06 June 2011

Lago Calima

Andreas and I moved from the hostel into the house of Claudia. We each took rooms for a much cheaper rate than a privado at the hostel. After a few days I was feeling much recovered from my sickness and decided to test my fitness in the mountains.

From Buga I rode up into the mountains towards Buenaventura on a 50 kilometer climb to Lago Calima. The road was very steep in places and it was mid-day and sunny and very hot. There were fine views looking back down into the Cauca River valley and then a climb through forest and then up near the clouds the climb began to level out and I could see down below the lake stretching out between the ranges.

The wind was blowing hard there in the mountains and Lake Calima is known as an excellent kite surfing destination because of the strong, unending winds. Riding past a string of roadside stands I followed a sign for the lake and  turned off, the road dropping sharply, and quickly descended towards the lake. I ate an almuerzo on the balcony of a restaurant looking over the water. Then I turned back up the road to ascend what I just descended.

After this climb and another minor one, the return to Buga would be all downhill and I was looking forward to it. There were storms in the east near the city and the sky was black. I was riding with only my two small panniers and had of course neglected to bring my rain gear. I bombed the descent, gunning it hard, hoping to beat the storms, passing scooters and cars on the way down back into the river valley. Big drops of rain were falling as I rode the last 10 km towards Buga, crossing Ruta 25, lifting my bike over the metal dividers in the highway, and then riding up into the city to the central basilica I reached the house. I had beaten the rain. It was an out and back of over 100 km and I felt very good.


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