Another leisurely sleeping in-ish sorta morning, and down to the mill for huevos revueltas and cafe con leche. I could get used to this!
Therese was staying at the same place, and had mentioned going swimming and how wonderful the pool was. We wandered back to check it out. Wow! Beautiful rock work and fresh water flowing in one end and out the other!! Oh, I wonder if it was the mill pond?
Ross – who didn’t actually end up going – had mentioned that Dan had figured out about a bike ride for today, so we decided to see about getting in on that. By the time we got to Ciclotrip, he (Dan) wasn’t there anymore, but had reserved bicycles for a bit later on. We figured out we actually needed a couple more bikes to accommodate everyone, and, since we were there went ahead and got set up.
The bikes were in various states of well used. After being a bit dubious about the state of the front tire on the initial offering I got, I ended up on the bike of one of the employees. It didn’t have grips. Oh well, it was a bike.
As we were wrapping up, the others arrived and got set up on their bikes. ? went over the route with us, marking lines on a paper map, and showing pictures of landmarks – both for navigation and points of interest – on the computer.
We set out up the main road that Eric and I had walked on the day before, and soon were past the Museum and where we had turned. It felt good to be seeing some countryside by bike, although I was noticing the altitude a bit. Or at least that’s what I’m going to blame my labored breathing on.
There were occasional regroups, and stops for bug spray and/or sunscreen application, and taking pictures. There were great views of the mountains. One of the times we stopped Erin decided to turn back, we heard later that she found a quiet back road to return to town.
We stopped at a crossroads store for some snacks and drinks, and then continued on to the waterfall. The directions had included something about parking the bikes, and I’d been thinking it would be just off the road to the waterfall, but it turned out to be sort of a nature park and several waterfalls!
We actually had to wait for a guide, but that turned out to work out pretty well, as the clouds that had been picturesque had become a bit threatening and did, in fact dump some rain while we were there under the roof at the entrance gate. Some Colombians also showed up, so apparently it wasn’t just a gringo tourist thing. In fact, the guide gave the tour in Spanish, so I didn’t get a whole lot out of it, well, between that and lagging at the back taking pictures.
Even without knowing what there were, I enjoyed looking at the plants and colorful flowers. WOW! ALLTHEBROMELIADS!!! Which I’m used to seeing as generally small houseplants. There they were big and growing ALL. OVER! On the ground, in the trees. Super cool. The river and waterfalls – which turned out to be plural – were very pretty also.
Oh and speaking of trees, there were some that had what looked an awful lot like acorns, although the leaves did not look oak-y. There was some debate about it, but then we saw a sign saying Roble. OK, oak it is. Huh, well I guess even the ones in the States have different shaped leaves depending on variety.
After completing the waterfall tour we got back on the bikes and started on the return arc of the loop. There were views galore, and a herd of brahmas, and a turkey! (The feathered kind.) The route description had included some other points of interest, but with the length of the waterfall stop we were feeling like we needed to keep moving to get back before the shop closed. Towards the end I think we went a slightly different way than described but we still ended up back where we started.
There was milling about of the bike returning, and talk of the foods, and some of us wanted to clean up before dinner. Since it – dinner that is – wasn’t going to be right away – I got helado! OK OK, I would have gotten one even if we were going to dinner right away. I think that was the guava. I tried to get things that I couldn’t – or are not so common – at home.
We went back to our hotel and went for a swim in the magical pool, which we had to ourselves. It was not bathtub warm, but warm enough. I’m not sure how deep it was, since I kept my head above water, but much of it I could not touch the bottom.
For dinner we met Dan, Erin, Braxton and Therese at Kumina, a Colombian Caribbean restaurant that Erin had found for having vegetarian options. There were six options on the menu, and the owner had pictures on his cell phone. Everything looked good, and over the course of the evening amongst all of us we ordered the entire menu. Everything was super tasty, although several of them seemed to be basically the same ingredients, just in different configurations – changed ratios and/or form factors. Yes, there were arepas! One with a fried egg inside – which usually I’m not so keen on fried eggs, but here it worked – and another that was sweet-ish, with anise seed.
After dinner there was a bit of walking around, and more ice cream, and then talk of drinks, but the place the drinks was going to happen at ended up being louder than Eric and I were up for, so we headed back to our hotel by a slightly different route than we’d been on before, which happened to take us past a shop with amazing looking cakes.
Well, past meaning we stopped and looked, and then went in. And, after some debate, got a piece of cheesecake with agraz sauce – final decision tipped by not knowing what agraz was so figuring I’d probably never had it before. It was a small purple berry that the intarwebs Spanish to English translate said was sour grapes. Huh. It was a little tart – probably not something I’d have again, although the cheesecake was pretty good.
And again fell into a relatively early, restful sleep until BOOM CRACK CRACK! Fireworks?! It sounded like it was right in the hotel’s car park. Then it kept going. Long enough for me to find my glasses – that I’d uncharacteristically left in the bathroom – and open the shutters and look. OK, not right here, but big ones that looked to be probably over the square. Wow, Angela and Jon were really doing this up! Wait, why didn’t they tell us? Oh that’s right, it was the anniversary of the founding of the town!
June 11, 2018
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