[12/05/26~06/03 (D+277) Colombia/Medellin-Pereira] Bicycle, Sugar Cane, Bamboo and Coffee

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26th May 2012

I was supposed to have Yellow Fever the day before I leave, but there was no vaccine. Usually after having vaccine, people have to take the rest. But I just start to ride a bike as soon as I get Yellow Fever. Over 20 km (12 mi) is downhill and then up and down.


I feel a little big hurt on my arm which I got Yellow Fever. I stay at Warmshower’s host home. My host name is Gregorio and he traveled only in Asia for three years. We look around the town with a bike in the night.


27th May 2012

It is Medellin where is the second biggest city in Colombia. It seems like most of the people travel to make a plan. If there is no plan, then people don’t move. But Gregorio is different from me and other traveler. He was very slow and moved without the plan which makes people miss what they are seeing.


He said he traveled for one year in China because it was too big.


(Pictures are from his website, http://www.cualquierporqueria.com/)

Even He became a monk for three months in Thailand. The story he told me is very interesting about being a monk. So I will try it when I get to there and you will see my bald head!!! If people stay longer than 2 weeks, then they have to cut their hair!!


The next day after I arrived is the weekend, so we go out of the city. Another interesting is that he slept in a hammock for three years. There was no problem because he had a rain cover and a mosquito net.


Gregorio invites me at a typical Colombian restaurant.


Juice of the fruit is called Lulo. It’s my first time to eat this fruit. Taste is sour and good. Latin people drink fruit juice when they have the meal. I think I drank a soft drink when I was in North America. But I always drank water when I was in Korea during having the meal. I think water is the most health thing.


It is made of fried banana and skin of folk. Also, Latin people enjoy eating skin of folk by frying, snack or meal. In Korea, people eat it only by a barbecue with Soju which is Korean typical alcohol.


Of course, there is always tortilla in Mexico. The Central America eats rice more than Tortilla but when they eat tortilla, it is different from Mexico. Tortilla is smaller and thicker in the Central America. In Colombia, there is always Arepa which is made of ground corn dough. I am still interested to eat food of local people although I prefer tortill to Arepa. Arepa is different among the north, the south, the east and the west. In the above the picture is Arepa de mote, Arepa santandereana, Arepa boyacense and Arepa paisa.


(Pictures are from his website, http://www.cualquierporqueria.com/ , http://www.flickr.com/photos/8855456@N02/)

In the night, he shows me his traveling picture. He gives me a quiz during showing bald headed vultures.
‘Do you know how Tibet does after people die?
‘Maybe they will bury a corpse’
‘No, It is not possible because the ground is too hard to bury.’
‘Then maybe they will cremate.’
‘It is also not possible because they don’t have wood around their ground. See the picture. There is nothing on the ground.
‘But maybe they can use gasoline.’
‘They are too foor to buy that.’

I am so wondering and thinking how they will do it and then I look at the picture again and ……….Oh!!!!!!!!!!!!!! NO WAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!’

I scream and am shocked. Bald headed vultures eat dead people!!!!!!!!!!!

Tibet cut corpse in thousands of piece to make bald headed vultures eat very easily. It takes only two or three minutes that they finish eating dead people. When there are only bones, Tibet smashes it to make many pieces of bones and then mix with other food. Bald headed vultures eat everything after Tibet finishes their work.

He saw it when Tibet invited him and he thought a lot of things about life.

I feel so weird that life is really nothing to leave after dead and we are not different from any other animal.


28th May 2012
It will cost only 15 dollars to tune up a bike, so I leave my bike at bike shop. I go to electronic shopping mall to buy earphone.


Perro means a dog in Spanish. (Gaseosa is a soft drink.) I’ve seen Colombian sell a dog on the road so many times. Some of Korean eat dog but not on the road, and there are not many restaurants where sell a dog. So I thought Colombian love eating dog. But later I find that they are not selling a dog meat but a hot-dog!! You know hotdog doesn’t mean dog meat. I just miss understand because I am from Korea in where people eat the dog! (They don’t sell meat of pet but meat of factory farm at restaurant. It is like to raise a pig and cow. In a small cage, they feed dogs and make bigger. I never eat dog but some people think it is good for stamina. Summer is very hard for people because of humid and hot weather. So people usually eat this one in the summer.)


