Barichara to Barbosa
Well locked and loaded we headed out of Barichara to a warm morning, on a route that Bec and "Scenic" had chosen……. Who would win the day!
NOT the best of starts when it was decided that we needed money from an atm before leaving Barichara, not sure what Bec was on but she needed rescuing when she pinned herself between the curb and the bike trying to park, her leg was not at a good angle and was trapped, including herself as the bike fell against her at an angle (the things she does for attention). The day before I had read an article about a girl who had broken her leg, and I momentarily envisaged a similar out come. Fortunately I was able to jump off and pull the bike off her …… nothing damaged, the bike was ok …… and so too was Bec thank goodness.
We left Barichara on the same dirt roads we had arrived on, passing people out in their Sunday best walking or chatting at houses, through streams from local waterfalls, and onto a dirt route that varied from yellow rock, grey metal, and bright red dry clay. As we followed in the wake of other vehicles we ended looking like a sand sample you get from the Isle of White!!!
Bec had to check, with a lot of cursing, when "Scenic" took us away from our chosen route and decided to try (succeeding in a couple of cases) and take us down goat tracks.
Traffic had by now thinned down to passing horses, some without riders, an array of donkeys, cattle, and obligatory dogs.
Some of the roads on the map just didn’t even exist and we had to trust the fact that they looked well used to carry on.
Back country Columbia is outstanding with every twist and turn revealing another gasp from one or both of us.
The road meandered through small villages full of colour and everyone stopped and stared as these two dirty aliens as we trundled through waving or giving a "Buenos Dias"!
Bloody hell it’s a woman on that bike (in Spanish) and jaws dropped even further.
At one point we got totally lost and had to stop and ask fro directions ...slowly the Spanish and confidence in talking it is improving.
We stopped in one town to grab probably the best empanadas so far all for the grand total of $3NZD. It amused us how the cafe was in a ladies front room and we had to park the bikes next to 3 saddled up horses!
As the day progressed so too did the amount of people on the beer, parked up in and around the bars, this seems quite normal for a Sunday here and made for some entertaining riding deviations as cars came round corners on the wrong side heading for us, obviously a little worse for ware.
A water stop later at a tienda (shop) saw us again chatting to the owners who came out to admire the bikes; these people are really friendly and we ended up getting some good advice on our route.
Our journey also saw us rising and dropping through the landscape from churning rivers to lush jungle and and bamboo forests.
8 hrs in the saddle went by really quickly but our backsides by now were numb!
Bec managed to locate a Finca (farm) with a small apartment on Booking.com after finding phone signal in a nearby town, and we arrived to a warm welcome at our night’s accommodation and settled in.
It was basic but comfortable, the mattress on the bed was an old horse hair filled one and reminded us of visiting our grandparents as kids.
The shower too was the dodgiest yet, the heating element was wired to the light and when you turned the shower on the light flickered ...a LOT!
BUT we were very dusty and needed to shower! Tough decisions to be made!