Posted by: standing_baba | July 2, 2009

One Day Down….

It’s official: my bike tour began July 2nd.

6:00am in Colombia---could you tell me how to get to Buenos Aires?

6:00am in Cartagena---could you tell me how to get to Buenos Aires?

Erv (pictured) was instrumental in kicking off my South American bike tour. Though she and I had never met, she graciously accepted Bob & Surly into her apartment when I shipped them from Texas, where for over a month before my arrival they were house guests. Despite Surly’s leaving the seat up and Bob’s bad jokes, she even allowed me to stay while I made last minute preparations in her adopted city, Cartagena. This photo was the culmination of many e-mails, shipping invoices, dinner parties, and unprecedented hospitality. Thank you Erv.

Yuca, arepa con huevo, chicharón---my fuel

Yuca, arepa con huevo, chicharón---my fuel

Everything I heard about self-sustained bike touring was true. It’s more mental than physical; people are curious about your travels and welcome you to their
village/town/city/country (besides many outstretched thumbs up from passing cars, several vehicles slowed to my crawl to verbally wish me the best); you feel at peace with the sky overhead, countryside all around, and unraveling road on the horizon. One bike touring aspect I underestimated was the intensity of hunger that hits after several long climbs. Many experienced cyclists told me it’s not unusual to eat six meals per day, drink liters of Coca Cola at rest stops, suck sugary candy non-stop while in the saddle, and still lose weight. Personally, I couldn’t eat enough.

And what?

And what?

Between Cartagena and Barranquilla I stopped to play in Volcanoe Totumo’s miracle mud. Surprisingly, the $2.00 entrance fee included zero background information about its soothing benefits. My equally surprising curiosity had me asking everyone if they knew how this mutant bubbling anthill came to be and if it’s widely-talked about curative powers were based in reality. Not a soul knew. Not even the male masseurs who spend their days in the slop rubbing down tourists cared to elaborate on the tiny cone’s mysteries. It seems they are hoarding the secret to eternal life for themselves….

SPF 1000 Sunscreen

SPF 1000 Sunscreen

All in all, I’m loving life on the bike, which is good because Argentina is still a few pedal strokes away.


  1. So glad you went to Tutumo. Is that not weird or what? They told me its 250 meters deep. Very surreal feeling floating above all that.

    • I don’t know if I believe the hype, 250 meters is pretty deep. An idea: let’s build a mud volcanoe in the United States and wait for the flocks to come pay us entrance fees! No more truckdriving, no more long hours, we can personally give massages in mud! I’ll have my people send your people a business plan….

  2. was Lina the exchange student in Wayne?

    I remember her being from Columbia, and those pics look just like what I remember, but God knows it’s been over 10 years now.

    I wonder if she would remember me?

  3. That mud bath looks sweet. At least you’d keep the skeeters away for a while.

  4. Hey Trevor!
    Glad I could be part of your adventure!!!

    Keep living (and pedaling) it up!



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