I feel like Jordin Sparks’ song ‘No Air’ song was written with bike riding in Colombia in mind…or at least that one line of the chorus was. “Tell me how I’m supposed to breathe with no air… no air, air”
This morning I woke up and realized I needed accommodation for tonight because I hadn’t planned far enough in advance to know if I’d still be in the same place by now. Unfortunately, the hostel is full tonight so I’ve had to pack up all my stuff (amazingly I got it all to fit back in the backpack and yes, it now feels heavier for no apparent reason since I’ve managed to hold off on shopping so far) and had to hike a few streets away to the closest hostel that had a bed. Its not as nice here – I hate when you can’t even sit up in the lower bunk because the upper bunk is too low.
So after a frantic effort of shoving everything I currently own into my oversized backpack, I rented a bike from the hostel and followed some guys from the hostel out on a morning ride. Should probably mention that on Sundays quite a few main roads around town are closed off for cyclists so if you ever wanted to ride around Bogota, Sunday morning is the time to do it. Less likely to get hit by a car.
The bike I was on was basically not rodd worthy; the seat wouldn’t stay up, gears were so-so and the brakes only kind of worked, sometimes…it was going to be an interesting ride.
We rode about 30 mins to a nearby artisan market, I very nearly almost bough a necklace but managed to restrain myself. Jewellery doesn’t count in my don’t-shop issue because I can wear it and it doesn’t become a packing problem J
After the markets, we rode across town in search of a cute little café we’d heard about. Though after riding up and down side streets looking for it we eventually gave up and continued riding all the way to the city’s largest park. Once again, I was having trouble keeping up the pace of a physical activity. 3 guys, of what I’d consider at quite high fitness levels, riding at a constant fast speed across Bogota’s roads…and then there was me, constantly trailing behind. Every so often I’d fall behind and they’d have to wait at a corner further up until I arrived so they could keep going. And once again, I’d like to blame the altitude – it just happens to only impact me. And the song that kept playing in my head while I was struggling to keep up: No Air. Yep, it definitely has nothing to do with my lack of physical exercise prior to this week. Nothing.
The park happened to have some sort of Summer Festival going on which was cool. There were food stalls (I had a massive tamale), dancing, group yoga and dance classes, kids play activities etc. Would have been nice to stay a bit longer and wonder but we didn’t. But the time we arrived back at the hostel I realized I was completely sun burnt. Damnit. Because yesterday had been raining all day I didn’t even think to put sunscreen on. Now my forearms, top of hands and nose and in so much pain! Menos mal (thank god) I was wearing pants and a jacket for most of the ride.
All up we probably rode for about 4 straight hours. It seemed like a super long way to me but perhaps it wasn’t. I’ll take a guess and say we did about 40kms. I’m going to be so sore tomorrow.