I rolled down the driveway of my host’s place in Bogotá, and gently merged into fading city traffic.  It felt different this time, I felt like the tour was truly starting-

As I merged onto the autopista (expressway) the thunderous clouds of diesel dissipated and floated by me.  The shoulder width started out comfortable and wide, and eventually slims out, leaving me following the magic white line north.  Buses and trucks give me a wide berth, and the obligatory air horn.  The air is musty and hot with exhaust, and leaves me wishing for the cool, crisp Maryland air I remember while mountain biking in the fall.  But enough of the daydream! Back to reality… I was headed 50km north to Zipaquirá, where I’d found a host and was anxious to check out The Salt Cathedral.  A salt mine turned underground Catholic church, I got a respite from the heat and some interesting photos-


In the grand hall, I was compelled to sit down in one of the vast rows of pews and relax.  The faint echo of water dripping seemed to somehow soothe my mind of all the stress from my first day on a highway, roaring buses and jolting air horns keeping me on edge.


Almost like being able to reach out and touch the blue moon…

I also went on “The Miner’s Tour”, which was complete with hardhat equipped with torch, and a section in complete darkness; to simulate what the workers had to go through.  Guided only by placing one’s hands on the shoulders of the person in front of them, a group of 20 of us shuffled along a tunnel hunch-backed for ten minutes- complete with fake demolition explosion sounds via massive loudspeaker!

My local host Carlos and his family were celebrating the days leading up to Christmas, and it wouldn’t have been complete without my impromptu ukulele play along 🙂 I’m constantly awed of how hospitable families are to this crazy journey of mine; the family truly took me in during a holiday and was genuinely interested in how the tallbike works.

Thanks Zipaquirá!




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