Quiz: Bike Packing Time

Quiz Friday! Here is Sven, Tulku and our bikes packed for the sailing trip. 6 days on the deck, surrounded by salt water, is not very good for our metal bikes. We did our best and waterproofed them with 35 trash bags and 100 meters of duct tape. Question: How long did it take to pack them?
Write your guess in the comments! The winner will get a personal kilometer as well as a place in our Hall of Fame (http://on.fb.me/1JAdFTC). The quiz ends on Monday (00:00 GMT). The winner will be announced on Tuesday. The winner will be drawn at random from all the correct entries.

Week 96. Sailing Trip Ahead

Week 96. We are sailing from Cartagena, Colombia to Portobelo, Panama on Micamale. Meet Captain Andrea. In his hands we trust our lives, our precious cargo and invaluable livestock. We packed inflatable toys and googles for snorkeling, wet wipes for showering and a bucket for throwing up. Hopefully, the sea is calm, the currents are in our favour and we reach the land today.
Up next: exploring Panama canal!

Colombia Land of Wonders

Colombia – the land of wonders. We left it heartbroken. Every day in Colombia we’ve encountered something that left us speechless. In a good way, mostly. “Where are we?!” was expression we used the most. Every single day we couldn’t believe the things we saw and experienced. We fell in love with Colombia. It wasn’t the love from the first sight, but it grew bigger every day. We always feel a bit sad when we leave a country, but it’s different with Colombia.
Here is Sven’s favourite memory from Colombia: meeting with Luisa and Camilo in Armenia.

And then we suddenly got it

“Aha! Now I get it!”, we said it nearly at the same time. While cycling through South America, we were visiting historical sites from different civilizations in different countries. In Cartagena we visited one last place – San Felipe Fortress. We were sitting on the few hundred year old wall, looking at modern city and Atlantic Ocean in front of us and listening to the history on the audio guide. Suddenly, all the pieces from the puzzle came together. Silver mines in Potosi, origin of the name Argentina, cross-country tunnels in Ecuador – it all became one clear picture.

Oh Cartagena

S: On the next crossroad turn left.
K: Nooo! No way! I’m going to Barranquilla instead!
S: Now! Turn left!!!
K: Nooo! I’m going back to Ushuaia! Not left!
S: LEFT! LEFT! LEFT!
We entered Cartagena early in the morning straight into the rush hour. Knowing that traffic in South America is chaotic, we found us in the middle of huge mess. If you ask Kira, it was easier to cycle the whole continent than to find our way in Cartagena. Sven has refrained from the comment.

Quiz: Wake Up Time

Quiz Friday! Here is Kira and Tulku enjoying their last moments of sleep. It is very hot here in Caribbean Region of Colombia. The average temperature is 30C, day or night. Mix it with high humidity and it becomes hard to bear. Cycling in these conditions is a challenge, so we needed to adapt. We learned to use early morning hours to cycle. That comes with another challenge – waking Kira up very early. Question: When do we wake up for a cycling day? Write your guess in the comments. Hint: it’s still dark outside!
The winner will get a personal kilometer as well as a place in our Hall of Fame (http://on.fb.me/1JAdFTC). The quiz ends on Monday (00:00 GMT). The winner will be announced when we will reach land and find a computer with internet. The winner will be drawn at random from all the correct entries.

Cartagena? Why?

“Cartagena? Why did you go to Cartagena? I thought you wanted to go to Panama. Did you change your route?”. Don’t worry, we’re still on our way to Alaska! The Panamerican Highway is the longest road in the world, but it has one flaw: there is a 70 km gap (Darien Gap) between Colombia and Panama without any streets, just wild jungle. There are 3 ways to cross Darien Gap:
1. Get a machete and cut your way through the jungle and guerillas’ headquarters. Some cyclists have successfully done that and have crazy stories to tell. Many attempted and never came back.
2. Fly from Cartagena/Bogota/Medellin/Cali to Panama City.
3. Catch a sailing boat from Cartagena to Portobelo, Panama via Guna Yala islands. “Sailing boat? Do you mean ferry?”. Nope, there is no ferry on this route at the moment. In general, there is no regular ferry service between Colombia and Panama, only occasional private companies try to establish it and, sadly, fail.
Sooo, we knew about this ‘situation’ even before the beginnig of our journey. We were talking about this topic quite often during the trip. We did the research and monitored the changing situation, yet the final decision was made only last week. We are taking a sailing boat Micamale!

Week 95: Finished South America

Week 95. Finished cycling South America! It took us 649 days, 11.061 kilometers, 6 countries and a bucket of sweat to do that. We got older and wiser, our stuff got dirtier and Tulku made ‘pipi’ all over the continent and declared it hers. Jokes aside, it is a big deal to us. The second continent – North America – is even bigger deal. It is longer, has more countries and we hear there are bears roaming freely. New challenges and experiences await us!
Up next: finding our way to North America.

Dialogues

K: WOW, look! What a nice flat valley!
S: It’s not a valley. There are no mountains around it!
K: Hm… How is it called then?
S: Umm… Hm… Umm… I don’t know!

Yup, we’ve been in the mountains for a tad too long. We forgot how a flat land is called! How do you call it anyway?