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Lost Nevados Day 07: Volcano Show

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Day 07 Objectives & Points of Interest

  1. Get back to Bogotá.
  2. Get back to Bogotá.
  3. Get back to Bogotá.
  4. Get back to Bogotá.
  5. Get back to Bogotá.
  6. Get back to Bogotá.
  7. Get back to Bogotá.
  8. Get back to Bogotá.

Here’s the story. We woke up early. We survived 9 hours of high-speed race car-like driving along tight and twisty mountain roads. No one got sick. We didn’t hit any dogs. Although the vehicles for our second leg were late for our rendezvous it didn’t matter, we had time. The much talked-about volcano gave us a little show. As we drove we told jokes with the easy jocularity you find with old friends.

“What else do you want? What else is there?”

A Chronological Breakdown of the Day’s Events

  1. 5:45am: We have to wake up at this hour because if we don’t we’re going to miss our ride.
  2. 5:46am: At least the Hammer Fugue hasn’t started.
  3. 6:03am: Our Hotel Dude insists that we have breakfast before we leave.
  4. 6:04am: We breakfast.
  5. 6:45am: It takes a while, but we get the van completely loaded up and say our goodbyes to Hotel Dude.
  6. 7:25am: This van is really fast. So much faster than we were on our bikes.
  7. 9:35am: We stop at the top of Letras. The volcano looks cool. There isn’t a cloud in the sky. At least, that’s how I remember it.
  8. 10:00am-ish: For about 30 minutes we’re stuck behind this extremely-overloaded box van that is literally three-wheeling around the corners. To make it even more terrifying, the load is made up of sharp, angular bits of metal aka shrapnel.
  9. 11:31am: Driving down Letras is taking forever. However, we do stop at that little souvenir shop I noted back on Day 01 to pick up a talisman for our contest.
  10. 12:06pm: We arrive in Mariquita. Our transportation is supposed to be here at 12:30 pm. The dude who owns the Specialized store in Mariquita, Harold Castro is, surprise surprise, very cool. NBD. He buys a bunch of mangosteens and we shoot the shit while waiting for our ride.
  11. 2:05pm: Our transportation shows up.
  12. 2:35pm: We leave Mariquita.
  13. 6:45pm: Finally we’re back at Hotel Casona del Patio.
  14. 7:35pm: Dinner is at a nice place. Very artisanal, with a Kinfolk vibe (this counts against it), but the food is good so we make the best of it.
  15. 9:35pm: Back at the hotel we pack our bags and set our alarm clocks. Tomorrow morning we will once again be up before dawn in order to catch a sky chariot back to the USA. Colombia, you’ve been magical.

1 Words & Phrases to Know

  1. AIRE CONDICIONADO: air conditioning. When you’re inside of the car with aire condicionado it doesn’t feel like it does when you’re outside of the car.

Climbing Back to Letras

Yeah Cole, we get it. That kit is tight. WE GET IT.
Colombian Traffic Jam. Am I right!? LOL
Colombian Traffic Ja—errrrrrrrrrrrr.

Mariquita Take II

This is Zika territory. But this time we didn't care. We were heading home. Now, I know that this kind of thinking makes absolutely no sense. Why would it be okay not to worry about an infectious disease just because we were about to head home? Why would that make any difference at all? It doesn't, but that's not the point. The point is we believed that we'd be fine, and God knows, if anyone knows, that belief is a powerful force.
Bro, where were you six days ago?
I could definitely get down with this program. Whatever it is, I could get down with it.
Writing on the wall, roughly translated: "Chicken Stew." Swede in the foreground roughly translated: "Erik Nohlin, myth giver."
This is Santiago aka @szamo91. Brass tacks, this dude is amazing. Not only did he get up early to drive us over the hill from Manizales to Mariquita, but he drove us around Manizales earlier in the week while we were looking for a gas canister. Not only that but he's handsome AF, a complete shredder on the old MTB, and needs to get to California stat because we need his vibe in the states.
This is Harold Castro. He owns the Specialized shop in Mariquita. He's also, you guessed it, extremely nice. We basically just kicked it for a while. It was cool.
What's up, bright future?
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