to the small town of Filandia, I arrived at Finca Campestre La Adelita, run by an amazing woman called Sonia, with the help of her son Pablo.

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Heading up, up and up

Me and Snarky Puppy, loaded up and ready to set off again from Medellín

After a fantastic week with Team Sara(h) it was finally time to hit the road again. I was setting off early to avoid the midday heat given the 35km climb I had ahead. Sara-Ann, Sarah G and Sarah R had all got up early to wave me off (and thanks to them, I have this rare pic of me with my bike).

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