The taste of powdered milk and granola conversed with our tastes buds, bringing a familiar start to our day. The air was slightly humid and the temperature was cool, which was perfect. There is nothing worse than starting to bike in the punishing heat from morning until the evening.
As we left the town, the road began to rise, gradually reaching for higher altitude. Two hour had passed and we had traversed about fifteen kilometers. I blame it on our surroundings. Not necessarily the incline of the road, but waterfalls that we couldn’t help ourselves from taking pictures of. We only had approximately twenty-two to go, I think we were certain we would crush those kilometers and get to the boarder…
Again we were set back by the steady pace of the mountains. As we pedaled we watched vehicles spew out carbon monoxide from their exhaust pipes. We choked through their smog and pressed onward. So did the grade of the mountains. We couldn’t help but wonder why were were going so slow today. In the end, we figured it was the noisiness of the hotel, since it was situated next to an international highway it made sense to us. Eventually, we came upon a small town called San Juan and felt the grumble of our stomachs. We ate the menu del dia with the company of a few dogs. Their little eyes pleaded to us for a share of our food. Better luck next time, pups!
It was not until three thirty in the afternoon we had made it to Ipiales, or atleast the outskirts, where we ditched our bikes and caught a cab to the Santuario de Las Lajas. We stood at the steps looking down at the most elaborate and intricately decorated church we had ever seen. We walked around the tourist destination for a while, we waited for the novelty to wear off and then decided to leave. A local tapped us on the shoulder and asked for a picture. We agreed. They had their photo and trotted off giggling. Then as we walked up the steps, a lady whipped her camera out and stole a photo of us. It was a weird sensation. We’ll let it pass this time, but next time, it’ll be five bucks!