It is Medellin. I’ve seen that there are always too many taxis on the road since the Central America.


29th May 2012

I have to change a front rim and brakes. They say I ride a bike almost without brakes, and the front was worst that the left of brake sharpen the front rim. The cleaning is the best but tuning is the worst. I have the problem with gear, brakes, pedaling and more.


What is this? Are you done? I ask what is going on here and they say it is no problem and blah blah blah. I say over and over again that something is wrong, and then they fix that.


There is noisy on rear brake, but they don’t try to listen what I am saying. I am so frustrated abut that, so I go to other bike shop. The other bike shop changes a new brake to another new brake and they also change a pedal. I had had problem with rear brake since I bought a bike. Always there was noisy when I held it. Now I find out because people installed a wrong brake on my bike.
I spend almost over 60$ to tune up my bike. I change front rim, two brakes and pedal. The first bike shop said I have to change a cassette with chain, but then I have to spend over 100$ total. It is too expensive to do in on time, so I will keep going without changing it until I ride over 2,000 km (1250 mi) more.


My host, Gregorio, is so friendly and kind to me. I enjoy talking with him who has an awesome traveling story.


In Mexico City, they close a main road on Sunday from 8 am to 2 pm for people to exercise. Medellin is better. They close a main road over three times a week. There is free road for people on Sunday from 7 am to 1 pm and on Tuesday and Thursday from 8 pm to 11 pm over 20 km.


It is important that people exercise like biking, walking and running. The more technology is developing, the less people don’t move. It makes people be sick.

I am very impressed with what they are doing for people in Mexico City and Medellin. I hope I can see it on my city in Korea and your country.


It is a video of them. It doesn’t mean the road is closed all day and all week, but just a few hours when the road is not busy! Let’s try it!


I like an animation because I love cute things. Especially I saw the all movie of Miyazaki Hayao and he did too. He has a sticker on his laptop and he gives the left one for me. It is TOTORO! Yeah! Isn’t it cute!


30th May 2012

Gregorio was supposed to travel until Europe. But when he was in India, somebody put the bad things on his water like poison while he went out of the bus for a second. And then he was stolen everything except a bike. That’s why he was back to his country, Colombia. I still remember what he say when I am leaving. He says “It’s boring to go to work.”
What will I do after traveling??? Maybe traveling by bike is just for the present. But you know the present includes the past and the future. Anyway I am traveling by bike NOW. That’s all I know about now.


Every day there is up and down. I just stop on uphill to practice playing guitar.


It’s totally uncomfortable to tie guitar widthwise. It can hit the people and cars. So I decide to tie lengthwise.


It reminds me of Movie of Howl’s Moving Castle.


Sometimes there is unpaved road.


The North America was easier than Central America. Everywhere is up and down since the Central America.


The Yellow flower looks pretty.


I drew like it when I was in child and my teacher always gave me C or D for that. (A is the best) If my teacher see it, then maybe teacher can give me B! Hey teacher, look at this! Mount is the triangle which I drew!

The late afternoon thank to Police, I set up my tent at somebody house. The person, who lets me stay in front of their house, gives me dinner in the night and coffee in the morning.


31st May 2012

I find that something is wrong on my back wheel. I just sit on the road and eat something during trying figuring out what is wrong. I like to eat peanuts!! But it is expensive!


I just stop because it is so beautiful.


I arm myself with things for safe on the road. Hahaha.


Finally I go to a bike shop and he is tuning for my rear rim. What they were done for my bike on Medellin? I hope my tuning is perfect the next time.


It looks like here is also much water and busies to clean trucks.


Today is also like yesterday. I go to the uphill, get dinner from local people and sleep in a tent.


