Back on track! (Bogota to Melgar)

Our return flight to Bogota turned out to be stressful; a crew member of American Airlines informed us last minute that we didn’t have an onward ticket which was necessary to enter Colombia. Apparently they were liable to pay 10,000 dollars if a customs officer questioned is for proof, so we were forced to purchase some “fully refundable” onward tickets.

In Colombia, as expected, they didn’t care at all, and never asked to see any ticket. Unfortunately we couldn’t sort out the refund at the airport in bogota, but finally after getting through to the U.S call centre they reimbursed us back to the original method of payment. That drama aside, we spent two days at our friend’s who was holding our bikes for us; Dan swapping out drive trains, tires, cables, and general maintenance and Gina organizing and packing the bike bags, and being Dan’s helping hand.

Although we left on a Sunday when a great part of the city’s roads are open exclusively to bikes (ciclovia), we decided not to cycle through the city, but around it on smaller roads as per the recommendation of our friend.
Back on the bikes after a 5 month break has it’s drawbacks, one being that we’re relatively out of shape. I commuted on a bike in Canada but Dan hadn’t even sat on one. Apart from this and a few other minor things, It feels great being back on the road after our 5 month hiatus.
After a short first day (to Sibate) we had chosen to stay closer to the main highway as we were informed that our original route through the Sumapaz national park would take us through some unsavoury (red zone) areas. This meant, rather than following a scenic route along the Andes and staying at elevation we would have to go all the way back down to sea level! We had a great descent which went on forever, but to our disliking, back came the heat and humidity, and the prospect of having to cycle back up in the scorching heat.

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