it had been some time (again) that I did a decent bike ride. In Panama it did not happen because of rainy season and the same tropical (hot and humid) climate as we had in Costa Rica. Combined with the same steep slopes (30% or more) my lust for biking had disappeared. I did do some errands in Panama City on my bike because I was fed up with all the traffic jams, and riding around the city was not as bad as thought beforehand.
Anyway, we are in Colombia now: home of some great (road) cyclists, -Egan Bernal, just to name one-. So, could I do some great cycling here too?
Well, I got off to a good start. We went to see the Area Natural Unica (ANU) of Los Estoraques, and while we were there it felt like a good place for riding the bike. So I did, the day after. The area of Los Estoraques that is most interesting for visitors is off limits for mountain biking, but the Reserve is much bigger than that and is freely accessible, so off I went up the mountain, following a track to enter the area through a back door.
First I had to follow the main road, a good quality gravel, with small farms left and right of the road. It took me a bit further into the mountain region, and then I took a left turn that definitely went up. Still a good track, it passed some more albeit smaller farms and then after a while a sign indicated that I entered the ANU again. From here on it was just pure nature: scrubs, flowers and bare sections of rock. Still, cows are allowed to roam around, I guess it is part of the landscape as much as it is in the Alps.
It was a joy to ride here. Finally I had to return on the same road, there was no possibility to make a loop here. On the way back I tried to make a loop but I encountered less interesting steep gravel tracks bathing in a hot midday sun. That made me decide to turn around and go “back home” again.