Up in to the Columbian rainforest

We are at Santa Marta in Columbia and from the boat we can see the surrounding jungle covered mountains looking adventurous and inviting.

This morning we cycled through the sleeping city and up the mountain road to the tiny village of Minca at 650 meters above sea level. We weren’t the only bikes out; the trip seems to be a popular sunday morning ride for the locals as well and the cars, taxis and buses all gave us plenty of space. The road is strewn with signs warning of everything possible. The collage is only a selection.

The village is deep in the jungle and the high street full of restaurants and bars so we stopped for Cappucino and chocolate bread – think french baguette with bits of chocolate baked in. We ate two of them!

After the village the tarmac stopped, the bamboo started and the call of strange birds. And the none stop uphill continued. We saw a sign off to the left that showed the way to the Pozo Azul waterfalls so followed that track. Amazing! A muddy, rocky, narrow jungle track shared by walkers, motorbike taxis and us on our mountain bikes, no rules on left or right and no one got annoyed at each other. An example for most of Europe.

The waterfalls were over run by people so we paddled, took photos and headed back up hill.

At one point we had to pull over to let a jeep and a quad pass coming the other way. Of course Heidi knew rhe occupants – a local surgeon and his American relative whom she had met at the village cafe earlier. They recommended visiting the coffee plantation and brewery at the Finca Victoria so we took their advice and were very glad we did.

Beer or coffee? Decisions! But luckily they have coffee flavoured beer so we could have both. And a really delicious home made sandwich to go with it. As we ate, and talked to the American on the next table, it began to pour down. Not really surprising in a tropical rain forest. Luckily we had our waterproof clothing with us and by the time we got back down to the village it had stopped anyway.

The trip home was about thirty kilometers and we lost about a thousand meters returning to the boat. With all the ups and downs we actually climbed 1600 meters! We enjoyed a fresh pressed lemonade at the beach and then cycled home after another great day. Our route is here.

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