QuickPeek: Short day. Good climb. Fantastic scenery. Amazing host!

So today we planned to head out. I woke up in the morning with sniffles that I had picked up at the hike. I guess the best way to work out a cold flu is to sweat it out. I made a quick b’fast with eggs and some leftover sundal I had made yesterday. Doris had to head to work and we bid farewell. Alejandro was planning to come with us for a bit, but eventually had to drop out because of some schedule issues, ah well.

We had waited a bit and around 11 am, we decided to head out. Felix, our German friend was staying another day and we wished him well and got on the road. It was a bit of a chilly day and a bit of drizzle out too. I got on my rain proofs, but suspected it was going to be a complicated day with the weather. The route out of town was partly on the Pan Americana, but looped thro some heavy city traffic before leaving us on the toad towards Mocoa.

We had planned for a super small day (or so I thought), about 25 k up and over a good sized mountain. I thought it was going to be a sweet half days ride and a potential Warmshowers host for us! Once we got on the proper road, it climbed steadily at 7% grade which was easy on my legs and even better, I had 3 more gears left! Good upgrade, that chain ring. The views over the valley was pretty, but it was all cow country until very high up in the mountains.

At one of the crests I stopped for a bit of a breather and after a while, Krista hobbled up. She had bionic knees and the steady climb was keeping her in a lot of pain. We tried a couple more stretches and the problem kept getting worse. Anyhow, she worked thro it and we eventually got to the summit. It was lucky we had planned for a short day. I guess a bit more work for her to figure out how to reduce stress on her knees. I suppose the stunning views up this hill, kept her motivated to keep riding.

The descent was super chilly and we made our way into town. We met our host, Andres, at his restaurant. He was a super friendly chap and though he was heading elsewhere, he gave us directions to his home and asked us to head there and make ourselves at home! Unbelievable. We chatted for a while and decided to head to his home.

Turned out, his place was on a dirt road and on the other side of the lake 8k’s away. It was up and down, a bit more steeper than I had hoped and it was a struggle to get to the place. However, when we got there, the effort all seemed worthwhile. The place was a lovely little house right by the lake. Andres had a few other guests too, an Argentinian couple who wrote some beautiful folk music and sang all evening and a couple of Canadians who were also very chilled.

Andres, a DJ himself, had created a stunningly neat creative space and It was also a farm. We figured it would be a shame to leave the place without spending a day. A quick meal later, we hung out listening to Marco and Maria record some of their songs and slept in.

Track Notes

Route: Pasto to Lago de Cocha
Distance: 35 Km
Road: Pretty well laid asphalt with well graded inclines.
Traffic: Exiting Pasto was a mad rush of traffic. But once in the hills, it's super light.
Services: Numerous. Once out of the farmlands, it's forest till the summit.
Expenses: SG$ 1.58
Comments: The ride out of Pasto is absolutely stunning.