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Colombia: Riding the trampolin of the death

April 2019

Colombia starts the same way as Ecuador ends: With a lot of mountains. The road goes up and down, up and down – at least it´s a paved road. There is rain and sunshine and good views. I try to use smaller secondary road with less traffic.

My plan was to cycle through Pasto and Popayan directly to Cali and to continue to Medellin. But In Colombia you have to be flexible with your plans. Because since days the mainroad is blocked by thousands of protesting Indigenas. They built barricades and want to speak to the president, because they say that the government didn´t keep the promises they made. No one knows how long la minga, the blockade, will last. In the southern province of Columbia there is already a lack of petrol and there are long queues in front of the petrol stations.

There are not so many alternatives. I could wait until the road is passable again or go into a slightly different direction. I decide to take a road to Mocoa with the name trampolin de la muerte, trampolin of the death. From Pasto it goes uphill, first on a paved road, later on gravel. The road was build with a lot of efford  into the rock and many uncounted hairpin curves cover the sides of the mountain.  



Exhausting for sure but dangerous only for the trucks which take the narrow curves as there wouldn´t be the possibility of oncoming traffic. At some places the road side barrier is broken and one can catch a blink of car wrecks deep down the gorge. How good that I adjusted my brakes  because Mocoa is located in the Putumayo Province and therefore in the Lowlands. At the last day there is a big descent waiting for me: In only 30 kilometros the road rises for another 1500 meters and then descends 3000 highmeters down – a dream for cyclists!



Often the descent is so steep that I have to brake continously. I have good old rim brakes and they heat up the rims quite a lot. They get so hot that the inner tube of the frontwheel bursts. Fortunatly I react quickly and can stop the bicycle without falling. A fall at this speed and with cars direktly behind me could be fatal.

With every kilometer descending it gets warmer and more humid. Green vegetation covers the hills and water flows everywhere. Colourful butterflies and shining flowers, how long haven´t I been in the tropics. My time in southamerica was rather imprinted by rough weather- and landscapeconditions. I´m excited to experience something else.









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