1st June 2012

I am surprised that there are too many birds. It looks like birds are much more than the branches of a tree. And smell is messy.


Video of birds.


They looks busy to make their house.


I ride a bike beside the river.


He gives me free juice of a sugar cane and orange. He also cut a sugar cane for me. It is a difficult to eat because I have to chew hard.


When I set up my tent at somebody house in Colombia, then they give me coffee, hot chocolate or Panela which is made of a sugar cane in the above picture.


There are many different things which are made of a sugar cane. But it is too big to buy for me. When I find small things, he says it is just for a sample. But he gives it me for free. It is sweet enough.


I am riding a bike on a hard uphill beside a sugar cane.
(Always when I take the uphill road, it looks flat and I feel like I become a liar)


It is too hard uphill for three and half hours.


The shocking thing is that I come to the wrong way for three and half hours!!! I missed a forked road because there was no sign!!! There are not many signs since Central America. Sometimes it is  hard to me who don’t have GPS and don’t like GPS as well.


It takes only 30 minute to go back. Always the downhill is so fast gone like the life. Actually I am nervous when I sleep in a tent. So, I leave a pepper spray, which I got as a gift in the U.S, beside me when I sleep in a tent. I dreamed a nightmare two days ago, and yesterday I dreamed the worst nightmare. Maybe my wish was big enough. I ask to set up my tent, but they let me sleep in a house.


2nd June 2012

When I go out of the room, I can see the beautiful morning. Unlikely Korea, most of people has a yard in Latin house, even they are fool. Sometimes I think their life is better than Korean who lives in the apartment for their life.


The upper and the second from the left is the same age, but she has a baby. She let me stay at her room yesterday. The three houses are in a line, and they are all family each other. Almost there are over 20 or 30 people. I think family life makes the people very friendly and kind. That’s why I am so enjoying Colombia? But you know these are two sides of the same coin. I think family life makes the people dependent.


I see other cyclist couple, and it is fantastic to see them.


They are from Argentina. They make panniers with the water bottle. They say it is 100 percent water proof ! How cool!


I get another idea that he tie his guitar from up to down.


Today is also green and hilly.


I find a bamboo.


It is very familiar to see.


Yeah, it is coffee beside the road.


Here are three kinds! A bamboo, coffee and Bike.


Here are also three kinds. hahaha


I meet other cyclist on the road. I think here are many cyclists in Colombia.


Here is coffee hill. But I can’t smell coffee. It’s like love. When you roast coffee, then you can smell  lovely sweet.


Today is a little bit hard to find a place. I am rejected over three times. Actually I ask to a little bit rich house in their area. Of course, the more people have something, then the more they are nervous of stranger. I set up my tent the second floor of the school. It’s interesting that people live the middle of the class.


They give me a big supper with rice, big meat, Arepa, potato fried, banana fried and warm milk. They also hand me coffee in the morning.


3rd June 2012

I can see many cyclists, maybe because of the Sunday.


There is no car. I eat the bread very slowly while thinking that the Sunday is blessing! But I find why there is no car soon. I see that there are Yellow line and the police who investigate car which was broken by a gun. It is so scary. I hope I can come back home safely later. I hope there is always luck for my life on the road.


I’ve heard that there is Casa de Cyclist which means house of cyclist in South America. I was wondering what that is. I just got information from Argentina couple yesterday where it is near the road. So I visit there. It is like a hostel that they have a kitchen to cook, a place to sleep and a free wifi to use internet. But it is totally free for cyclists.


Oh~ man! Here are other awesome panniers.


They are building new house for cyclists.




In the picture the right one maintains Casa de Cyclist. Gregorio’s uncle live near here. The second people from the right above the picture go to Gregorio’s uncle house with me over 15 km (9 mi).

I’ve ridden hard because of hilly. So I will take the rest and will do laundry, organize pictures, write journal, update my blog, format computer, install programs, check the goole map for the next route, check the email, give the email back, read the book, practice guitar……

what….. so many things to do!

Anyway it is time to take the rest.

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