QuickPeek: Bus ride. Maniacs. Stunning Putumayo!
Heh, seems like it will be a while before I’d eventually muster enough will to cross over the Andes fully on the bike, jej. This morning, we were up at 6 at Cabunga’s finca and Though we’d have loved to stay a few more days and talk about how he is trying to restore the disappearing culture of the indigenous people, we had to keep going. We hit the road at 7:30, and had a 40 min ride back to the town from his finca.
Krista’s knee had eased up over the night, but the idea of putting more effort on it when it was still sore was not advisable. There are many mountains to climb and a lot more service needed of the knees, so she had planned to take a bus to the town of Mocoa. While we had a bit of b’fast, I contemplated the route and figured may be I could cut my route short by hitching a ride till the summit and then descend on the gravel road.
We found a transport, a pickup which passed for a bus and they were willing to take the bikes. The guy did a non standard hitch and we left the town screaming with speed. The road just outside of Sibundoy turned into gravel and dusty. The driver was pretty much a maniac and rode like there was no tomorrow.
The road climbed steadily and I was watching the marbles on which the truck was constantly losing traction. I figured it was good I skipped this bit, because my Schwalbe Marathon Dureme would have no traction in them at all. Would have turned into 2 days of pushing the bike I reckon. The views were stunning into the valley, I see why people seem to look at Putumayo as unspoiled land. The forests were gorgeous and we passed numerous waterfalls, many of them washing on the road.
I was in two minds, one really to have been biking this route and the other being thankful I didn’t have to ride the slippery gravel, heh. After a few ups and downs, we eventually got to a spot called the Mirador from whence it was all downhill, literally. I was planning to jump out at this point and ride the bike downhill. But good sense prevailed and I decided to continue on the truck.
The driver was even more maniacal on the descents, almost always losing traction and catching himself at the last moment at turns. Precarious. Anyhow, we got down to the hot town of Mocoa and I noticed the series of damages the bike had taken. Saddle was seriously skuffed, handlebars were pulled back and the brakes were out of place. Nothing serious, but something I don’t like about taking bikes on buses. Bummer.
We met a guy called Lennier at the bus station, he was a couch surfing host and had hosted, Bruno, a French cyclist I knew. Sweet. He was trying to invite us home but had family visiting and couldn’t, but he recommended a couple of places we could find. We ended up in a small and super cheap spot near center of town and got knocked out in the heat.
Route: Sibundoy to Mocoa (on bus)
Distance: 8 Km
Road: Super gravel all along the way. Marbles and sharp stones too. Narrow at parts, but very bikeable.
Traffic: Light. But do be careful of the crazy driving and vehicles taking turns at high speeds.
Services: Very few along the way. However, there are at least 3 rest stops / restaurants on the gravel road between San Francisco and Mocoa. Potentially a spot to sleep too.
Expenses: SG$ 22.30
Comments: Biking the route between Sibundoy and Mocoa is highly recommended if you have a good off road setup.