Day 79 - October 20th

Today was a motorcycle exploration day. Duncan, another biker we had originally met in Nicaragua, was also in Medellin and keen for a ride. He brought another motorcycle traveller with him, named Brad, who had been on his sailboat from Panama. The two of them arrived at our hostel, and after a quick chain lube and tire pressure adjustment we were ready to go. Johanna was also coming along for the adventure today, so she hopped on the back of Trev's bike and we hit the road.
The destination today was Guatape, a small town about 2 hours outside of Medellin. The roads to the town were quite nice... Smooth, twisty, and predictable, without much traffic. We only got a bit confused one time, when Duncan's GPS started acting up. Not too shabby really, especially because it happened when we were in a town, and Duncan can speak pretty good Spanish. No problems.
The main attraction of the Guatape is a huge rock 5 minutes from the centro that people climb up. Saying it's a big rock doesn't do it justice... The stairs to the top zigzagged up the side of it for what seemed like forever. All in all, there was a grand total of 740 steps to reach the top. And what a top it was! The full 360 view showed us the entire valley in all directions. The rolling farmland (small, steep mountains by Canadian standards) stretched behind us for a long way, but the really beautiful part was in front of us. A large lake stretched through the entire valley, twisting around small hills and under bridges. Honestly, I don't really know how to describe it, so check out the photos (or if you're really keen, Google maps). Anyway, it was unreal.
After the rock, we all rode into Guatape to check out the town and get some grub. The town was super cute - bright colours, friendly people, historic buildings... It felt so warm, inviting, and safe. Perfect spot for a good pizza lunch. While we were waiting for the 'za, a big group of people in yellow shirts pulled up near us. They were campaigners for the upcoming election, and they certainly weren't shy about it. The rowdy bunch of locals hung around, talking to people, handing out flyers, and generally being stoked. It was interesting to see I guess.
Now came the ride home. We decided to take a different, quicker way back to try to be home before dark. Ripping along a slightly bigger highway proved to be a lot of fun for the four of us... Sketchy passing (of course) and quick driving made for a good time. About halfway home, Brad got tired of our "slow speeds" and took off ahead. There was no way we could keep up... Pretty sure he had a death wish. Never did see him again that day. After getting into town, Duncan left us pretty early on to go to his place. That left the two of us (and Johanna) to battle the madness that is Medellin rush hour. Traffic was mostly at a standstill, except for the motorbikes lane splitting to the front. Well, when in Rome... Lane splitting was especially dodgy for Trev because he had never done it with somebody on the back before. A couple taxis got a bit close trying to change lanes without signals, but a quick honk straightened them out. 15 honks later, we were home safe. We were all tuckered out, so the three of us and one of the Dutch girls went to a food vendor really close to the hostel. The food was cheap and fast and then we all just went home and slept.

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